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'Star Wars' actors: Then and now (pictures)

More than 35 years later, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford may all return in upcoming "Star Wars" films.

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James Martin
James Martin is the Managing Editor of Photography at CNET. His photos capture technology's impact on society - from the widening wealth gap in San Francisco, to the European refugee crisis and Rwanda's efforts to improve health care. From the technology pioneers of Google and Facebook, photographing Apple's Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sundar Pichai, to the most groundbreaking launches at Apple and NASA, his is a dream job for any documentary photography and journalist with a love for technology. Exhibited widely, syndicated and reprinted thousands of times over the years, James follows the people and places behind the technology changing our world, bringing their stories and ideas to life.
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1 of 17 Lucasfilm Ltd.

'Star Wars' actors: Then and now

In 1977, the then unknown Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, seen here in a scene from "Star Wars," became legends as, respectively, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo -- the rebels leading the fight against the Empire in a galaxy far, far away.

When Disney announced last year that it was buying Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, it also announced that the seventh "Star Wars" film will be released in 2015, with Episodes 8 and 9 to follow.

We're now getting more details on those films, and it sounds like some of the original cast will be back on the big screen. Harrison Ford is reported to be returning, Carrie Fisher has been confirmed to return as Leia, and even Mark Hamill's name has been thrown around for a reprise role.

But "Star Wars" was released 35 years ago. Will these starfighters be able to capture the imagination of the culture as they once did? Here's a look at some of the performers from the "Star Wars" series.
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2 of 17 Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill attends "Stan Lee's World of Heroes" during Comic-Con International 2012, held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel on July 12 in California.
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3 of 17 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Han Solo

Harrison Ford as Han Solo in a publicity shot for the original "Star Wars" film.
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4 of 17 Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images

Harrison Ford

Ford attends the Morrison Hotel Gallery opening at the Sunset Marquis on February 7, 2013, in West Hollywood, Calif.
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Princess Leia

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" film.
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6 of 17 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Carrie Fisher

Fisher speaks onstage during the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr at the Hollywood Palladium on August 4, 2012, in Hollywood, Calif.
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7 of 17 Lucasfilm Ltd.

C-3PO

Anthony Daniels suits up for his role as C-3PO during shooting on the set of "Star Wars", released in 1977.
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8 of 17 Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Anthony Daniels

Daniels narrates during "Star Wars: In Concert" at the Orleans Arena on May 29, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nev. The traveling production features a full symphony orchestra and choir playing music from all six of John Williams' "Star Wars" scores, synchronized with footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, HD LED screen.
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Lando Calrissian

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in "The Empire Strikes Back."
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10 of 17 Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Billy Dee Williams

Williams attends the 21st Annual NAACP Theatre Awards at the Directors Guild of America on August 29, 2011, in Hollywood, Calif.
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11 of 17 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Red Six (Porkins)

It might be difficult for X-Wing pilot Red Six, also know as Porkins, to reprise his original role -- he was blasted from behind in the attack on the Death Star.
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12 of 17 Michel Boutefeu/Getty Images

William Hootkins

Actor William Hootkins, also known as Red Six or Porkins, from "Stars Wars," poses for a photograph at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention.
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13 of 17 Leon Neal/AFP/GettyImages

Wedge Antilles

British actor Denis Lawson, who played X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles -- also known as Rogue 3, and the only pilot to survive both Death Star runs -- poses for photographers ahead of the BFI film festival showing of "Broken" at the Odeon in Leicester Square in central London, on October 14, 2012.
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Chewbacca

Han Solo's right hand Wookie, Chewbacca.
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15 of 17 James Martin/CNET

Peter Mayhew

The actor who played Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, at a San Francisco comic convention in 2009.
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16 of 17 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Emperor Palpatine

Though he played the elderly, disfigured Emperor Palpatine in "Return of the Jedi," Ian McDiarmid was only 39 years old when the film was released, in 1983.
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17 of 17 StarWars.com

Ian McDiarmid

McDiarmid will make a rare convention appearance at Star Wars Celebration Europe, July 26-28, 2013, in Essen, Germany. You can get tickets here.

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