Yup, it’s that day again, May 4th. Or, to the enlightened among you, Star Wars Day! Given that several of the original trilogy’s cast made a stunning comeback in The Force Awakens – including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill – we recently took a look at where the other cast members from the original trilogy are now. But what about 1999-2005’s prequel trilogy? Here’s what happened to this lot…
Jar Jar Binks – Ahmed Best: Easily the most reviled of the Star Wars characters, Jar Jar’s actor has also been in TV series like Cougar Town and Law & Order – and also made a buck or two by returning as Jar Jar for various animated TV series and videogames. But don’t worry – he won’t be in the new films.
Padmé – Natalie Portman: We’ve got to the stage where, thankfully for Portman, we can no longer remember her bloodless turn as Padmé Amidala, Queen of Naboo and lover of young Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker. That’s thanks to vigorous roles in ballet psychodrama Black Swan, political thriller and V For Vendetta and, er, Thor?
Obi-Wan – Ewan McGregor: Fun fact: McGregor is the nephew of Denis Lawson, who played the original trilogy’s X-wing pilot Wedge Antilles. As Obi Wan, he brought youthful frustration to the latterly cerebral character, and afterwards went on to star in bloated flicks like Angels & Demons. Good news though – he’s in the upcoming Trainspotting sequel.
Darth Maul – Peter Serafinowicz: Although he only provided the voice for Darth Maul, Serafinowicz is one of the few things about The Phantom Menace that people look back on fondly. Post-Maul Serafinowicz has appeared in a variety of US and British sitcoms including Spaced and World Of Pub. More recently, he’s had small parts in Guardians Of The Galaxy and Shaun Of The Dead.
Qui-Gon Jinn – Liam Neeson: Aside from many, many roles in things like Love Actually, Batman Begins, Fallout 3 and Narnia, Liam’s been very busy with a particular set of skills in the Taken films. Skills he’s acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you…
Mace Windu – Samuel L Jackson: With huge films like Avengers and Django Unchained to his name, Jackson is ranked as the most lucrative box-office star ever, with the films he’s appeared in combining to give a $4.572bn gross. But we all still remember Snakes on a Plane…
Sabé – Keira Knightley: Knightley was only 13 when she appeared in The Phantom Menace as a decoy for Natalie Portman’s Queen. Two years later she was cast in horror The Hole. After Bend It Like Beckham she shot to fame in Pirates Of The Caribbean and has had other big roles since. She made her Broadway debut this year as Emile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin.
Jango Fett – Temuera Morrison: Jango, father of Boba Fett, was a bounty hunter who provided his DNA for Chancellor Palpatine’s indoctrinated clone army, revealed in 2002’s Attack of the Clones. Kiwi actor Morrison has also voiced these clones in various Star Wars videogames, acted in 2011 film Green Lantern and appeared in BBC drama Tatau this year.
Young Anakin – Jake Lloyd: Pity the child star. He quit acting in 2001 after being bullied by his classmates, saying being in The Phantom Menace ruined his childhood. This year he was arrested for reckless driving, driving without a license, and resisting arrest. Lloyd’s mother says he now suffers from schizophrenia.
Adult Anakin – Hayden Christensen: Perhaps unfairly, Christensen received the Golden Raspberry for Worst Supporting Actor for his moody turns in Episodes II and III. He’s since had roles in 2008 fantasy thriller Jumper and 2014’s indie flick American Heist, opposite Adrien Brody, and is due to play Marco Polo in Paramount’s ‘fantasy-action’ film of the same name.
Pernilla August – Shmi Skywalker: The death of Anakin’s mum, played by Swedish actor Pernilla August, drove the young Jedi to the Dark Side, and his new Darth Vader guise. Since helping to bring about pretty much all the events of the films so far, August has mostly appeared in Swedish films and theatre, being a longtime collaborator of celebrated Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.
Captain Panaka – Hugh Quarshie: The royal bodyguard of Natalie Portman’s Queen Amidala took a job on Holby City in 2001, two years after The Phantom Menace, where he’s been ever since as Dr Ric Griffin. He also appeared in two episodes of Doctor Who in 2007, and played Othello with the Royal Shakespeare Company this year.
Watto – Andy Secombe: This Welsh actor has voiced winged alien and general scumbag Watto in various games and films; he also voiced Colin The Security Robot in a Radio 4 production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy in 2005.
Bail Organa – Jimmy Smits: After playing the Alderaan politician who adopts Leia, Smits has spent most of his time on TV, in 37 episodes of The West Wing from 2004-2006 and 38 episodes of Sons of Anarchy from 2012-2014. He’s due to appear in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming musical drama series, The Get Down.
Cliegg Lars – Jack Thompson: Aussie actor Thompson played Shmi Skywalker’s husband, the adoptive father of Anakin Skywalker. Since then, he’s been Dr Perkins in 2013 film The Great Gatsby, and as a reciter of poetry, he’s released nine poetry albums. Nine.
Queen of Naboo – Keisha Castle-Hughes: Castle-Hughes played Apailana, who replaced Natalie Portman’s Padmé Amidala as Queen of Naboo in the most recent film, Revenge Of The Sith. The Aussie actress recently joined the cast of Game Of Thrones, playing Obara Sand, the eldest of the series’ three deadly ‘Sand Snakes’ from Dorne.