The Star Wars franchise continues to be one of the biggest movie series of all time. It recently surpassed the billion-dollar mark at the box office and is one of the most popular film series of all time. The film’s success is largely due to its many memorable characters, intense narrative, and incredibly expressive faces. One of the series’ most popular and iconic characters is undoubtedly Yoda, who first graced the big screen in 1981’s (fictional) Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Yoda’s quick wit, humor, and sage advice have made him a fan-favorite and a role model for many young people. Now, almost thirty-five years after his first appearance in the movie, Yoda’s still appearing in films and holding court at the Dagobah system in The Force Awakens. Fans of the franchise can only wonder what stories Yoda has to tell us in the future!
While Yoda has definitely become a pop culture icon, it’s not the only iconic character from the Star Wars saga. In fact, many of the films within the franchise are now considered classics, and continue to maintain a huge following. One of the most famous and popular film series ever made, the Star Wars franchise has breathed new life into the art of voice acting. From C-3PO’s bumbling and sometimes lovable ro-bo-ness to Yoda’s sage wisdom, these movies have introduced and inspired many new ways to perform dialogue for animated films and video games. Here are some of the best and most influential ways that the characters talk in the Star Wars series:
C-3PO: The Prancing Porker
C-3PO is one of the most recognizable characters in the Star Wars saga, literally. He was created by Alan Dean Foster in 1977 and first appeared in the novelization of A New Hope. In the film, C-3PO is a golden droid who walks and acts like a real human being. The astromech has great agility and constantly wears tight pants that allow for easy movement. He also has a great appreciation for human culture, and often quotes famous humans, like W. Shakespeare or Maya Angelou. One of the most iconic things about C-3PO is his walk – the way he walks, the way he stands, and the way he gestures are all so unique and make him one of the most recognizable faces in all of fiction.
R2-D2: The Most Influential Robot
The most recognizable and iconic robot in all of science fiction may very well be R2-D2, the co-pilot of Luke Skywalker’s X-wing fighter. First created by Frank Oz in 1977, R2-D2 is a small robot with a large, red button that he constantly presses. The robot’s design is based on the original R2-D2 model created by Kenner in 1968. The iconic character made his debut in the 1977 Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and has since become an integral part of the franchise, appearing in every film and holding important roles in some of them. The little robot’s central role in A New Hope is actually quite minor – his primary function in the movie is to hold Luke’s lightsaber and allow the young Skywalker to practice with it. But even in this seemingly minor role, R2-D2 has managed to inspire many other voices to become more prominent in the industry, particularly younger actors who are looking to break into the field.
Princess Leia: The Powerhouse
Princess Leia is another iconic character from the Star Wars saga and the franchise’s most prominent female lead. She was created by George Lucas in 1973 and first appeared in the film A New Hope. The fearless princess Leia wears fashionable clothing and wields a blaster rifle with great proficiency. She has many memorable lines in the series, the best of which are “Don’t judge me by my appearance, I’m not as innocent as I appear” and “It’s about time you educated me about all this robot stuff.” In A New Hope, Princess Leia is initially reluctant to get involved in the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire, but the fight for justice changes her mind and she joins the cause. Since then, Leia has appeared in every film in the series and become a fan-favorite for her fearless, no-nonsense attitude and quick wit.
Han Solo: The Wise Old Man
One of the most recognizable and iconic characters from the original Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is Han Solo. The film’s primary protagonist and sidekick to Princess Leia is a former smuggler and scoundrel who frequently speaks his mind and acts before thinking. Solo is often very sarcastic, telling hilarious and sometimes inappropriate jokes and engaging in witty repartee with his comrades. Han Solo is a very complex character and one of the most interesting and influential figures in all of fiction.
In the early 1970s, when George Lucas decided to make a film about Solo, he had no idea how much the character would evolve and change in his eyes. Solo’s screen presence is mostly credited to Harrison Ford, who played the character in all six of the prequel films, starting with The Force Awakens in 2015. It would appear that Ford’s performances as Solo in the six films have aged well, as audiences have continuously embraced the character. Solo is also one of the few Star Wars characters who has maintained popularity over the years and is frequently featured in lists of the greatest movie characters of all time. It’s quite an achievement considering he first appeared in a film that was considered a flop at the time!
While we’re on the subject of performances, let’s take a look at one of the best ensembles in film history as well as the most influential and iconic performances. This group of actors brought a new dimension to the word “ensemble” when they collaborated on and off-screen, but they never acted alone. Let’s start with Alec Guinness, who plays the titular role of Lord Nelson in the 1964 film The Beatles’ first feature film, Yellow Submarine. Besides being one of the greatest actors of all time, Guinness has an incredible voice and can imitate a wide variety of accents and dialects. Here are some of his best performances: