‘Star Wars’: Behind-the-Scenes Photo Shows Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford at the Start of Their Stardom

Younger generations have a hard time fathoming a world without Star WarsAfter all, while older fans saw the franchise develop in real-time, younger ones were born into a world where it was already a cultural phenomenon.

This is the same for the actors, too. While the current generation of actors know what they’re signing up for, this wasn’t the case with the original. A recent photo kicked off a discussion about the ensuing fame and how it affected the film’s biggest stars. 

Before there were stars

When a fan on Reddit posted a picture of the film’s three stars goofing off at a photoshoot, it got people thinking about how much changed after the second film. After all, the first film was a massive success, but the overall saga was still in question. Many films have had the initial success that dwindled with every sequel. The original Star Wars trilogy only grew more prominent, with each ensuing project only grew in fame and stature. 

“They probably had some fame, maybe not have to live meal to meal anymore. Was probably a fun time,” u/redshirt1972 wrote. 

This touched on something important to the saga at large. Star Wars remains such a cultural touchstone that even the current slate of Marvel films and similar franchises fails to match. It’s a film saga, yes, but it is also something that has shaped the lives of several generations of kids and adults alike. It’s a costly burden that the original trilogy’s stars have lived with since the release.

Overnight ‘Star Wars’ fame

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

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Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and the late Carrie Fisher experienced overnight success in different forms. Fisher became a famous actress like her mother, but her greatest success away from Star Wars came as a Hollywood script doctor. Hamill’s fingerprint on live-action entertainment away from Star Wars is relatively tiny, but his voice work remains as legendary as his lightsaber-wielding. Ford, on the other hand, became one of the biggest stars in the world. 

Looking back at their overnight fame, all three spoke about the sudden fame in the years since Star Wars changed the entertainment industry forever. Fisher was known more for her famous parents than she was for acting at the time, so when the fame bug bit her, too, it caught the actress off-guard. 

“I didn’t [chase fame],” the late actress wrote in a book (per The Ringer). “It’s just that it turned out to be a lot harder to stay out of the famous fray than to enter it.”

Fame was a double-edged sword that. As such, Fisher’s life had several pitfalls. However, when it comes to the art of acting and the way that roles like these can change a career forever, Ford and 

While certain aspects of fame are desirable, the lack of privacy can wear on people. Fisher famously struggled with drug addiction and the burden that came with being made into the series’ unofficial sex pot in many fans’ eyes. Still, she embraced the Star Wars saga until her dying days. While Ford and Hamill have gone on to bigger things, they still appreciate their work on the masses.

Universal acclaim

Hamill and Ford offered similar sentiments to Fisher. Both hard-working but little-known actors at the time, their careers were never the same.  Ford spoke to The Independent about his thoughts regarding fame in 2020. 

“Success has been very important to giving me options in my life,” the Han Solo actor told the publication. “I am very grateful for that. I didn’t want to become an actor to become rich and famous, I wanted to become an actor because I wanted to do that job. I wanted to be able to live different lives, learn about different people and their lives. I wanted to tell stories, powerful stories. And I’ve got, happily, the opportunity to do that.”

While Hamill acknowledges that fame can be a lot to handle, he also appreciates the impact that it lets him have on several generations of fans. 

“That’s the nice thing about being in something that’s as universally recognized as Star Wars,”  he told The Independent UK. “Parents normally tell kids ‘Don’t talk to strangers,’ but everyone thinks they know me, wherever I go.”

It’s unlikely that anything will ever reach the stature Star Wars had. After all, it set the template for everything from The Lord of the Rings to Marvel and everything in between. That level of fame can be equal parts enlightening and exhausting. However, stars like Fisher, Hamill, and Ford just had to appreciate such a unique position regardless of the pitfalls it entailed.