The Episode IX trailer for the latest Star Wars movie was just released. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the space series’ most diverse casting since the first movie premiered in 1977. People of color including leading man John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, and the return of Billy Dee Williams in the iconic role of Lando Calrissian, are front and center in the latest episode.
And while there was controversy over the casting of John Boyega, a black British actor as a Stormtrooper in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, there have been iconic black actors and characters throughout the Star Wars universe. Here are seven of the best known.
Black Characters Star Wars Characters
Played by: Samuel L. Jackson
Film: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, 1999
2. Lando Calrissian
Played by: Billy Dee Williams
Films: The Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi
3. Maz Kanata
Played by: Lupita Nyong’o
Film: The Force Awakens
4. Voice of Darth Vader
Played by: James Earl Jones
Films: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi
5. Jabba the Hutt’s Twi’lek slave dancer Oola
Played by: Femi Taylor
Film: Return of the Jedi
Played by: John Boyega
Film: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi
Played by: Crystal Clarke
Film: The Force Awakens
Check out the trailer to Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker:
Editors’ Note: This article has been updated from its original publish date in 2017.
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