Favourite Star Wars actor?
Has to be Ian McDiarmid, I've always found his slightly more exaggerated acting to others just brought a freshness to the movies, and his characterisation was perfect.

Any other thoughts?
General Grievous is a whole lot easier to say.
Favorite actor only in Star Wars or in other roles as well as Star Wars. Harrison did a lot laters but Carrie and Mark Hamill didn't do much in their later years. Now the prequels have more actors in lots of things like Ian, Ewen and Natalie or even Liam Neeson.
I can imagine quite a bit.
I agree McDiarmid deserves a lot of credit. He had a tough role; he had to convincingly portray a personage leading a double life while weaving subtle webs of Sithlord strategy. Very easy to lose or confuse the audience, or to be trite and unconvincing, & I think he succeeded. Wonder how many caught on that mildmannered nebbishy Senator Palpatine was actually one and the same as the nefarious Darth Sideous before the fact was revealed?

I'd have to say that the 2 heavyweights recruited into the first series did much toward characterizing & exemplifying the good guys and the Empire for us, starting out.
Sir Alec Guinness as (older) Obi-Wan Kenobi
Peter Cushing as (the original, from ANH) Grand Moff Tarkin

Also honorable mentions:
Christopher Lee as Count Dooku
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa
Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala
James Earl Jones' voice characterization of Darth Vader
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