‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Stars Before They Were Famous

As Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to shatter record after record at the box office, it’s always interesting to take a look at the early beginnings of the stars of Star Wars to see where they came from. While some of them knew they wanted to be on the big screen from an early age, others were not so certain about their lives and their careers began in an unusual way. For your pleasure, here are the stars of Star Wars before they were famous!

Daisy Ridley - Rey
Daisy Ridley, Youngers, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
E4/Walt Disney Studios

Before she was scavenging starship ruins for spare parts on planet Jakku as Rey, Ridley appeared in several British television series such as Youngers, Toast of London, and the medical drama Casualty on BBC One. She also made appearances on TV dramas Silent Witness and Mr Selfridge. Ridley made her feature film debut in the British horror film Scrawl where she played Hannah, a girl who mysteriously appears after a boy named Simon realizes the stories of death he writes into his comic books are becoming a reality.

John Boyega - Finn
John Boyega, Attack the Block, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Screen Gems/Walt Disney Studios

The stormtrooper turned hero began acting at an early age and played the lead role of Othello while he was a student at South Thames College in 2010. In 2011, Boyega was cast in an HBO boxing drama pilot loosely based on the life of Mike Tyson called Da Brick that was unfortunately not picked up. He also played the lead role of Moses in Attack the Block for which he won the Black Reel Award for Best Actor. Finally, Boyega played drug dealer Jamal in Junkhearts and a houseboy named Ugwu in Half of a Yellow Sun before making his big screen appearance as Finn in Star Wars VII.

Oscar Isaac - Poe Dameron
Oscar Isaac, The Nativity Story, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
New Line Cinema/Walt Disney Studios

Long before he was ace X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in Star Wars VII, Isaac made his film debut as a Pool Boy in Illtown in 1996. He returned to the big screen in 2002 in the minor role of Francesco in the movie All About the Benjamins starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps. He landed his first major film role as Joseph in The Nativity Story in 2006. Later, Isaac went on to win the AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as José Ramos-Horta in the 2009 film Balibo. In addition, he acted alongside Star Wars co-star Adam Driver in the 2013 comedy-drama Inside Llewyn Davis. Keep an eye out for him in the future because he is set to play the mutant villain Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016.

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Adam Driver - Kylo Ren
Adam Driver, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
-The United States Marine Corps/Walt Disney Studios

Driver was a marine before turning to the dark side as Kylo Ren. Five months after the 9/11 attacks, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps to serve his country. Unfortunately, he was medically discharged after he broke his sternum in a mountain biking accident and his battalion had to deploy to Iraq without him. Afterward, Driver attended the Juilliard School to study drama and graduated in 2009. He made his Broadway debut as Frank Gardner in Mrs. Warren’s Profession in 2010 and made his feature film debut as Walter Lyle in J. Edgar in 2011.

Domhnall Gleeson - General Hux
Domhnall Gleeson, Never Let Me Go, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
FOX Searchlight Pictures/Walt Disney Studios

Gleeson’s first film appearance was in the Irish short film Six Shooter in 2004 which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. In 2005, he played Bernard in the horror-comedy film Boy Eats Girl and Sean Flanagan in the Irish comedy-drama television series The Last Furlong. In 2006, he received a Tony Award nomination for his appearance in the Broadway theatre show The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Gleeson went on to play Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films alongside his father Brendan Gleeson who played Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody before finally becoming the evil General Hux in Star Wars VII.