Peter Griffin/Han Solo once said in the Family Guy Star Wars special Blue Harvest.
Hi, I’m Han Solo. I’m Captain of the Millenium Falcon, and the only actor whose career isn’t destroyed by appearing in this movie.
Getting cast in Star Wars is a big deal for a young actor, but it doesn’t always give you the breakout you’d expect. Harrison Ford is the huge Star Wars success story. Some actors have been able to succeed post-Star Wars. Like Natalie Portman, but it can be a death sentence to some. Mark Hamill was lucky enough to be a quality voice actor, so he found a second life in voice over, but struggled getting roles after the original trilogy ended.
The final entry in the sequel trilogy is in theaters now. So this likely marks the end for most of these cast members in these roles, which have become their bread and butter and gained them attention. So what comes next for these actors? We’re going to discuss this now. Don’t worry there will not be any spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker here. This will only focus on the main 4 actors.
Daisy Ridley (Rey)
Daisy Ridley was very close to a rookie actress by the time she got the lead role as Rey in The Force Awakens. You’d struggle to find appearances from her prior to her role in that movie. She’s also probably the member of the main cast that has done the least of amount of outside of Star Wars since the trilogy has been ongoing. She did pop up in Murder on the Orient Express in 2017 and in 2018 she appeared in a movie called Ophelia that I have no interest in seeing and she provided a voice for the kids movie Peter Rabbit. Her schedule post-Star Wars doesn’t seem to be stuffed either, so I would not be surprised if she struggles to remove herself from Rey for the rest of her career. Her only high profile role in an upcoming movie called Chaos Walking that has already had a lot of production problems and delays. It began filming back in 2017 and had several reshoots go down this year.
John Boyega (Finn)
John Boyega did have a bit more of a reputation before Star Wars, mostly thanks to the 2011 movie Attack the Block. Boyega has done a bit of work to distance himself from Finn by starting his own production company called Upperroom Entertainment. His first project as a producer was Pacific Rim: Uprising (which he also starred in), but the film wasn’t well received. He gave a good performance in Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, but was also in the terrible movie The Circle in 2017 (see my worst of the decade list for more on that). His IMDb schedule post Star Wars doesn’t appear to have much, but I do think Boyega is a very charismatic actor and I expect him to have a decent career after Finn, rather than just fade away.
Oscar Isaac (Poe)
Isaac was probably the most established actor going into The Force Awakens. He had some critically acclaimed performances for Inside Llewyn Davis and Ex Machina prior to the movie and has worked a lot in the time he’s been involved in Star Wars. He played the lead villain in X-Men Apocaylpse. He had a fair sized role in Annihilation which was a solid sci-fi movie. He was also in Triple Frontier one of the movies I consider to be one of the more underrated of the year. In my opion Isaac will continue to earn great roles with ease. He’s already set to be featured in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune which is set to come out next year with an lot of hype.
Adam Driver (Kylo Ren)
For me personally, I consider Adam Driver to be the strongest actor of the main cast and he’s given the best performance of the trilogy as Kylo Ren. Perhaps one of the best of the whole saga. Driver appeared with Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis, but his biggest role prior to The Force Awakens was probably on the HBO show Girls. Driver has only been in show business for a decade, yet he has worked with this long list of talented directors: JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Noah Baumbach, The Coen Brothers, Jeff Nichols, Jim Jarmusch, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, and Terry Gilliam. He’s currently set to appear in a Ridley Scott film as well. 2019 was an especially strong year for Driver and I think it’s very likely he wins an Oscar for his performance in Marriage Story this year (a very good movie if you haven’t seen it). This dude’s very likely to have a hell of a career post Star Wars. It may only get better for him from here.
Who do you think will be the success stories from the cast of the Star Wars sequel trilogy?