There are dozens of characters in Star Wars, some appearing in all movies in the series, others being featured just for a few moments. Out of the long list of Star Wars characters, fans are definitely more familiar with some figures, such as Luke Skywalker or Yoda. Here are some of the most popular Star Wars characters and the most important facts about each:
1. Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker is the protagonist of the original film trilogy Star Wars. The character is portrayed by Mark Hamill and has been chosen by the Empire magazine the 50th greatest movie character of all time in 2015. His relationships with other characters are as follows: Princess Leia is his twin sister, Han Solo is his friend, and Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda are his mentors. Less known fact – Luke Skywalker was originally called Anakin Starkiller, but George Lucas changed the name because it had unpleasant connotations.
2. Darth Vader
Darth Vader is the antagonist of the Star Wars series; originally called Anakin Skywalker, he used to be a goodhearted Jedi until he was seduced by the dark side of the Force and became a Sith Lord. In the service of Darth Sidious, his main purpose became to defeat the Rebel Alliance. Numerous actors have portrayed Darth Vader, including David Prowse, Bob Anderson, and Sebastian Shaw. Darth Vader was listed by the American Film Institute the third greatest movie villain in cinema history.
3. Princess Leia
By her complete name Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, this Star Wars character is one of the oldest, being introduced in the original Star Wars films in the 70s. Princess Leia is a member of the Imperial Senate and an agent of the Rebel Alliance. It is revealed that Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker and Vader’s daughter. Princess Leia is best known for her cinnamon buns hairstyle and for being a 1980s icon. This female hero has been portrayed by the late Carrie Fisher and producers now need to find a way to explain the character’s absence. Solutions include altering the script and recreating Princess Leia using computer-generated imagery.
4. Han Solo
Han Solo is helping the Rebel Alliance to defeat the Galactic Empire. His creator, George Lucas, has described Han Solo as “a loner who realizes the importance of being part of a group and helping for the common good.” The character was originally portrayed by Harrison Ford in the original trilogy and in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Han Solo could have been completely different from what we know today since Lucas had changed his features from one script version to another – first he was an Ureallian with green skin, then became a bearded pirate, and eventually was chosen to be a human.
Yoda’s first appearance was in the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda is preparing Luke Skywalker to fight against the Galactic Empire and also served as the Grand Master of the Jedi Order in prequel films. The character dies in Return of the Jedi. Multiple artists have contributed to this character, including puppeteers Frank Oz, Deep Roy, Warwick Davis, and Eric Jacobson. In 2007, the Empire magazine selected Yoda as the 25th greatest movie character of all time. Some less-known facts about Yoda: his original name was Buffy, Yoda is the Sanskrit for warrior, and his looks were influenced by the physical appearance of the make-up artist who created him, Stuart Freeborn. Moreover, Yoda was one of the most difficult things about the making of the film, because it was hard to create the special effects that made the character believable.
The loyal friend and helper of Han Solo, Chewbacca is an intelligent Wookiee, a hirsute biped coming from the Kashyyyk planet. The character serves as a co-pilot on Han Solo’s spaceship, the Millennium Falcon. He is one of the most popular characters, appearing in books, comics, video games, and television, and inspiring the funniest Star Wars costumes and other types of merchandise. The actor who portrayed Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, was chosen for his height (7’3’’). Funny fact: George Lucas had the idea of creating Chewbacca when he saw his dog sitting up on the passenger seat of his car.
7. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Originally portrayed by Alec Guinness, Obi-Wan Kenobi is Luke Skywalker’s mentor, familiarising him with the ways of the Jedi. Ewan McGregor takes over the role for episodes I-III. He is one of the few characters included in all Star Wars films. The actor who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi first, Alec Guinness, considered the movie “fairy-tale rubbish” and was hardly persuaded to play. He required to be paid with 0,25% of the film’s total gross revenue, and ended up earning millions of dollars.
These are the most important Star Wars characters, without whom we couldn’t imagine the famous science-fiction saga. Which is your favorite one?