Saga Best Acting Performance of the Saga

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by MidKnighT, Apr 25, 2022.


Who had the best acting performance of the saga?

  1. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren

    7 vote(s)
  2. Alden Ehrenreich as Young Han Solo

    1 vote(s)
  3. Alec Guiness as Old Ben Kenobi

    1 vote(s)
  4. Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa

    1 vote(s)
  5. Daisy Ridley as Rey

    0 vote(s)
  6. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

    15 vote(s)
  7. Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso

    0 vote(s)
  8. Frank Oz as Yoda

    1 vote(s)
  9. Harrison Ford as Han Solo

    3 vote(s)
  10. Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker

    8 vote(s)
  11. Ian Mcdiarmid as Sheev/Emperor Palpatine

    12 vote(s)
  12. John Boyega as Finn

    0 vote(s)
  13. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker

    6 vote(s)
  14. Natalie Portman as Amidala / Padme

    0 vote(s)
  15. Other

    0 vote(s)
  1. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 23, 2005
    Who had the best acting performance of the saga?

    EDIT: I could not fit everyone I wanted to in the poll so I tried to keep it to the largest roles.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
  2. Bee Bee

    Bee Bee Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 23, 2015
    Hard to pick just one...

    For the PT I'd say Ian Mcdiarmid as Palpatine for his entertaining blend of silver-tongued scheming and hammy over-the-top villainy.

    For the OT I'd say Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Ford brought a character to life who was cool, down to earth, hilarious, troublesome, and empathetic. Ford also famously improvised one of the most iconic lines in the saga - the "I know" line, going against Lucas' original plan.

    For the ST I'd say Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. Driver brought great intensity to the character and his performance as a conflicted man caught between the light and the dark was probably the last thing that held my interest as the sequel trilogy dragged on.

    Overall, I guess I would say I enjoyed Harrison Ford's performances best, particularly in ANH and TESB where the character was at his peak.
    christophero30 likes this.
  3. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 23, 2005
    I voted for Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi just barely over
    Ian Mcdiarmid as Sheev/Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine was deliciously evil and Ian's acting was phenomenal. Ewan learned Alec Guiness' mannerisms and became Obi-Wan Kenobi. I give the edge to Ewan because he had more screen time in the PT and because he learned the combat / lightsaber scenes very well (unlike Ian).

    That said it'd be fun to break down the best acting performances by movie:

    TPM: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Liam Nieson as Qui-Gon Jinn (tie) - both of these performances were great and it was the most fun to watch these 2 characters on screen.

    AOTC: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi - This is when Ewan truly becomes Obi-Wan.

    ROTS: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ian Mcdiarmid as Sheev/Emperor Palpatine (tie). Hayden had his best performance in this one but I'd say Ewan and Ian steal the show for the most part.

    ANH: Harrison Ford as Han Solo - Luke and Leia had a lot of campy lines but I think Han was the best character. Alec Guiness not far behind.

    ESB: Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa - I think this was Carrie's time to shine. She goes from a damsel in distress in ANH to a powerful leader with a lot more character depth. Honorable mentions to Frank Oz and Harrison Ford.

    ROTJ: Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker - And the circle is complete. Luke is believable as a full blown jedi. The only part lacking from his performance is some not so great choreography on some of the fight scenes.

    TFA: Nobody really stands out in this one IMO.

    TLJ: Mark Hamill as Jake Skywalker takes the cake for TLJ.

    ROTS: Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. Probably a more dynamic character in this one.

    RO: Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso. I actually liked her performance more the Daisy Ridley's as Rey.

    Solo: Nobody really stands out in this one IMO.
  4. wobbits

    wobbits Force Ghost star 4

    Apr 12, 2017
    For the PT IMO it's a tie between Ewan and Hayden. Both worked hard to learn the mannerisms and speaking cadences of the older actors who introduced the characters. They busted their asses to learn the lightsaber skills necessary for the faster paced duels of Jedi in their prime. With Hayden bulking up for ROTS, I'd say they nailed the physicality that the parts demanded. Hayden's emotional Anakin finding Shmi and her dying in his arms, combined with Ewan's emotional Obi Wan farewell in ROTS are two of the best in the PT.

    Can't vote for two and Ewan edges out Hayden so I voted for Ewan.

    Ian is great but I really only enjoy the menacing villain part of Palps. There are a few times where he just comes off creepy as Chancellor. Not sure if creepy is the right word, but something's off.

    In the OT I'd pick Carrie Fisher. Her "not a damsel in distress" Princess has always been my favorite. I think she gets better as the trilogy moves along. She maintains the take charge attitude but develops a softer persona both with Luke and Han as the three of them form a bond. ESB is her best film but I love the ROTJ scene where Luke discloses their parentage/familial tie.
    ANH would be Han
    ROTJ would be Luke
    (Ian is definitely better in the OT where's simply the Emperor and not Chancellor.)

    In the ST I'd pick John Boyega. His character had huge untapped potential for an original character concept I think John Boyega did a fantastic job with what he was given.

    Rogue One- definitely Felicity Jones. She did a better job than Daisy Ridley

    Solo- Alden Ehrenreich. I think he did an awesome job as a young Han. He didn't try to imitate Harrison, which would have been annoying to watch for two hours. Bonus points for Harrison's approval of his performance. Joonas Suotamo gets honorable mentions for the most physical Chewie role I think to date.
    Sky_alma likes this.
  5. Saga_Symphony

    Saga_Symphony Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 30, 2010
    Kinda find it weird that Frank Oz as Yoda is included, but not James Earl Jones..
    Sarge likes this.
  6. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 23, 2005
    I could only fit 15 options in the poll. That said this question is easy. Frank Oz WAS Yoda in every way. Vader in the OT is a combination of actors. David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Bob Anderson, and Sebastian Shaw.
    FightoftheForgotten likes this.
  7. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ian McDiarmid, no question.
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  8. Darth Caliban

    Darth Caliban Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 17, 2015
    Dandelo likes this.
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 8

    Oct 4, 1998
    All of them had their strong moments and their weak ones. IMO Sir Alec Guinness was the most consistent. Toward the end, when he was tired of the role, he was arguably phoning it in, but his phoning in is better than most people's best.

    Mark Hamill started out kind of awkward, but he improved with every movie he made. His work in ESB made Yoda a real character that a person could talk to, and his throne room scenes in RotJ showed real dramatic chops, as did everything he did in the ST. He gets my vote.
    Darth__Lobot likes this.
  10. Alexrd

    Alexrd Chosen One star 6

    Jul 7, 2009
    Even though I'm partial to seasoned actors like Alec Guinness, Ian McDiarmid, Liam Neeson, etc, I think OT Mark Hamill's performance has the most merit. He was earnest throughout it all when he could have easily not be, and in turn helped sell the story, journey and the fictional universe itself to the audience.
    Darth__Lobot, wobbits, oierem and 3 others like this.
  11. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    May 27, 1999
    He delivered the most underrated performance in the whole series. Luke's character grows and develops the most in the OT (naive yet good-hearted in ANH, brave yet impulsive in TESB, calm yet haunted in ROTJ) and he pulled it off very well.
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  12. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 23, 2005
    I personally could not choose Mark Hamill for a few reasons. Some of his acting in ANH was whiny and wooden. People who criticize Hayden Christenson for AOTC are blind to Hamill having the same issues in ANH. Part of it was written into the character of course. Luke's Noooooo in ESB after the father reveal is quite cringe worthy.


    The rest of his acting in ESB and ROTJ is good although the fight choreography in ROTJ needed some work.


    He did a good job as "Jake Skywalker" for what that character was in TLJ.

    That said I think there was better acting performances in the saga overall and certainly better fight choreography. For me Ewan is the only one that checks all the boxes.
  13. Jordan1Kenobi

    Jordan1Kenobi Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    Easily Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. That entire performance was full of raw emotion from the very first to very last scene he was in. Absolute powerhouse of an actor.
    Fredrik Vallestrand likes this.
  14. themoth

    themoth Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 5, 2015
    Ian and Ewan.

    DARTH_BELO Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 25, 2003
    I went with Ian McDiarmid. His performance is so effortless, but chilling and powerful when necessary. He's also one of the few characters in seven SW films (so far), and I'm always left wanting to see more.

    Second I would go with Ewan McGregor would be my second option, simply because he captured Guinness's mannerisms as Obi-Wan so well.

    Thirdly, (despite how I or anyone may feel about the writing of his character) I feel Adam Driver did quite well in his portrayal of Ben, from a sheer acting ability standpoint. IMO he handles the subtle and emotional moments just as well as the intense and loud moments, and I'm left wanting to see more from him.
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
  16. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Chosen One star 6

    Mar 22, 2003
    This is the easiest question for me .

    Mark Hamill, he makes those movies work , he believes in it without any irony or camp, he's there.

    I remember Frank Oz talking about how underrated Hamill was in ESB - imagine that whole section of the film not working, it's as much Mark's performance as the quality of puppeteering that sells it .
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
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  17. MidKnighT

    MidKnighT Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 23, 2005
    I do agree that Mark Hamill was fantastic in the Degobah scenes. He brought Yoda to life.
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  18. Darth Dnej

    Darth Dnej Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 27, 2013
    I'll give it to Ian. He's largely campy, but it works well. And the moments where he has to be more serious are performed excellently as well.
    Ewan and Alec are high up on the list as well.
    Mark probably grew the most. Yes, some of the quality of his performance at times (good or otherwise) is largely reliant on writing and directing. It's not all on his shoulders. But ANH is probably his weakest performance in the saga, and he seemed to get better with every film.
  19. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Chosen One star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    Christensen. The Tusken confession blows me away every time, and in general I think he nails the quieter day-to-day moments of Anakin as well.
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  20. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 28, 2015
    Imma go with Hayden. The Tatooine scenes are some of the powerful and emotionally vulnerable moments that any character in the franchise has shown. The Padme’s Ruminations scene is also the most powerful singular moment in showing Anakin’s internal strife and the shot of his side profile with the tear running down is always burned into my head when I think of the character. He also did a great job of showing the unhinged, intimidating aspects of a pre-suit Vader. The shot of him walking up the Temple is still an iconic moment for the PT that was replicated for Kylo in TLJ.

    As @ezekiel22x said too, I also enjoyed the more mundane moments shown with him. Whether it was the walking to Naboo Palace moment in AOTC, the apology and farewell to Obi-Wan, the “I’m not the Jedi I should be” moment, or the deleted scenes like him in Padme’s room or the look he gives when Padme gives him a disappointed look in the Delegation of 2000 scene, the tapestry added to Vader made him feel more real to me
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
  21. wobbits

    wobbits Force Ghost star 4

    Apr 12, 2017
    The mother son reunion on Tatooine is one of my favorites in the entire saga. Hayden's facial expressions portray his emotions perfectly as he goes from relief to finding her, concern over her condition, resignation that she's not going to make it, sadness and then anger.
  22. Count Yubnub

    Count Yubnub Force Ghost star 4

    Oct 1, 2012
    I'm going to go with Hayden too.
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  23. Darth Buzz

    Darth Buzz Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 25, 2018
    Its either

    Mark and Adam in THE LAST JEDI


    Ewan and Ian in REVENGE OF THE SITH
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
  24. Saga_Symphony

    Saga_Symphony Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 30, 2010
    I do enjoy seeing all these votes and positive comments about Hayden's acting...

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  25. Co-Pilot

    Co-Pilot Jedi Youngling

    Jun 20, 2021
    While I understand Hayden got too much of the blame for the prequels, and can understand defending him, I'm truly blown away at how anyone could think he was literally the best actor of the entire saga. That's a bridge too far for me.