Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock (10139120hp) Samuel L. Jackson 'Captain Marvel' film premiere, Arrivals, El Capitan Theatre, Los Angeles, USA - 04 Mar 2019

The Episode IX trailer for the latest Star Warsmovie was just released. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the space series’ most diverse casting since the first movie premiered in 1977. People of color including leading man John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, and the return of Billy Dee Williams in the iconic role of Lando Calrissian, are front and center in the latest episode.

And while there was controversy over the casting of John Boyega, a black British actor as a Stormtrooper in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, there have been iconic black actors and characters throughout the Star Wars universe. Here are seven of the best known.

BLACK CHARACTERS STAR WARS CHARACTERS 

Mace Windu

Played by: Samuel L. Jackson

Film: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, 1999

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

2. Lando Calrissian

Played by: Billy Dee Williams

Films: The Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

3. Maz Kanata

Played by: Lupita Nyong’o 

Film: The Force Awakens

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

4. Voice of Darth Vader

Played by: James Earl Jones

Films: Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi

black star wars characters

(Image: iStock/tihomir_todorov)

5. Jabba the Hutt’s Twi’lek slave dancer Oola

Played by:  Femi Taylor

Film: Return of the Jedi

black star wars characters

(Image: Facebook)

6. Finn 

Played by: John Boyega

Film: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi 

black star wars characters

(Image: Wikimedia)

7. Rachel

Played by:  Crystal Clarke

Film: The Force Awakens

black star wars characters

(Image: Instagram)

This post was written by the Editors at Black Enterprise, where it was originally published. It is published here with permission.