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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.

Noah Lawson

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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.

Noah Lawson

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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.

The Last Jedi as a movie - Better than Empire. As an Episode - Worse than The Phantom Menace.
DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V2 Released!) and The Starlight Project

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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.

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.

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 😃
 


Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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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

“Ryan Gosling staring off into the distance”

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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!

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)

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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

“I have to say that I felt George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.” - James Cameron about Episode VII.

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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.

Noah Lawson