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The Star Wars franchise is perhaps the most famous series in film history. Besides being an homage to the sci-fi serials of the 40's that creator George Lucas grew up on, it also helped to revolutionise the film industry as we know it. It helped to make the summer blockbuster an important staple in the industry, but also helped to develop special effects and the way that the stories in film were told. In short, it changed film forever, and it still has influence to this day.
But what connections do Star Wars and the Criterion Collection have? More than you would expect. The following list contains the numerous actors, directors, writers and so on who have both been in Star Wars and a Criterion film at some point. Hope you enjoy, and may the force be with you!
George Lucas, the creator of the series, has quite a few fingers in Criterion's pies. This includes being one of the many cameramen on Gimme Shelter as well as the executive producer of Kagemusha & Mishima with frequent collaborator and friend Francis Ford Coppola. Both also presented Powaqqatsi.
Gary Kurtz, the producer of the first two Star Wars films, was the assistant director of both The Shooting & Ride In The Whirlwind as well as the associate producer of Two-Lane Blacktop.
Irvin Kershner, director of Empire Strikes Back, played Zebedee in Scorsese's controversial biopic.
Lawrence Kasdan, the co-writer of Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi & The Force Awakens was the writer, director & executive producer of this 80's classic. His sons Jon & Jacob also have cameos in the film. The former will be writing an upcoming Han Solo anthology film. Like father, like son.
One of the most controversial titles to enter Criterion was co-written by J. J. Abrams, the director and writer of The Force Awakens. He's come a long way, that's for sure.
Another questionable Criterion title was co-produced by Kathleen Kennedy, who also produced The Force Awakens.
Besides editing the first two Star Wars films, Paul Hirsch also was a regular collaborator with Brian De Palma, including his work on Sisters & Blow Out.
Gilbert Taylor is one of Hollywood's most prolific cinematographers. Besides working on A New Hope, he also worked on Dr. Strangelove, A Hard Day's Night and some of Polanski's best-known work.
John Williams is perhaps the most famous film composer of all time. Besides composing all the Star Wars films among many others, he also composed The Killers (funnily credited as Johnny Williams) & Valley Of The Dolls.
Peter Suschitzky, the cinematographer behind The Empire Strikes Back, was also a frequent collaborator of David Cronenberg, as shown by his work on both Dead Ringers & Naked Lunch.
Famous Hammer Studios actor Peter Cushing played both Grand Moff Tarkin in A New Hope, as well as Osiric in this Olivier Shakespeare adaptation.
One of Britain's best actors Alec Guinness not only played the iconic Obi-Wan Kenobi, but also played a part in iconic Charles Dicken adaptations, Ealing comedies among others.
The recently deceased Kenny Baker was not only the lovable R2D2 in the Star Wars films, but also starred in many other films too, including The Mikado and Time Bandits. RIP.
Ewan McGregor played the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the infamous Star Wars prequels. His got his big break through Danny Boyle's early work, of which this is their first film together, where McGregor played Alex Law.
Terence Stamp was in the Phantom Menace playing Supreme Chancellor Valorum, and this former General Zod also played Willie Parker in this early 80's British gangster film.
Samuel L. Jackson played Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels, but also played radio DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy in this widely debated and widely praised late 80's classic.
Another famous Hammer Studios actor to star in the Star Wars saga, Christopher Lee not only played Count Dooku in Attack Of The Clones & Revenge Of The Sith but also starred in many horror movies and B movies in his early days, of which this film is one such example.
Before play Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, Adam Driver got his start in the indie scene, both with Frances Ha & Inside Llewyn Davis. The latter of which also starred Poe Dameron himself, Oscar Issac.
Max Von Sydow is one of the most famous Scandinavian actors in history. His long filmography, where he has worked with the likes of Bergman, Troell & Von Trier demonstrate this. Meanwhile, he was in a cameo role in The Force Awakens as Lor San Tekka whose scene sets the plot in motion. Talk about living life to the full.