The “Star Wars” cast probably had no idea what they were getting into when they signed on to make this classic film. Released in 1977, “Star Wars” became a cultural phenomenon almost instantly, and has spawned a massive franchise comprised of countless movies, novels, comic books, video games, cartoons, and much more. And while not all of the “Star Wars” cast members were complete unknowns when the movie was released, “Star Wars” took them to new heights of fame.

Mark Hamill.

Mark Hamill stars as Luke Skywalker, a young man who wants to leave his “small town” and see the galaxy. There’s no denying that “Star Wars” was Hamill’s big break. Before that, he’d mostly made a few appearances in TV shows like “Eight is Enough” and “One Day at a Time.”

Carrie Fisher.

Fisher starred as Princess Leia Organa, a leader in the rebellion against the evil empire. Before joining the “Star Wars” cast, Fisher was probably best known for being the daughter of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds. Since “Star Wars,” Fisher has continued to act, and has also enjoyed great success as a novelist.

Harrison Ford.

Harrison Ford played Han Solo, the film’s lovable rogue. Before “Star Wars,” Ford appeared in several TV shows and movies, including “American Grafitti,” another film classic. Soon after “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” Ford starred in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at Indiana Jones, a character considered just as iconic as Han Solo.

Alec Guinness.

Guinness joined the “Star Wars” cast as Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the last of the Jedi Knights. Guiness had a long and impressive career long before “Star Wars.” In fact, he won the Best Actor Academy Award for his role in the 1957 “The Bridge Over the River Kwai.”

James Earl Jones.

This award-winning actor played Darth Vader. Or, more accurately, he was the distinct voice of Darth Vader. Like Guinness, Jones also had a long and impressive career before joining the “Star Wars” cast, which included work on television, the Broadway stage, and on the big screen in movies like “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Great White Hope,” and “Claudine.”