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Are the Original STAR WARS Actors Too Old for the New Movies? [Rant]

So, it's been confirmed that three of the original Star Wars actors will return for the new Star Wars movies. The next question is, can they even do the job?

Above Image:  Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill reunited

There has been some bozo conversation around whether the main actors can reprise their roles,
with people using terms like "Geriatric Wars" and comparing it to watching "Superman with a walker." "Jedi mind tricks to find their keys? No thanks." says one forum commentor.

I already wrote how I think the original actors should return for Star Wars, but let's answer the question: Can they bring back the magic of Star Wars again? Can Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia return 35 years later?

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker)
Age: Born September 25, 1951
Then: 26
Now: 62
Physical Activity Required: Running, shooting, acrobatics, lightsaber

When Mark Hamill played Luke Skywalker in 1977 he was a spry, young 26-year-old. He had very little acting experience, but won a Saturn award for his performance in Star Wars.
Luke Skywalker was a young man who grew to be a confident, but compassionate leader and Jedi master. Hamill was a pretty  athletic guy, doing most of his own stunts in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Now he's a 62-year-old dude with three Saturn awards (all for Star Wars). He's done some Broadway shows and got a Drama Desk Award nomination for Elephant Man. Most of work since Star Wars have been schlocky low-budget science fiction movies that went straight to video.  He has done some awesome voice work for video games and, of course, Batman: The Animated Series. At 60 years old, he hasn't done an action movie or had a significant acting role in decades.
Verdict: There's no way he can play Luke Skywalker the way he was, since he can't do his own stunts, but he still has the confidence and sense of humor that Luke needs. Expect him to play a less active Jedi like Obi-Wan Kenobi. But, like aged Yoda and Count Dooku, he might fight using a combination of CGI and practical effects.

By the way, if you want to know what Luke would look like as a Jedi, check out these fan-made posters.

Harrison Ford (Han Solo)
Age: Born July 13, 1942
Then: 35
Now: 70
Physical Activity Required: Running and shooting

When Harrison Ford played Han Solo, in Star Wars, he was around 35 years old. He'd had several small, mostly uncredited roles in movies and television. His most significant part was in American Grafitti. On the orginal Star Wars he played the bold, brash fighting man who ran, shot and fought his way out of trouble. Since Star Wars, Ford has played in dozens of films and won numerous awards.  He got a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for Witness, the film that also nabbed him a "Best Actor" BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations. He won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2002 Golden Globes and has  three "Best Actor" Golden Globe noms for The Mosquito Coast, The Fugitive and Sabrina. In 2000, Harrison Ford got the AFI Life Achievement Award.
On Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in 1983, he suffered a herniated disk, but is still active. In fact, at 65, he did his own stunts for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull crediting advances on safety techniques.
Verdict: Even though he's older than the other actors he's the most likely to be able to do his own stunts and have the acting skills to bring Han Solo back. Unfortunately, he hates Star Wars, so I'm not sure he'll be as committed to the role as he was when he was younger.

Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia)
Age: Born October 21, 1956
Then: 21
Now: 56
Physical Activity Required: Running, fighting, shooting

Carrie Fisher was the youngest member of the cast of Star Wars at age 21. Before Star Wars, her only major acting role was in the comedy Shampoo (1975). Today Carrie Fisher is 56 and has appeared in numerous films, but her comedy roles like Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally are her best known films. She's had a very public battle with various addictions, bipolar disorder and weight gain. Her tell-all books and YouTube fights with William Shatner have proved she still has the sense of humor and fighting spirit that we love from Princess Leia.
Verdict: There’s no way she can do stunt work, but she never did her own stunt work before anyway. Shooting a gun isn't hard and Helen Mirren in RED (2010) proved you can still pop a cap at 60. Fisher's acting skills are still on point, and she can play an older, wiser Princess Leia.

So, of the three main actors, one can definitely reprise his role and two are questionable. Case closed. They can do the job.

I agree with one Guardian reader when he says, "There's some kind of ageism in the 'I don't want to see my heroes look older' thing. We all get older. Even Jedi."

How do you feel? Can the original cast of Star Wars come back and play the?
[Image Source: US Magazine]

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  1. Sure they can, but do people want them to? I don't. It does make me sad to watch old action movie heroes going for the brass ring one last time. We already went through that with Indiana Jones 4 and that was 5 years ago. When it's a popcorn movie (and Star Wars are some of the ultimate popcorn movies) you just want to be entertained; you don't want to sit there contemplating your own mortality. Or having to explain to your kids who that gross old guy is and boring them with stories about how cool he used to be in the day.

  2. Alex J. CavanaughMarch 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Harrison was in Cowboys Vs. Aliens as well. He gets my vote as most likely.

  3. I don't have a problem seeing them older... I'm older, too. There's nothing wrong with being proud of the years on our faces and hips. I'd love to see the three of them together again... sans Ewoks.

  4. Geriatric. Marc Hamill was so cute in his youth.


  5. Good point Alex. I don't remember him doing much running, but plenty of riding and shooting.

  6. Mark Hamill is also currently the voice of Skips on Regular Show =) love that!
    I am excited to see these actors back! show the punks how real acting is done!
    old does not mean over!

  7. People seem to forget that Obi-Wan Kenobi was also an old man the first three times we saw him, and the second two appearances were exactly what the bare minimum we could expect from the appearances of these three.


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