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Where Are They Now? The 5 Strangest Post-'Star Wars' Careers

Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill is living proof that a man only has so much good fortune coming to him in a lifetime. Hamill used up all of his by 1983, and has spent every year since voicing cartoons and being accosted by Star Wars geeks on the street.

But Hamill's post-Star Wars life has been wildly-successful compared to some of the other greats who suffered the same fate. Here are five men who were integral to the Star Wars franchise but whose careers outside the trilogy were almost almost as sad as Hamill's:

Peter Cushing

The character:
Imperial Officer Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin

The actor:
Peter Cushing was so old-school, he actually appeared in a Laurel and Hardy movie (A Chump at Oxford). That was before George Lucas was even freaking born. Cushing was best known for his work in Hammer horror films, often opposite longtime friend Count Dooku-er, Christopher Lee. Cushing also played Dr. Who in two films and came very close to changing Star Wars history forever: he was originally considered for the role of Obi-Wan over Alec Guinness. Picture that.

Inestimable contribution to the films:
Tarkin was nothing less than the real badass of the first film. When Vader started air-choking a guy, it was Tarkin who told him to back it off and Vader did what he was told. Also, you thought it was scary when Anakin killed those kids in Episode III? Tarkin killed a whole planet's worth of them on Alderaan, and for even less reason.

Without Cushing's Tarkin next to him, Vader just looks silly with his mask and cape. Cushing's reptillian deathmask of a face made Tarkin look like a guy you could see on the news tonight, on trial for war crimes.

Most memorable line:
"You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration. But don't worry, we will deal with your rebel friends soon enough."

Best Youtube video featuring character:
Our vote goes to this bizarre still of Tarkin looking particularly skeletal while a deep-voiced Latino man narrates in Spanish about God know what. If you speak Spanish, feel free to post a full translation in the comments section, as we're actually quite curious about it.

Weirdest merchandise based on character:
This full-body Tarkin costume, complete with disturbing rubber death mask and a wig of what looks like steel wire.

Best excerpt from Wikipedia entry on character:
"In an incident that became known as the 'Ghorman Massacre,' Tarkin ordered his ship to land on a platform where a large group of protesters were protesting the Imperial taxation on the distant planet Ghorman. Hundreds of Imperial subjects were crushed by Tarkin's transport in the landing."

Best excerpt from Wikipedia entry on actor:
"In 1989 Cushing was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He retired to Whitestable, where he had bought a seafront house in 1959, and continued his hobby of birdwatching."

Where is he now?
Dead. But, between Star Wars and dying, he managed to appear in various films as a major, commissioner, commander and colonel, forever typecasting him and earning him a military funeral. He was also in a movie called Biggles: Adventures in Time which is apparently about a time-traveling WWI fighter pilot named Bigglesworth. We're guessing he didn't get knighted for that one.

Mark Hamill Career Sadness Rating: 15 (out of 100)
Cushing didn't have Hamill's high expectations, of course, because he wasn't the star. Also, he was knighted, though his knighting is one of those knightings (see Penelope Cruz) that could be seen more as a statement about how little it means to be knighted these days.

Still, he got to tell people he was a knight and when little kids heard that they probably thought it meant he had slayed a dragon. That is, until they caught him bird watching.
Peter Mayhew

The character:
Wookie smuggler Chewbacca

The actor:
He's tall. Peter Mayhew is a goddamned 7-foot-3 inches. That's two Tom Cruises. If we're going to be totally honest here, that was the main contributor to him landing the role of Chewie. OK, the only contributor. In Mayhew's own words, "All I had to do was stand up."

Before Star Wars, Mayhew worked primarily as a hospital orderly in London. Unconfirmed reports say he was dismissed after his height, bony stature, and penchant for bringing a sickle to work caused a number of elderly patients to rip out their IV solution bags and run screaming for the street.

Inestimable contribution to the films:
Try to imagine Chewbacca, only about two feet shorter. Mayhew's freakish height is the only thing separating Chewbacca from a damned Ewok. Seriously, picture short Chewie in your head. Mayhew was the only thing keeping that costume from being laugh-out-loud ridiculous.

Most memorable line:
"AAGGGRAAAHHRRGG!"

Best Youtube video featuring character:
It's technically only a reference to the character, but the following video of a man (possibly) afflicted with honest-to-goodness Tourette's syndrome invites you to imagine Chewie in a whole new light. It's about one minute in and, since we're talking about Tourette's here, you should not crank up the sound if you're at work:

Weirdest merchandise based on character:
This costume that will make your child look like a tiny, partially-shaved Chewbacca:

You have to make sure you kid doesn't charge around growling and breaking stuff after Halloween is over, or else you'll get a call from the school about some prescriptions you need to go pick up.

Best excerpt from Wikipedia entry on character:
"Chewbacca's voice is a combination of several animals, including bears, badgers, walruses, cats and camels."

Best excerpt from Wikipedia entry on actor:
"He received his first acting job in 1977 when the producers of the movie Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger discovered Mayhew from a photograph in a newspaper article about men with large feet, and they cast him in the role of the minotaur. "

Where is he now?
Mayhew voiced the character Susha in Dragonball: GT and is all set to appear in Yesterday Was a Lie, a fantasy sci-fi noir movie about quantum physics, Jungian psychology, and whatever else they manage to cram in. Fans of Chewie who were disappointed to see him gypped out of a hero's medal at the end of Episode IV will also be glad to note that he was ceremoniously given one as part of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MTV Movie Awards in 1997.

Mark Hamill Career Sadness Rating: 35
Since most fans don't know his face, Mayhew actually has the advantage of getting to choose when he's mobbed by geeks (he wears the above Chewbacca T-shirt for those occasions) and when he's merely gawked at as a horribly tall freak. So, he has that.

On the other hand, his one claim to fame was playing an almost non-speaking role in a sweaty fur suit, which means he was only a few steps above a college football mascot.

Jeremy Bulloch

The character:
Mandalorian armor-clad bounty hunter Boba Fett

The actor:
Jeremy Bulloch wasn't the only Boba Fett, but appearing in both Empire and Jedi makes him the standard. You might also know his strikingly unthreatening face as Q's assistant from the James Bond film Octopussy, a movie that many audiences walked out on after realizing the title character did not have eight vaginas.

Inestimable contribution to the films:
What is it about Boba Fett? The guy is barely in the original trilogy and dies a ridiculous death when a blind Han Solo accidentally knocks him off a barge. Yet, the fans went nuts for him.

Bulloch had to be doing something right. The way he... stood there. Wearing that cool costume. And, you know, holding that gun thing. Maybe the guy just puts off a vibe.

Most memorable line:
"Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold."

Best Youtube video featuring character:
Behold nasal-voiced MC Chris' rap masterpiece, the only bit of detritus from Star Wars fandom to finally speak to the core of Fett's raison d'etre. Fett leads his cold life of solitary, ruthless pursuit simply as a means to finance his 'Vette.

Good luck getting that shit out of your head, by the way.

Weirdest merchandise based on character:
This Lego Fett, who is quite a bit more badass than the real Fett due to his steel claw hands and man-sized supergun.

Best excerpt from Wikipedia entry on character:
"Boba Fett is garbed in traditional Mandalorian armor with a cape, and several braids made of Wookiee pelts at his shoulder. His gauntlets also feature a wrist-mounted flame thrower, sonic beam weapons, dart shooter, several blades, and a fibercord whip with a grappling hook. Other weapons include a jetpack with a miniature concussion rocket launcher, rocket dart launchers, grenades, gas pellets, and a pulse cannon."

Best excerpt from Wikipedia entry on actor:
"In a career spanning almost half a century, he is perhaps most famous for his role as Boba Fett in the Star Wars films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi."

Perhaps?

Where is he now?
Bulloch appeared alongside fellow unsung Star Wars hero David Prowse in the Internet fan films Order of the Sith: Vengeance and its sequel Downfall. Like every second-tier member of the cast, he's no stranger to the convention circuit, but at least he scored a cameo in Episode III, as a ship's pilot. He also released a memoir called Flying Solo, which seems like the perfect title for a Harrison Ford memoir, if his memoir weren't already going to be titled Get Off my Plane: the James Marshall Story.

Mark Hamill Career Sadness Rating: 70
We're dangerously close to Mark Hammill territory, here. When we first heard the title of his memoir, we nearly burst out into tears. Pair that with the Internet fan films, and you've got the guy that even Hamill probably doesn't want to talk to at the Star Wars conventions.

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