10 actors from MCU who have also appeared in Star Wars
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has seen a mix of well-known and lesser-known actors enter the franchise as it grew in scale and scope following the release of 2008's Iron Man. Moreover, the unique talents of the actors and their on-screen presence have helped bolster not only their success, but also the success of the gargantuan franchise by helping it make its mark in pop-culture.
However, many years prior to the advent of Marvel's cinematic universe, another franchise took Hollywood by storm. This was Star Wars. The epic space-opera franchise slowly but surely took its place in pop-culture history and became well-loved by many movie fans and enthusiasts. As such, much like the MCU, Star Wars has also seen many notable names join the franchise.
Given the scale of the MCU and Star Wars, there is naturally an overlap, with several actors who have appeared in both the franchises. In this listicle, we will be looking at 10 such actors.
Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac and 8 other actors who have appeared in both the MCU and Star Wars
1) Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is set to make his MCU debut in 2024's Captain America: Brave New World, where he will take over the late William Hurt's role of Thaddeus Ross. Ford will then reprise the role of Ross in Thunderbolts, which will release a few months after Brave New World.
However, one of Ford's most iconic and famous roles is Han Solo, the dashing smuggler of the original Star Wars films, released between 1977 and 1983. He later reprised the role in two films of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker.
2) Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson, who has appeared in many notable films of Hollywood, is best known for being the MCU's Nick Fury, the man who brought together and assembled the Avengers.
However, prior to playing Fury and donning his iconic eye-patch, Jackson played the purple lighstaber-wielding Jedi Master Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, released between 1999 and 2005.
3) Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman made her MCU debut in the Thor films, where she essayed the role of Dr. Jane Foster, the love interest of the hammer-wielding Avenger. She later receives powers similar to his in Thor: Love and Thunder and becomes the superhero Mighty Thor.
However, before appearing as Foster in the Marvel films, Portman played the role of Anakin Skywalker's (Darth Vader) doomed love interest, Padme Amidala, in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
4) Oscar Isaac
Oscar Isaac took the world by storm in 2022, when he delivered a nuanced and heartbreaking performance as the troubled vigilante Moon Knight in the MCU Disney+ miniseries of the same name. Isaac also holds the distinction of playing three different Marvel characters as he also portrayed Apocalypse in 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse and Miguel O'Hara in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
However, Isaac has also appeared in the Star Wars franchise, playing the X-Wing fighter pilot and Resistance commander Poe Dameron in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, released between 2015 and 2019.
5) Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany made his MCU debut all the way back in 2008's Iron Man, where he provided the voice of Tony Stark's trusty AI companion, JARVIS. Bettany reprised the role in the two subsequent Iron Man films and the first Avengers film. He later appeared as another character, Vision, in Avengers: Age of Ultron and reprised that role in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and WandaVision.
However, in 2018, Bettany also made his debut in the Star Wars franchise through the Han Solo prequel spin-off film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, where he played the main antagonist, Dryden Vos.
6) Ray Stevenson
The late Ray Stevenson made his first appearance in the MCU in 2011's Thor, where he played the role of Volstagg, one of the Warriors Three. Stevenson reprised the role in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. In the latter film, the character meets his demise at the hands of Thor's evil sister, Hela.
Stevenson will make his debut in the Star Wars franchise by appearing as a dark-side practitioner and former Jedi-turned mercenary, Baylan Skoll, in the Disney+ series, Ahsoka, which will be his first posthumous release following his death.
7) Donald Glover
Donald Glover made his MCU debut in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming, where he played the role of Aaron Davis aka Prowler, a potential business associate of Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes and the uncle of Miles Morales, who helps Spider-Man take down Toomes and his gang as he wants to protect his nephew from their dangerous weapons.
In 2018, Glover made his debut in the Star Wars franchise by appearing as a notorious gambler and smuggler, Lando Calrissian, in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
8) Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o appeared in the MCU's Black Panther films as Nakia, the love interest and later the wife of the late Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa. In both films she plays a pivotal role in stopping the threats posed by the antagonists, Erik Killmonger and Namor.
However prior to playing Nakia, Nyong'o made her debut in the Star Wars franchise by playing the role of a wise old sage, Maz Kanata, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
9) Ben Mendelsohn
Ben Mendelsohn made his MCU debut in 2019's Captain Marvel, where he essayed the role of the misunderstood but ultimately good-hearted Skrull alien Talos. Mendelsohn later reprised the role in Spider-Man: Far From Home and Secret Invasion.
However, prior to taking on the role of Talos, Mendelsohn appeared in the 2016 Star Wars film, Rogue One, which served as a prequel to the original Star Wars film released in 1977. In the film, Mendelsohn portrayed Director Orson Krennic, a high-ranking official of the Galactic Empire and a subordinate of Darth Vader and Wilhuff Tarkin.
10) Andy Serkis
Andy Serkis made his MCU debut in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, where he essayed the role of black market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue. Serkis later reprised the role in 2018's Black Panther and the 2021 anthology animated series What If...?.
However between 2015 to 2017, Serkis played the role of Supreme Leader Snoke, the mentor of Adam Driver's Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Snoke met his end at the hands of Ren in 2017's The Last Jedi. In 2022, Serkis also appeared again in Star Wars when he played Kino Loy in Andor.
Aside from these ten actors, there are other actors who have also appeared in both the MCU and Star Wars, such as Emilia Clarke, Mads Mikkelsen, Rosario Dawson, and Kumail Nanjiani.
If you think we missed out on any names, do let us know in the comments below.