Other projects from 'Star Wars' actors that you should check out
Columbia Pictures

Other projects from 'Star Wars' actors that you should check out

If you have a notable role in a “Star Wars” movie, you are pretty much lodged in pop culture history. Since the first film in that series debuted in 1977, entertainment hasn’t been the same. Many actors are primarily remembered for their work in the world of “Star Wars,” and some are known pretty much only for that, which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. However, these actors don’t merely make “Star Wars” movies and call it a day. Here are some other projects from actors who have had key roles in a galaxy far, far away. Well, save for one of them. We’ve dedicated an entire article to the 25 most-memorable Harrison Ford roles, so we will leave Han Solo off this particular list.

 
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“Batman: The Animated Series”

“Batman: The Animated Series”
FOX

While he’s a legend of playing Luke Skywalker, outside of that role Mark Hamill’s greatest success has come as a voiceover actor. In fact, there are some who consider him their favorite Joker. Hamill has voiced Joker in a few different TV shows – including “Batman: The Animated Series” – as well as a few direct-to-video movies.

 
2 of 25

“Regular Show”

“Regular Show”
Cartoon Network

Hamill’s voiceover career is still going strong, and he’s just not in the world of superheroes and sci-fi stories. He was also the voice of Skips (as well as other characters) on 163 episodes of the Cartoon Network outing “Regular Show,” which was one of those cartoons that worked for both kids and adults.

 
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“The ‘Burbs” (1989)

“The ‘Burbs” (1989)
Universal

In addition to an acclaimed writing career that included books and a lot of script doctor work, Carrie Fisher had a fine acting career. We’d like to shout out her one-episode appearance on “30 Rock,” but also the film “The ‘Burbs.” Granted, it’s not her biggest, or best, role, but Joe Dante’s dark suburban comedy is a lot of fun and worth seeing.

 
4 of 25

“When Harry Met Sally” (1989)

“When Harry Met Sally” (1989)
Columbia

If you haven’t seen “When Harry Met Sally” you probably think of Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, and that one scene in the diner. However, the real aficionados of this film know that Fisher and Bruno Kirby steal the show. Fisher could often be quite caustic, but she wasn’t above the sweetness of a romantic comedy now and then.

 
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“The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957)

“The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957)
Columbia

Alec Guinness famously was dismissive of his work as Obi-Wan Kenobi and of the “Star Wars” films in general. We can kind of understand. He was a venerated British actor, after all. Guinness actually won an Oscar for “Bridge on the River Kwai,” one of the best war films ever made. Going from that to fighting with a laser sword might feel a little silly.

 
6 of 25

“Dr. Strangelove” (1964)

“Dr. Strangelove” (1964)
Columbia

Stanley Kubrick made a brilliant pitch-black comedy out of Mutually Assured Destruction with “Dr. Strangelove.” The ensemble comedy has some fantastic performances, including a triple role for Peter Sellers. One of the actors in the cast, though, is a young man named James Earl Jones who would eventually become the voice of Darth Vader.

 
7 of 25

“The Lion King” (1994)

“The Lion King” (1994)
Disney

Jones’s sonorous voice has been used to good effect in many films. There’s just an inherent gravitas there. With Vader, it’s ominous. However, he can also use it for good. Just think of Jones voicing Mustafa, the father of Simba, in Disney’s classic animated film “The Lion King.”

 
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“Sherlock Holmes”

“Sherlock Holmes”
BBC

Many actors have played Sherlock Holmes. You surely have a favorite. Is it, perhaps, Peter Cushing? The man who would become Grand Moff Tarkin played Holmes in a few films, but also in 16 episodes of a BBC series that aired in 1968. Hey, they don’t let just anybody play the world’s greatest detective, no matter what Will Ferrell might tell you.

 
9 of 25

“The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” (1976)

“The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” (1976)
Universal

Lando Calrissian doesn’t show up until “Empire Strikes Back,” where he betrays Han Solo, before turning to the side of the good and helping the rebels take down the Empire. Billy Dee Williams has never had a role this noteworthy, though he could have had he actually become Two-Face after playing Harvey Dent in “Batman.” However, he did play the titular Bingo Long in this comedy about a group of former Negro league baseball players who go on a barnstorming tour. It also stars James Earl Jones, by the way.

 
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“The Great Muppet Caper” (1981)

“The Great Muppet Caper” (1981)
Universal

Frank Oz hasn’t done much live-action acting (though he and Carrie Fisher both have small roles in “The Blues Brothers) but he has done a lot of puppetry and voiceover work. He’s the voice of Yoda in the original trilogy, but he and Jim Henson were also the driving forces behind the early days of the Muppets. Personally, we feel the best of his Muppet films in “The Great Muppet Caper,” though admittedly Charles Grodin deserves a lot of the credit for that.

 
11 of 25

“Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)

“Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)
Warner Bros.

In addition to his voiceover work, Oz has worked as a director. This includes directing one Muppet film, “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Of all the films he’s directed, our personal choice is “Little Shop of Horrors,” a dark comedy musical that involves puppetry as well, naturally.

 
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“Gangs of New York” (2002)

“Gangs of New York” (2002)
Touchstone

Liam Neeson’s time in the “Star Wars” universe was brief, as Qui-Gon Jinn doesn’t even make it through one film. Also, it’s a film a lot of people really don’t like. Still, Neeson starred in a “Star Wars” movie and had a resonant death. The same is true of the Martin Scorsese film “Gangs of New York.”

 
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“Velvet Goldmine” (1998)

“Velvet Goldmine” (1998)
FilmFour International

Ewan McGregor took up the mantle of a young Obi-Wan for the prequel trilogy, and like his forerunner Guinness he’s had a lot of success in critically-acclaimed work outside the realm of the world of “Star Wars.” One of the films that has gotten him a lot of adoration is “Velvet Goldmine,” a story set in the world of ‘70s glam rock that features McGregor as a rock star of the era.

 
14 of 25

“Big Fish” (2003)

“Big Fish” (2003)
Sony, Columbia

Tim Burton has a reputation got making dark comedies, macabre films, and creating the kind of aesthetic that made Hot Topic a thing in the 2000s. “Big Fish” has some fantastical elements, but it definitely feels different from a lot of his work. It’s a sweeter, gentler movie, and McGregor does excellent work as the younger version of Albert Finney’s character, who exists effectively only his memory and fantasy.

 
15 of 25

“Mars Attacks!” (1996)

“Mars Attacks!” (1996)
Warner Bros.

Hey, it’s back-to-back Burton movies! This one feels more like your usual Burton fare. It’s a dark, gross-out comedy that’s more about putting human heads on dog bodies than anything involving emotion or parent-child relationships. It’s just goofy, irreverent fun, and it has quite the cast. That includes a young Natalie Portman as the daughter of the President of the United States, played by Jack Nicholson.

 
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“Black Swan” (2010)

“Black Swan” (2010)
20th Century Fox

“Black Swan” isn’t for everybody. Darren Aronofsky’s film can be quite disturbing. That being said, we had to include it on this list. Portman, who of course played Queen Amidala in the prequels, won an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this ballet psychodrama.

 
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“Shattered Glass” (2003)

“Shattered Glass” (2003)
Lions Gate

Hayden Christensen got a ton of flak for his work as Anakin Skywalker in the two prequel movies he’s in. We get it. Christensen is bad in those movies. It really messed up his career. However, he has shown an ability to act in other films. Take, for example, “Shattered Glass,” where he plays the disgraced journalist Stephen Glass.

 
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“The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974)

“The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974)
MGM

Christopher Lee had quite the career. He played Dracula in a ton of films (so did Peter Cushing, by the way). He’s also in the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit’ movies. We didn’t want to single one of those out, though. Instead, let’s go to another series in the James Bond films. Lee plays Scaramanga, also known as the man with the golden gun, so he got to be a Bond villain.

 
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“Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013)

“Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013)
CBS Films

Oscar Isaac seems to be taking on Alec Guinness’s mantle as the actor who starred in the “Star Wars” movies that doesn’t seem super enthused about it. He also seems like he might be able to win an Oscar at some point, as he’s one of the best actors working today. Isaac first jumped out to a lot of people in the Coen Brothers’ tale of the New York folk scene “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Also in this film? An early appearance from Kylo Ren himself, Adam Driver.

 
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“Paterson” (2016)

“Paterson” (2016)
Amazon Studios

Speaking of Driver, he’s also the star of a couple of Jim Jarmusch films. “Paterson” couldn’t be much more different from the “Star Wars” films. It’s about a quiet bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey who is also a poet. There aren’t exactly a lot of laser blasts or spaceships here. There is a dog, though.

 
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“Attack the Block” (2011)

“Attack the Block” (2011)
Optimum Releasing

If you had heard of John Boyega before the “Star Wars” movies, it was probably because of “Attack the Block,” his first film. The movie is about the residents of a British estate, that country’s equivalent of the projects, being attacked by aliens. Boyega plays a teenaged street criminal who helps spearhead a fight against the invading extraterrestrials.

 
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“Annihilation” (2018)

“Annihilation” (2018)
Paramount

“Annihilation” doesn’t just feature two “Star Wars” actors from two different trilogies. It stars Natalie Portman but also features Oscar Isaac in a prominent role. On top of that, it also features aliens, though not cutesy ones like Ewoks. You may have no clue what happens in “Annihilation” after watching it, but it’s definitely visually stunning.

 
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“Frank” (2014)

“Frank” (2014)
Element Pictures

Domhnall Gleeson may not have the biggest role in the most recent trilogy, but he’s kind of akin to those films' version of Grand Moff Tarkin. He’s a very good actor, though, and that’s on display in some of his other films. Take, for example, “Frank.” Michael Fassbender has the attention-grabbing role of a mentally ill musician who wears a giant papier-mache head all the time, but Gleeson’s role is just as important to the story. “Frank” is definitely a film worth checking out.

 
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“Willow” (1988)

“Willow” (1988)
MGM

While Warwick Davis was wearing an Ewok costume, he’s still a known actor in the “Star Wars” films. He’s Wicket! If you are a fan of the series, you probably know that. The actor got to star in a movie where he wasn’t basically a walking teddy bear as well in “Willow,” a fantasy film directed by Ron Howard and produced, fittingly enough, by George Lucas.

 
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“Chaos Walking” (2021)

“Chaos Walking” (2021)
Lionsgate

Daisy Ridley was basically an unknown when she was cast as Rey, the de facto star of the recent “Star Wars” trilogy. As such, finding other projects for her is limited. What will her career be like after playing Rey? We will find out soon enough, and 2021 could be the first sign. Ridley is starring alongside Tom Holland in Doug Liman’s new science-fiction adventure movie. It could be the start of a whole new post-Rey career.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

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