Shakespeare at the Movies- Star Wars Episodes IV to VI

The Star Wars series is back to delight and inspire a new generation of fans with The Force Awakens, opening on Friday! Star Wars is embedded in our popular culture, and has even been turned into a book series of Shakespearean retellings! There are many parallels between the stores in Star Wars and Shakespeare’s plays, so it is no wonder that so many seasoned Shakespearean actors have been involved with the series over the years!

The first instalment of the Shakespeare at the Movies- Star Wars series will focus on the original trilogy, from Episode IV- A New Hope, through Episode VI- Return of the Jedi. Check back tomorrow for the prequels!

 

 

 

Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia)

princess-leia-carrie-fisher

Appeared in:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Rave (2002) as Mia’s Mom

 

 

Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin)

moff-tarkin

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (USA Summer Stock, 1941) as Banquo
  • Hamlet (1948) as Osric
  • Richard III (Old Vic Tour, 1948) as Duke of Clarence and Cardinal Bouchier
  • Antony and Cleopatra (Laurence Olivier’s Festival Season London West End, 1951) as Alexas/Diomedes

 

 

Alec Guinness (Obi Wan Kenobi)

alec-guinness-obi-wan-kenobi

Appeared in:

  • Hamlet (New Theatre, 1934) as Osric
  • As You Like It (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1936) as Le Beau/ William
  • Romeo and Juliet (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1936) as Sampson/ Apothecary
  • Macbeth (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1936) as Macbeth
  • Hamlet (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1936) as Reynaldo, Player Queen and Osric
  • As You Like It (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1936)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1936) as Boyet
  • Twelfth Night (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1936)
  • Richard III (John Gielgud Company, 1937) as Aumerle/ The Groom
  • Hamlet (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1937) as Reynaldo/ Osric
  • Henry V (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1937) as Exeter
  • Hamlet (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1938) as Hamlet
  • Romeo and Juliet (Scottish Theatre Festival, 1939) as Romeo
  • The Tempest (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1940) as Ferdinand
  • King Lear (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1946) as Fool
  • Richard III (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1947) as Richard III
  • Coriolanus (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1948) as Menenius Agrippa
  • Twelfth Night (Old Vic Theatre Company, 1948) as Director
  • Hamlet (New Theatre, 1951) as Hamlet
  • Hamlet (New Theatre, 1951) as Director
  • Richard III (Stratford Festival, 1953)
  • All’s Well That Ends Well (Stratford Festival, 1953) as King
  • The Merchant of Venice (Chichester Festival, 1984)

 

 

David Prowse (Darth Vader)

darth-vader-a-new-hope

Appeared in:

  • As You Like It (TV movie, 1978) as Charles

 

 

James Earl Jones (Darth Vader’s voice)

James-Earl-Jones

Appeared in:

  • Othello (Ramsdell Theatre, 1955) as Othello
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stage Production, 1961) as Oberon
  • The Merchant of Venice (Delacorte Theatre, 1963) as Prince of Morocco
  • The Winter’s Tale (Delacorte Theatre, 1963) as Camillo
  • Othello (Martinique Theatre, 1963) as Othello
  • Coriolanus (Delacorte Theatre, 1965) as Junius Brutus
  • Troilus and Cressida (Delacorte Theatre, 1965) as Ajax
  • Hamlet (Delacorte Theatre, 1972) as Claudius
  • King Lear (Delacorte Theatre, 1973) as King Lear
  • Othello (Winter Garden Theatre, 1982) as Othello
  • Much Ado About Nothing (London’s West End, 2013) as Benedick

 

 

Garrick Hagon (Biggs)

Biggs

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (Derby Playhouse, 1977)
  • Hamlet (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • Richard III (Royal National Theatre, 1990)

 

 

Jack Klaff (John D.)

john-d

Appeared in:

  • Julius Caesar (Riverside Studios Theatre, 1980)

 

 

Clive Revill (The Emperor)

revill-emperor

Appeared in:

  • The Comedy of Errors (Old Vic School Theatre, 1951)
  • Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1956) as Barnardine
  • The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1956) as Prince of Arragon
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1956) as Costard
  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1956) as Player 1
  • King John (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1957) as Lymoges
  • The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1957) as Trinculo
  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1957) as Artemidorus
  • Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1957) as Cloten
  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1957) as Octavius Caesar

 

 

Julian Glover (General Veers)

Veers-hd.png

Appeared in:

  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1957) as Varro
  • Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1957) as Gaoler
  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1958) as Sacristan
  • Pericles (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1958) as Fisherman 1
  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1958) as Gregory
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1958) as Conrade
  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1958) as Bernardo
  • Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1959) as Montano
  • King Lear (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1959) as Duke of Albany
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1959) as Snug
  • Antony and Cleopatra (1972) as Proculeius
  • Coriolanus (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1977) as Tullus Aufidius
  • Henry VI, Part 1 (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1977) as Earl of Warwick
  • Henry VI, Part 2 (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1977) as Earl of Warwick
  • Henry IV Part 1 (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1991) as Henry IV
  • Henry IV Part 2 (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1991) as Henry IV
  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1991) as Escalus
  • Friar Lawrence (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1995) as Friar Lawrence
  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1995) as Caius Cassius
  • Macbeth (Albery Theatre, 2002) as Duncan/ Porter

 

 

 

Sebastian Shaw (Anakin Skywalker)

anakin-skywalker-ghost

Appeared in:

  • The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Bassanio
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Fenton
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Demetrius
  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Romeo
  • Henry IV Part 2 (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Prince Henry
  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Lucillius/ Metellus Cimber
  • The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Ferdinand
  • Richard II (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1926) as Sir Henry Green
  • Julius Caesar (TV movie, 1938) as Marcus Brutus
  • Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1967) as Duncan
  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1967) as Friar Laurence
  • All’s Well That Ends Well (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1967) as King of France
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968) as Quince
  • All’s Well That Ends Well (TV movie, 1968) as King of France
  • King Lear (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1968) as Earl of Gloucester
  • Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1968) as Ulysses
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1968) as Leonato
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1969) as Quince
  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1970) as Polonius
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1970) as Sir Eglamour
  • Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1970) as Vincentino
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1973) as Boyet
  • Richard II (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1973) as Duke of York
  • Cymbeline (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1974) as Cymbeline
  • Henry V (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1984) as Bishop Ely/ Charles VI
  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1984) as Clown
  • The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1984) as Tubal

 

 

Michael Pennington (Moff Jorjerrod)

Jerjerrod-hd

Appeared in:

  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1965) as Fortinbras
  • Timon of Athens (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1965) as Titus
  • Hamlet (1969) as Laertes
  • The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1974) as Ferdinand
  • Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1974) as Angelo
  • King Lear (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1976) as Edgar
  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1976) as Mercutio
  • Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1976) as Hector
  • The Winter’s Tale (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1976) as Time
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978) as Berowne
  • Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978) as Duke of Vienna
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978) as Dumaine
  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1980) as Hamlet
  • Cymbeline (TV movie, 1982) as Posthumus
  • The Wars of the Roses- Richard II (TV series, 1990) as Richard II
  • The Wars of the Roses- Henry IV Part 1 (TV series, 1990) as Prince Henry of Wales
  • The Wars of the Roses- Richard III (TV series, 1990) as Duke of Buckingham
  • The Wars of the Roses- Henry VI (TV series, 1990) as Jack Cade/ Earl of Suffolk
  • Timon of Athens (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1999) as Timon of Athens
  • Venus and Adonis (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2004) as Narrator
  • Richard II (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2013) as John of Gaunt

 

 

Ian McDiarmid (The Emperor)

Emperor_RotJ

Appeared in:

  • Measure for Measure (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1974) as Elbow
  • The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1974) as Trinculo
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1976) as Don John
  • Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1976) as Porter/ Ross
  • The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1984) as Shylock

 

 

Kenneth Colley (Admiral Piett)

Piett_btm

Appeared in:

  • Measure for Measure (TV movie, 1979) as Duke Vincentino
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1979) as Benedick

 

 

What parallels do you notice in Star Wars movies and Shakespeare’s plays? Share some examples with us!

 

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