Thursday marks 40 years since the May 25, 1977, debut of "Star Wars." To honor the anniversary, join us for a look at the movie's stars then and now while also remembering those we have lost over the years.
Mark Hamill is seen here as Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars."
Hamill is seen here during Star Wars Celebration on April 14, 2017, in Orlando.
Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) are seen here in a scene from 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back."
Ford, who like Hamill reprised his "Star Wars" role in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," is seen here at Ridley Scott's hand and footprint ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on May 17, 2017, in Hollywood.
Fisher, seen here with Hamill in July 2016, died from cardiac arrest at age 60 on Dec. 27, 2016. Fisher appeared as Leia in "The Force Awakens" and had completed filming on her part in the sequel "The Last Jedi" before her death.
Alec Guinness, who played the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy, died of liver cancer at age 86 on Aug. 5, 2000.
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas (seen here in 1986) wrote and directed the original "Star Wars," but stuck to writing and producing the other films in the original trilogy.
Lucas is seen here on the first day of Star Wars Celebration on April 13, 2017, in Orlando.
It took two people to bring Darth Vader to life. David Prowse wore the suit and acted on the sets, while James Earl Jones provided Vader's distinctive baritone.
David Prowse is seen here in August 2016.
James Earl Jones is seen here at the 70th Annual Tony Awards on June 12, 2016. Jones returned to voice Vader recently in the 2016 spinoff movie "Rogue One."
You can't see them inside their droid costumes, but Anthony Daniels portrayed C-3PO and Kenny Baker played R2-D2.
Daniels, seen here at the Star Wars Celebration on April 13, 2017, is the only actor to appear in all of the major films in the series.
Baker, seen here at the London premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in December 2015, died at age 81 on Aug. 13, 2016, after being ill for years with a lung condition.
Peter Mayhew was the man inside the suit when it came to playing the Wookiee Chewbacca.
Mayhew is seen here out of his Chewbacca suit at the Star Wars Celebration on April 13, 2017.
One of the most beloved "Star Wars" characters is also the one with the least screen time. Yoda was brought to life in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" by puppeteer/voice actor Frank Oz.
Frank Oz (seen here speaking at a March 2017 screening at South by Southwest) is also well known for his work with The Muppets, but he's also directed such movies as "Little Shop of Horrors," "What About Bob?," "In & Out" and "Bowfinger."
Billy Dee Williams played Lando Calrissian, a former smuggler/gambler and friend of Han Solo, in "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." He's seen here at Star Wars Celebration on April 13, 2017.
Ian McDiarmid played the villainous Emperor Palpatine in "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" and reprised the role for the prequel trilogy. He's seen here at Star Wars Celebration on April 13, 2017.
Warwick Davis, seen here moderating a panel at Star Wars Celebration on April 13, 2017, portrayed Wicket the Ewok in "Return of the Jedi" and also had cameos as other characters in the "The Phantom Menace" and "The Force Awakens."
The cast of "Star Wars" has frequently reunited over the years. Here, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford speak onstage during the 33rd AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to George Lucas at the Kodak Theatre on June 9, 2005, in Hollywood, California.
Fisher, Hamill and Ford attend the Hall H Panel for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" during Comic-Con International 2015 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 10, 2015.
The three are again seen here at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on Dec. 14, 2015, in Hollywood, California.