Ewan McGregor on Obi-Wan Return Being Closer to Alec Guinness' Kenobi

Depending on when you read this you may have already witnessed the glory that is Disney+ and Lucasfilm's first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, starring Ewan McGregor as the titular Jedi Knight. The "Star Wars" limited series, also featuring Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader, is set 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Kenobi (McGregor) faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. Recently McGregor spoke about his return to the venerable Jedi Master for the first time since Revenge of the Sith.

Image: Screencap

"It was a very long, slow process of coming back to playing him.  It was born of two things.  I think, a) I was just asked a lot. The end of every interview I ever did for years I was asked two things; would I do the sequel to 'Trainspotting,' and would I ever play Obi-Wan Kenobi again. I just started answering it honestly and I think I became more aware of the fondness that the generation that we made the prequels for have for those films-  when we made them, we didn't hear that. We didn't get that response.  Gradually, I started realizing that people really liked them and that they meant a lot to that generation. That warmed my feelings about them or my experience of being in the Star Wars world.  And then, Disney just asked me to come in one day for a meeting because they kept seeing on social media that I'm saying that I would like to play Obi-Wan Kenobi again.  It looked like I was sort of touting for work at Disney's door. They got me in and asked me if I mean it and I said 'I would love to play him again.'  I think there's got to be a good story between 'Episode III' and 'Episode IV' and that's what we definitely found after a lengthy process of exploring some different storylines. We've ended up with a really, really brilliant story and one that will satisfy the fans sitting between those two episodes."

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

This story features a different look at Obi-Wan Kenobi than we've seen before. McGregor explains what makes this version different than the screen adaptations we've seen before, and how the character has grown. "What happens at the end of 'Episode III, Revenge of the Sith,' the Jedi order is all but destroyed, and those who aren't killed have gone into hiding. They can't communicate with one another.  For 10 years, Obi-Wan has been in hiding.  He can't communicate with any of his old comrades and he's living a pretty solitary life.  He's not able to use the Force. In a way, he's lost his faith.  It's like somebody who's stepped away from their religion if you like.  The only responsibility to his past life is looking over Luke Skywalker who he's delivered to, as we see at the end of 'Episode III,' to Uncle Owen [Joel Edgerton] and Aunt Beru [Bonnie Piesse]. That's his only sort of link to his past.  It was interesting to take a character that we know and love from Alec Guinness' creation of the character, in the seventies of this wise, sage-like, spiritual man, and then the work that I did in Episodes I to III. From the padawan/ student to the Jedi, to somebody who's sitting on the Jedi council. To take that Obi-Wan and take him to this broken place was really interesting to do  And just being closer to Alec Guinness in age was interesting. Alec Guinness' Obi-Wan, when we find him as a solitary figure. He's living in the desert alone and so I suppose my Obi-Wan now is just a bit closer to his."

Obi-Wan Kenobi premiered its first two episodes on Friday, May 27th on Disney +. Directed by  Deborah Chow, the series stars Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, Benny Safdie, Maya Erskine, and Grant Feely. Legendary composer and "Star Wars" franchise Hall-of-Famer John Williams is set to compose the theme for the series.

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About Jimmy Leszczynski

Jimmy Leszczynski has been blurring the line between comics and reality at SDCC every year since 1994, and was a nerd long before Lewis, Gilbert, and the Tri Lamdas made it cool. Middle aged father of 2 that REFUSES to grow up, lifelong Bat-Fan, and he thinks he's pretty funny.
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