Patricia Ward Kelly had just about enough of the rumors surrounding her late husband, Gene Kelly. His iconic film, Singin’ in the Rain, has been drenched in conspiracy. Why, she wondered, can’t people just watch a movie about romantic downpours without making waves?

Well, that’s Hollywood for you. Rumors are just about as popular as the actors who spark them. In this case, there are just too many myths about the on-set drama to ignore. To set the record straight, Patricia Ward Kelly is now speaking out about myth vs fact.

Singin’ in the Rain highlighted a crucial time in Hollywood: the transition from silent films to “talkies.” Gene Kelly and Debby Reynolds stole the now-iconic show, but the film’s legend grew too big. Patricia Ward Kelly set the record straight on nine rumors.

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1. For instance, viewers noticed Debbie’s mouth doesn’t seem like it always matches her words in the film, particularly while she’s singing. Many speculated that she was lip syncing, though Patricia pointed out the truth was a little more complicated.

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“Debbie Reynolds, when she’s dubbing for Jean Hagan, that’s actually a woman named Betty Noyes singing,” Patricia clarified. “So Debbie Reynolds — when she’s supposedly dubbing for somebody else — is actually somebody else dubbing for Debbie Reynolds.”

2. Film fanatics loved pointing out that the rain in the movie was actually milk. Look at those big, white globs of rain coming down on the handsome movie star. Could it be that the entire cast was required to be lactose intolerant?

Singin’ in the Rain

Patricia Kelly says don’t have a cow, man. It’s just a rumor. “They say they put milk in the water to make it so you could see it, and it’s really preposterous,” Patricia said. “What is was, is really, really terrific cinematography and lighting.

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3. And Patricia despised the rumor that the “tapping in the rain” sound effect was created by background assistants sticking their feet in water and dancing. “That’s another myth,” she told RadioTimes. The tapping was done by none other than Gene Kelly himself, and he paid a serious price.

Singin’ in the Rain

“It was a really difficult process. Gene hated it,” Patricia said. “He had to go in with a head set and watch himself on film and match it, and had a microphone dangling at his feet,” said Patricia. “It was very hard to make sure he didn’t break an ankle.” Gene’s sound engineer chimed in.

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Bill Saracino, the audio engineer who worked very closely with Gene during production, denied the bucket rumors and confirmed that Gene himself made the taps. The “squishy” sounds came from Bill, who added them in while editing. We see you, Gene!

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4. Rumors also suggested there is an entire second recording of the dancing scene we all know and love. With a better understanding of the filming schedule, Patricia Kelly weighed in.

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The original Singin’ in the Rain scene simply took a long time to shoot because the crew kept running out of rain water! They ended up bringing in bottles and gallons from home. To think, they could’ve just used some milk.

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5. Gene Kelly did indeed come down with an illness while filming. He was dealing with a harsh fever of 103F (39.5C) along with fatigue and cold symptoms. Patricia attributes it to his heavy workload. Ever the professional, Gene had his ways of coping.

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Gene took time off here and there while filming, which only made production last longer. For that famous dance scene, Gene was on-and-off set for a full day and a half. Thankfully, he felt better by the time filming was wrapped, albeit still burnt out.

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6. On a similar note, fans suspected Donald O’Connor slipped-and-slid on some fake rain, which sent him to the hospital. “You’ll read that he went to the hospital,” Patricia Kelly said. “You’ll read that he had to go to bed for days.”

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“It’s not true,” Patricia clarified. Donald never had an injury. But, “the flip he does [off set], he had sort of lost his confidence at that point. He had done it as a kid in the vaudeville acts, but they brought his brother back in to re-confirm his confidence.”

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7. And according to Patricia, Cyd Charisse was not supposed to be in Broadway Melody! The scene was originally to feature Donald O’Conner, but “they needed someone – a real dancer – to be able to pull that off,” Patricia said. “And so they brought Cyd Charisse in.”

Singin’ in the Rain

For a woman who recently had a baby, Cyd totally nailed it. As a ballerina, this was her first jazz performance! And that slinky dress she wears? Apparently, Gene added slits to make it even shorter during certain moves. This was mostly to annoy censors. It worked.

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8. Patricia Kelly weighed in on Singin’ in the Rain’s raunchy dance scene, Broadway Melody. For decades, fans suggested certain segments had been censored for being sexual — it was, after all, an intimate tango.

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The gyrating bodies and mid-thigh skirts weren’t making it past censors in some countries, including Spain. “They figured it out,” Patricia Kelly said. “It’s love-making. And in the most beautiful way. Isn’t that amazing?”

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9. Debbie Reynolds struggled. Born on April Fool’s Day, 1932, little Mary Frances Reynolds was a blessing to her modest religious family. Growing up in Texas during the Depression, they were among the many families struggling to get by, so they sought a new life in Burbank, California.

Seven-year-old Mary didn’t really care about the glamour of living in the belly of the entertainment industry. She was a tomboy and carried that mentality through her high school years. Everything changed when she threw her hat in the ring of the Miss Burbank beauty pageant.

CBS News / Debbie Reynolds Personal Collection

The pageant promised a free lunch and participatory gift of a silk scarf and blouse, which was all the future Debbie Reynolds needed. Freebies aside, she charmed the pants off the judges and snatched the title of Miss Burbank.

CBS News / Debbie Reynolds Personal Collection

Winning the pageant made her the subject of a film studio tug-o-war. In one corner was MGM, in the other, Warner Bros. Studio. There was only one way to settle it: a coin toss. Warner Bros guessed correctly and signed Mary on the spot.

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The first order of business was that name — Mary Frances Reynolds. Studio Executive Jack L. Warner christened her as Debbie, and that’s what stuck. To get her started as an actress, they gave her a nonspeaking role in the film June Bride.

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Debbie moved onto a role written specifically for her in The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady. She got to show off her natural talent but learned the shallow reality of the industry when producers glued her ears to her head to prevent them from sticking out.

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Rather than face constant ridicule, Debbie opted to have her ears surgically pinned back. Almost immediately though, her future in the business was uncertain. Warner Bros. announced they’d no longer produce musicals, so off to MGM Debbie went.

CBS News / Debbie Reynolds Personal Collection

Debbie’s MGM debut in Three Little Words with Fred Astaire pulled in so much money that the studio quickly developed another musical for her to star in, Singin’ in the Rain. The only problem was Debbie’s total lack of dance experience.

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Gene Kelly was a jerk about Debbie’s limited dance skills, which sent her crying under the piano. The person who offered their hand and dance prowess? Her good old buddy Fred Astaire taught her to cut a convincing enough rug.

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No one on set could say Debbie wasn’t busting her hump to succeed. On one occasion, she practiced to the point of bursting all the blood vessels at the bottom of her feet and had to be carried to her dressing room by the crew.

CBS News / MGM

Nowadays, Singin’ in the Rain is widely regarded as the best musical of all time, though upon release it was more of a slowly simmering success. The main result was that Debbie’s star had risen, and the leading lady met the man she was ready to marry — Eddie Fisher.

Despite warnings from her pal Frank Sinatra that Eddie Fisher was bound to be two-timing trouble, she followed her heart. They tied the knot and welcomed their children: Carrie was born in 1956, and Todd followed two years later.

Debbie Reynolds Personal Collection

Debbie and Eddie had a wholesome reputation. To the public, they were as well-matched as a pair of mittens. Behind closed doors, things weren’t going well. The catalyst for their most critical problem stemmed from their close-knit friendship with another famous couple.

In their free time, they spent a lot of time hanging out with Elizabeth Taylor and her husband Mike Todd. Where the dynamic went haywire was after Mike Todd’s tragic death in a plane crash. Eddie Fisher was very diligent in comforting the grieving widow.

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The affair made tabloid headlines. Eddie Fisher ultimately left Debbie for Elizabeth Taylor, which obviously was the nail in the coffin of their friendship. Taylor was coined a “homewrecker,” Fisher lost his marriage and his variety show, and Debbie gained freedom.

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One year later Debbie wore white to swap vows with a non-showbiz man, the shoe manufacturer Harry Karl. The marriage really provided a shift in direction for Debbie, who instantly fell in love with her stepchildren.

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Before his marriage to Debbie, Harry Karl’s first wife was coincidentally another Hollywood actress, Marie McDonald. Their marriage was plagued by scandal, including her alleged kidnapping. No one pursued charges, and it was strongly insinuated that Marie knew more than she’d let on.

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Marie McDonald’s life came to a tragic end in 1965, when she suffered an overdose. The news reached Debbie Reynolds and her husband Harry Karl in the midst of Carrie Fisher’s ninth birthday party.

Debbie rushed to pick up her stepkids, and it felt like an instant shift occurred. While she already loved them, Debbie fully accepted her stepchildren as if they were her own in the wake of their mother’s death. This closeness lasted long after her marriage ended.

While her personal life was ever complicated, professionally, Debbie was a major star. Her titular role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown earned her the coveted Best Actress Oscar, which might be why she considered it her favorite project.

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After beating out Shirley MacLaine for the part of Molly Brown, and finishing her MGM contract with The Singing Nun, she made the jump to TV in her very own sitcom The Debbie Reynolds Show.

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It seemed like the perfect gig. Debbie was the highest-paid woman on primetime while balancing her Girl Scout troop leader responsibilities. From her view at the top, she noticed the show was providing a platform for something she strongly resented — tobacco companies.

People / Debbie Reynolds Private Collection

Debbie played her hand as the star of the show, giving NBC an ultimatum. If they didn’t stop running cigarette ads during her program, she would walk. The tobacco company, American Brands, countered by pulling their sponsorship.

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Standing her ground didn’t turn out how Debbie hoped. She chose to eat the cost of breaking her contract, a two million dollar price for staying true to her beliefs. Her second marriage ended, Harry Karl gambled her wealth away, and things looked grim.

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Debbie emerged from her divorce determined to hold her head high. She remained an involved mother and watched in delight as Carrie followed in her footsteps as an actress. While Debbie serenaded audiences in her Las Vegas residency, her daughter booked her biggest gig.

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Star Wars cemented Carrie Fisher as a pop culture icon. Debbie and Carrie were showbiz royalty, not to mention her son Todd’s achievements behind the camera. For decades, Debbie continued to act, and many of those projects were a family affair.

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Postcards From the Edge starring Meryl Streep and Shirley Maclaine was written by Carrie Fisher. It told the unconventional mother-daughter story of addiction, show business, and unconditional love. Their closeness was partly fueled by the unique nature of their lives, and that tight bond lasted until their tragic end.

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In 2016, on route to Los Angeles from London, a fellow plane passenger noticed that Carrie Fisher had stopped breathing. People jumped into action, administering CPR. Carrie was rushed to the hospital and placed in intensive care. No one who loved her was prepared.

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After four days of uncertainty, Debbie and the rest of the family received the awful news of Carrie’s death. The autopsy revealed the cause as a combination of sleep apnea and a build of fatty tissues in her arteries, but she also had drugs in her system.

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The 84-year-old actress was gutted by her daughter’s death. Through all life’s ups and downs, Debbie and Carrie’s bond was constant. One day later, while planning funeral services, Debbie said, “I want to be with Carrie,” and within the hour, she suffered a stroke.

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Debbie’s son, director, and producer Todd Fisher announced his mother’s death later that evening. It was only fitting their final resting places be intertwined, with a portion of Carrie’s ashes interred with Debbie in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. 

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At Carrie’s request, the rest of her remains were placed in an urn designed to look like a giant Prozac pill. Even in death, Carrie wanted her particular sense of humor to shed light on the realities of addiction and mental illness.

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Carrie Fisher was outspoken about her struggles with mental health and addiction. She chronicled her bipolar disorder and drug addiction in depth in her memoir, Wishful Drinking. She said, “It is a kind of a virus of the brain.”

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Fisher had to act out many of her scenes in Star Wars with Harrison Ford while standing on top of a box. That’s because, at 5’1″, she was roughly a foot shorter than he was and the framing would have been off otherwise.

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Fisher joked about drinking on the set of The Empire Strikes Back. She said, “Mark Hamill was off on Dagobah while Harrison Ford and I were were getting drunk in Cloud City.”

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Fisher found it difficult to verbally spar with Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin in A New Hope. He was so nice to her on set that being fierce with him when cameras were rolling didn’t jive with her.

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Carrie Fisher was the daughter of famous actors and singers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Her parents got divorced when she was just two, and it was later revealed that Eddie left Debbie to be with Elizabeth Taylor.

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Like mother Debbie, who starred in Singin’ In The Rain, Carrie Fisher became famous at the age of 19 while starring alongside two male actors. She went on to make note of this coincidence in her 2008 memoir, Wishful Drinking.

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In all the time she spent on the sets of Star Wars, her favorite moments were during her scenes where she was arguing with Harrison Ford. No surprise, since Fisher revealed they had an affair while filming.

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Fisher wasn’t allowed to wear any underwear under her Princess Leia costume, and she had to have her breasts taped down with gaffer tape for the films. She once joked, “As we all know, there is no underwear in space.”

Fisher became engaged to comedian/actor Dan Ackroyd after he gave her the Heimlich while she choked on a Brussels sprout. “He saved my life, and then he asked me to marry him. And I thought… wow, what if that happens again? I should probably marry him.” She didn’t go through with the marriage though.

She was a successful movie script re-writer, renowned for her talent at polishing film dialogue. She’s credited with having worked on the scripts for some of the Star Wars prequels, as well as The Wedding Singer, The River Wild, Hook, and Sister Act.

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Fisher revealed in her memoir Wishful Drinking that she had previously had a relationship with U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut). Once, when questioned about it, he said, “it was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”

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Carrie Fisher hated those iconic “Leia Buns.” For fear of being fired, however, she neglected to ever mention that to director George Lucas.

Surprisingly, the budget for A New Hope was so low that Fisher and the crew had to fly to England in economy class. The studio didn’t have enough faith in the project to give it a budget of more than 11 million dollars — a relatively paltry amount.

The pop-punk rock band Blink-182 once paid homage to Fisher by immortalizing her in their song “A New Hope.” In both the song and in real life, she was said to be lead singer Tom Delonge’s dream woman.

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Fisher’s first-ever film role came in the 1975 film Shampoo, where she starred alongside Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. Landing this particular role only served to further her interest in making a career out of acting.

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Fisher had said that she was inspired by her mother to pursue her dream of acting. She even dropped out of high school to pursue it as a career.

The Star Wars trilogy isn’t the only set of films where Fisher co-starred alongside actor Mark Hamill. Both appeared in Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, even though neither of them were aware the other would be starring!

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Fisher was a fan of the arts from an early age. At 15, while attending Beverly Hills High School, she appeared in the Broadway show Irene as a debutante singer. The show also, coincidentally, had starred her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

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Since Fisher had been an animal lover from an early age, her French Bulldog, Gary, accompanied her practically everywhere she went. As her “comfort dog,” he sat on the couches while she was interviewed for talk shows and press releases.

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Fisher had her only child, Billie Lourd, with famed film agent Bryan Lourd. Billie made a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo alongside her mother in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Lieutenant Connix.

Though Fisher didn’t continue school after starring as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, she did previously attend Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England.

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Fisher knew from an early age that she was destined to be an actress. In fact, it’s all she ever wanted to do. “I always wanted to do what my mother did — get all dressed up, shoot people, fall in the mud. I never considered anything else,” she said in an interview.

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Though she was a wildly successful and popular actress for several decades, it wasn’t until 2003 that she made her first European autograph signing appearance. The event took place in a hotel library in London and was limited to 500 fans.

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Fisher understood the dark underbelly of show business. She once said, “Acting engenders and harbors qualities that are best left way behind in adolescence. People-pleasing, going on those interviews and jamming your whole personality into getting the job, ingratiating yourself to people you wouldn’t spit on if they were on fire.”

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Fisher beat out many now-famous actresses to land the role of Princess Leia. These included such icons as Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Kim Basinger, Anjelica Huston, Farrah Fawcett, Glenn Close, and Jessica Lange, to name a few.

Over her career, Carrie Fisher drew upon her personal battles with bipolar disorder and addiction to become a prominent advocate for mental health issues. She, like other Star Wars stars, made big impacts outside the franchise.

Heroes Wiki / Entertainment Weekly

C-3PO: The highly intelligent droid was portrayed by Anthony Daniels, who turned the skinny, talkative golden robot into the perfect companion for R2-D2. Daniels has continued to reprise the role of C-3PO in nearly every Star Wars installment, including 2017’s The Last Jedi.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi: Alec Guinness earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as Obi-Wan, who was known as “Ben Kenobi” until he revealed to Luke that he was secretly a Jedi master. Guinness died in 2000 at the age of 86, but his legacy within the Star Wars universe will live on forever.

Lando Calrissian: Billy Dee Williams first appeared as Han Solo’s old friend Lando in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. Most recently, Williams appeared on the 18th season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and even voiced the character Two-Face in 2017’s The Lego Batman Movie.

Count Dooku: This menacing Sith lord was portrayed by Sir Christopher Lee, who passed away in 2015. The venerated English actor was known for playing a number of iconic roles during his 70-year career, including Francisco Scaramanga in the 007 film The Man with the Golden Gun and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings universe.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi: Though the character was played by Guinness in the original trilogy, it was Ewan McGregor who portrayed the younger version of the character in the prequels. Since then, McGregor has been featured heavily in Disney films, voicing Lumiere in 2017’s Beauty and the Beast and playing the title character in 2018’s Christopher Robin.

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R2-D2: Kenny Baker, who died in 2016, was the body behind R2-D2 in both the original trilogy and the prequels. In The Force Awakens, Baker was credited as “R2-D2 consultant” while Jimmy Vee – who also served as the character’s body in Rogue One – was the man inside the machine.

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Luke Skywalker: Mark Hamill had a star-making role as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, which he reprised in Episode VII and Episode VIII. Hamill has since made appearances in a number of TV series, all the while preparing for another stint as Skywalker in 2019’s Episode IX.

Yoda: Frank Oz was the voice behind Yoda in each of the character’s appearances, as well as the puppeteer behind the Jedi master in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Also known for voicing beloved Muppet characters like Bert and Cookie Monster, Oz has since stepped away from Sesame Street, though he continues to lend his voice to Yoda.

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Darth Vader: James Earl Jones is the powerful voice behind Darth Vader, known in some circles as the greatest movie villain of all time. Jones has since reprised the role in 2016’s Rogue One, and fans of his work as Mufasa in The Lion King will be happy to know he’s lending his voice to the 2019 remake.

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Anakin Skywalker: The man who would become Darth Vader was played by Hayden Christensen in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Though his days of living in a galaxy far, far away are over, Christensen continues to make a name for himself on the indie-movie scene.

Han Solo: Harrison Ford made Han Solo one of the most memorable characters of the original Star Wars trilogy, and he even reprised the role in The Force Awakens in 2015. Ford continues to be a box-office draw and is even set to star as Indiana Jones – another of his iconic roles – in a 2021 film.

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Emperor Palpatine: Also known as Darth Sidious, the Sith leader was portrayed by Ian McDiarmid in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as throughout the entire prequel trilogy. After reprising the role in a number of 2018 Star Wars Rebels episodes, it appears that the 74-year-old’s talents are still in high demand.

Owen Lars: Joel Edgerton played a younger version of Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen in Episode II. This was a small role for sure, but the Aussie actor has since starred in and directed a number of films, the most recent being 2018’s Boy Erased.

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Padmé Amidala: Natalie Portman portrayed Queen Amidala throughout the prequel trilogy, falling in love with Anakin Skywalker only to have her heart broken by his turn to the dark side. Portman has since been in high demand in Hollywood, starring in both the sci-fi thriller Annihilation and the musical drama Vox Lux in 2018 alone.

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Darth Vader: James Earl Jones may have provided Darth Vader’s voice, but it was David Prowse who provided the Sith lord’s body. Prowse announced his retirement from public appearances in 2016, but the former bodybuilder will forever be known as the man behind one of history’s most iconic masks.

Critical Shots / Bucks Free Press

Anakin Skywalker: Jake Lloyd played the nine-year-old version of Anakin in The Phantom Menace, though he retired from acting shortly after. Sadly, Lloyd was arrested in 2015 on a number of reckless driving charges and was later placed in a psychiatric facility after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Bren Derlin: John Ratzenberger played Major Bren Derlin in Episode V, but the actor is best known for voicing Hamm in the Toy Story franchise, a role he will reprise in 2019’s Toy Story 4.

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Bail Organa: Jimmy Smits played Senator Bail Organa (Princess Leia’s adoptive father) in Episode II and Episode III. He reprised his role for Rogue One in 2016 and currently has a recurring role on the ABC drama How to Get Away with Murder.

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Wicket: The ewok that aided the Rebel Alliance in the Battle of Endor was played by Warwick Davis, who is also known for his appearances as Professor Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter universe. Davis has since returned to the galaxy far, far away, playing Weazel in 2018’s Solo.

Wookiepedia / The Leaky Cauldron

Qui-Gon Jinn: Liam Neeson starred as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn, who served as young Obi-Wan Kenobi’s mentor before being killed by Darth Maul in Episode I. Neeson continues to be a mainstay of Hollywood action films, starring in The Commuter in 2018 as well as an upcoming Men in Black spinoff.

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Chewbacca: Peter Mayhew played Chewbacca, the lovable Wookiee who served as Han Solo’s friend and right-hand man in all of his appearances up until Rogue One. Following his retirement from the role in 2015, Finnish actor and former basketball player Joonas Suotamo has since taken up the mantle.

Chancellor Valorum: Terrence Stamp played Chancellor Valorum, the final legitimate Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic before Palpatine turned it into an empire. The 80-year-old English actor is still as intimidating as ever, starring as Odin in the 2018 fantasy action film Viking Destiny.

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Mace Windu: Played by Samuel L. Jackson, Mace Windu was a Jedi master as well as the Master of the High Council in the prequel trilogy. Despite a number of blockbuster appearances under his belt, Jackson is now mostly known for his recurring role as Nick Fury in the Marvel universe.

Wookiepedia / Variety

Dormé: A relatively small role played by Rose Byrne, Dormé served as Queen Padme Amidala’s handmaiden in Episode II. These days, the actress can usually be found starring in comedy films, her most recent project being Instant Family opposite Mark Wahlberg.

Wookiepedia / HawtCelebs