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See the original 'Star Wars' trilogy's cast, then and now!

Without the "Star Wars" franchise's original stars, the new cinematic chapter might not feel like the event that it's become.

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega have helped inspire fanatics to dissect every detail in "The Force Awakens" trailers released at the "Star Wars" Celebration event in April, on Instagram in August, and during halftime of Monday night's NFL game. The dearth of footage of Ridley and Boyega's (currently) more famous co-stars, Lupita Nyong'o and Oscar Isaac, has kept fans breathlessly guessing. But the stars of the original trilogy have been enrapturing fans for decades.

With that, TODAY.com takes a closer look at the living A-listers from "Star Wars: A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," then and now.

#ThrowbackThursday - Loving the intensity, Han. #StarWars #tbt #BehindTheScenes

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Harrison Ford (Han Solo)

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STAR WARS: EPISODE VI - RETURN OF THE JEDI, Harrison Ford, 1983. Harrison Ford attend the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards with presenting sponsor Lacoste at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 17, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Then: Responding to Princess Leia's profession of love with a glib, and reportedly improvised, "I know."

Now: Appearing in the latest "Star Wars" trailer and delivering dramatic exposition. "It's true, all of it," the Academy Award-nominated actor, 73, says. "The Dark Side, the Jedi: they're real."

Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia)

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STAR WARS, (aka STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE), Carrie Fisher, 1977, (c) WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 27: Actress Carrie Fisher arrives for the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Vacation" held at Regency Village Theatre on July 27, 2015 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Then: Leading the charge against the Dark Side and sparring with Han in delightful will-they-or-won't-they fashion.

Now: Celebrating her 59th birthday Wednesday, and making a split-second cameo in the new trailer.

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker)

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STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, Mark Hamill, 1980. Mark Hamill attends Guardians Of The Galaxy Premiere in leicester square, London on Thursday, July, 24, 2014.

Then: Using "the Force," per the insistence of Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by the late, great Alec Guinness).

Now: Being coy, for the moment. Hamill, 64, is nowhere to be found in the latest "Star Wars" trailer, unless he's obscured and/or hidden beneath one of the movie's elaborate costumes. Since he's reportedly a cast member in the new installment, it looks like we'll have to wait until the film's release to see how Luke ties into the plot.

Happy birthday, James Earl Jones! (We read that in his voice.)

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James Earl Jones (Voice of Darth Vader)

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A head and shoulders portrait of the actor James Earl Jones, 1975.NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14: Actor James Earl Jones attends the "The Gin Game" Broadway opening night after party at Sardi's on October 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Then: Voicing perhaps the most iconic cinematic villain of all time. (Note: Dave Prowse, below, embodied the character in the literal sense, filling the head-to-toe Vader costume on the set of the original trilogy.)

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epa04975123 British actor David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movie trilogy, poses for photographers during the presentation of 'I Am Your Father' at the 48th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, in Sitges, near Barcelona, Spain, 12 October 2015. The festival runs from 09 to 18 October. EPA/SUSANNA SAEZ

Now: Moving on, perhaps? Vader's "Episode VII" role is unclear. The resonant baritone of the 84-year-old Jones, an honorary Oscar winner, isn't featured in the full trailer, which zooms in on a destroyed Vader mask. (More definitive is the absence of the 80-year-old Prowse, who has stated he will not appear in the new installment.)

Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian, who first appears in "The Empire Strikes Back")

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STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, Billy Dee Williams, 1980. HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Actor Billy Dee Williams speaks onstage at the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition at Dolby Theatre on November 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)

Then: Pranking Han when they're reunited, then giving him a hug, Leia a hand-kiss, and movie-watchers some smooth and illustrative back story.

Now: Waiting for a call, it appears. The trailer and new movie appear to be Lando-less, but the actor, 78, hinted earlier this year that he might make a cameo before the new trilogy comes to a close.

#SpotlightOfTheWeek - Yoda: Great Warrior #starwars

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Frank Oz (Voice of Yoda, who first appears in "The Empire Strikes Back")

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THE DARK CRYSTAL, from left, director Frank Oz, producer, director, screenwriter Jim Henson, on-set, 1982, ©Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection. STAR WARS: EPISODE V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, Yoda, 1980, Lucasfilms / courtesy Everett Collection. HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Actor Frank Oz attends the Los Angeles premiere of Disney-Pixar's "Inside Out" at the El Capitan Theatre on June 8, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Then: Being a fount of wisdom to Luke, e.g. "Do or do not; there is no try."

Now: Perplexing fans, he is. New info about the 71-year-old actor-director's potential role, there is not.

#StarWars #SpotlightOfTheWeek - Chewbacca: Wookiee Warrior

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Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)

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PETER MAYHEW British Actor STAR WARS, (aka STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE), Chewbacca, 1977. 19 May 2010- Hollywood, California- Actors Peter Mayhew arrives at the "Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back" 30th anniversary screening to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Hollywood, California.

Then: Aligning himself with Han and repeatedly shouting something to the effect of "Ungghgluhhh!"

Now: Grunting! Again! Everyone's favorite Wookkie, Mayhew, 71, is back, and still by Han's side (at the 1:47 mark of the full trailer) — but there's no word just yet on whether Chewy will sink his teeth into any Oscar-caliber monologues.

#ThrowbackThursday - Huddling on Hoth. #StarWars #BehindTheScenes #tbt #Latergram

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Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)

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7th April 1981: Actor Anthony Daniels witth C-3PO the character he plays in the film 'star Wars'. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)CHIBA, JAPAN - JULY 19: Actor Anthony Daniels, who acted C-3PO, poses for photograph during "Star Wars Celebration Japan" at Makuhari Messe on July 19, 2008 in Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Akihiro I/Getty Images)

Then: Winning the gold medal for being the galaxy's most neurotic robot. (There was no silver medalist, although Threepio, itself, has a lovely bronze.)

Now: Flailing in new ways, we're guessing. Daniels, 69, not only confirmed he's on board for the latest adventure, but continued to play the character in full costume, albeit a more comfortable version thereof this time around.

#ThrowbackThursday - Break time on Dagobah. #tbt #latergram

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Kenny Baker (R2-D2)

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British-born actor Kenny Baker, who played the robot R2-D2 in director George Lucas's epic film, 'Star Wars' (1977), smiling and leaning with his arm against a table. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images) STAR WARS, (aka STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE), R2-D2, 1977 Kenny Baker, alter ego of R2-D2 (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)

Then: Beeping (like, a lot), often while in the company of C-3PO.

Now: Beeping again, probably. According to IMDb, the 81-year-old Baker is back for the new film, and his character gets a pat on the dome from a mysterious figure at the 1:39 mark of the full trailer.

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