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Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in the Star Wars Movies

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Who do you think gave the best performance as their characters in the movies? Whether it be Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, or even Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, post your thoughts in the thread of who you thought gave the best performance in the franchise. Voiceover roles could also be considered, such as James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The name’s Lawson. Noah Lawson.

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Jake Llyod as Anakin Skywalker, hands down.

JEDIT: In all seriousness, Harrison Ford does a really good job. Most of the OT and ST have characters with great moments, but there’s a certain lame but cool aspect of Han that you can only appreciate post Alden (though he did his best).

Maul- A Star Wars Story

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Alec Guinness in ANH.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Harrison ford and Carrie Fisher’s “Hepburn and Grant” style chemistry in ESB is hard to beat.

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Hal 9000 said:

Alec Guinness in ANH.

Guinness actually received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars. It’s great to see you here, Hal! Your Star Wars edits are amazing, as well as your method of approaching the task to edit the films too.

The name’s Lawson. Noah Lawson.

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This is a good idea for a thread! I’m gonna try to pick more underrated choices from each trilogy.

For the Prequels, I would definitely have to say Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine/Sidious. He basically plays two different characters, and he can easily go from kind/friendly, manipulative, to evil incarnate. He’s fun to watch, and his best scene probably has to be the Opera Scene in ROTS.

For the Original Trilogy, I have to agree with Nev and suggest Frank Oz as Yoda. I think the act of performing Yoda was a real pain for Oz, having to not really see who he was performing with, and being cramped underneath the hot stage with his hand up a puppet. But he made Yoda feel real, and made you feel the emotions that Yoda felt, whether it be curiosity, hesitation, disappointment, wisdom, etc.

For the Sequels, it is hard to choose because I think it has some of the best performances in the franchise, but for the amount of pressure I can only imagine he had to have been under, I think Mark Hamill gave his best performance as Luke Skywalker ever, even though he had only acted on-camera occasionally for the past several years. And considering how Hamill apparently didn’t agree with the choices made for his character in the film, he proved he could give the performance regardless of his own opinions, and he really got that pain and emotion across on screen.

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NeverarGreat said:

Reading The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, it becomes clear how much the very soul of Star Wars hinged on making the audience believe in the reality of a talking frog. That this worked at all is a miracle, and a lot of it has to do with the talents of Frank Oz.

If the onscreen chemistry between the puppet and Mark Hamill had not worked, the movie would have failed.

The name’s Lawson. Noah Lawson.

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RogueLeader said:

This is a good idea for a thread! I’m gonna try to pick more underrated choices from each trilogy.

For the Prequels, I would definitely have to say Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine/Sidious. He basically plays two different characters, and he can easily go from kind/friendly, manipulative, to evil incarnate. He’s fun to watch, and his best scene probably has to be the Opera Scene in ROTS.

For the Original Trilogy, I have to agree with Nev and suggest Frank Oz as Yoda. I think the act of performing Yoda was a real pain for Oz, having to not really see who he was performing with, and being cramped underneath the hot stage with his hand up a puppet. But he made Yoda feel real, and made you feel the emotions that Yoda felt, whether it be curiosity, hesitation, disappointment, wisdom, etc.

For the Sequels, it is hard to choose because I think it has some of the best performances in the franchise, but for the amount of pressure I can only imagine he had to have been under, I think Mark Hamill gave his best performance as Luke Skywalker ever, even though he had only acted on-camera occasionally for the past several years. And considering how Hamill apparently didn’t agree with the choices made for his character in the film, he proved he could give the performance regardless of his own opinions, and he really get that pain and emotion across on screen.

To me, Mark Hamill gave his best performance as Luke in The Last Jedi. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver also deserve a lot of praise with how intriguing and emotional they were able to play the characters of Rey and Kylo Ren.

The name’s Lawson. Noah Lawson.

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Alec Guinness for me too. Stole the show as it were with his layered and quality performance in Star Wars '77.

There are some great performances in Star Wars over the years - all adding layers and depth to the GFFA, absorbingly pulling the viewer in… though for me the Kind Hearted Coroneter stands out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN74bOubUug
 

Cool thread, nl0428 😃
 

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Billy Dee Williams in ESB deserves some recognition, I think.

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Ian McDiarmid in ROTS, Mark Hamill in TLJ, Ralph Brown in TPM

Working on many edits, may take many years to complete…

Also known as Mr. Liquid Jungle.

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For me, Adam Driver has some of the best acting moments in the entirety of Star Wars. Particularly his quieter, more intimate scenes.

I’m thinking the interrogation of Rey in TFA and just after they fight the red guards in TLJ. There’s a strange, guarded vulnerability that he captures so well.

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pleasehello said:

For me, Adam Driver has some of the best acting moments in the entirety of Star Wars. Particularly his quieter, more intimate scenes.

I’m thinking the interrogation of Rey in TFA and just after they fight the red guards in TLJ. There’s a strange, guarded vulnerability that he captures so well.

I agree with you!

The name’s Lawson. Noah Lawson.

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Without allowing for any repeats…

TPM - Pernilla August as Schmi Skywalker
AOTC - Christopher Lee as Count Dooku
ROTS - Ian McDiarmis as Emperor Sheev ‘Darth Sidious’ Frank Palpatine
ANH - Alec Guiness as Ben Kenobi
ESB - Frank Oz as Yoda
ROTJ - Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker (because McDiarmid was already picked)
TFA - Harrison Ford as Han Solo
TLJ - Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker (Carrie Fischer honorable mention)

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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I think everyone peaked in TESB, I don’t think there’s a single actor that sticks out negatively.

From the new ones, I really like Daisy but the material she’s been given doesn’t do her justice. I think she’s a great young actress. Adam also is so effortless that you don’t actually see it, but when you see him in interviews he’s completely different from an intense, unstable and sensitive guy. And he also looks like 10 years older IRL.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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Ian McDiarmid was one of the few PT actors that could pull off the dialogue they were given. As far as the OT, I have to agree that Sir Alec Guinness is a superb classically-trained actor, but the at the time unknown Mark Hamill also preformed brilliantly.

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TPM - Andy Secombe
AOTC - Christopher Lee
TCW - Matt Lanter
ROTS - Ian McDiarmid
SOLO - Sam Witwer
RO - James Earl Jones
ANH - Alec Guiness / Peter Cushing (sorry, I can’t choose)
ESB - Frank Oz / all the people involved in/with Darth Vader
ROTJ - Ian McDiarmid
TFA - Max von Sydow
TLJ - Adam Driver

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Smithers said:

You’re kidding.

What about Donald Glover? Granted, I too also found Solo to be quite forgettable, but Ehrenreich and Glover were both very good as Han and Lando.

The name’s Lawson. Noah Lawson.

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Hal 9000 said:

Alec Guinness in ANH.

My favourite is the look he gives when Han says the ship has had a lot special modifications.