The last time we checked in on Disney+'s upcoming Ewan McGregor-starring Obi-Wan series, director Deborah Chow was discussing the difference between working on The Mandalorian and the upcoming live-action "Star Wars" prequel series and explaining some of the challenges that come with working in the Volume. Now the news pendulum swings back to McGregor, and he took advantage of it. On Friday's The Graham Norton Show, the actor revealed that production on the project officially begins in March 2021: "We start shooting it in March next year."
In the clip below, McGregor confirms the production start while also revealing just how much inspiration he took from the previous Obi-Wan, the late Alec Guinness. "The fun thing about doing [the prequels] in the first place, when I was much younger, was trying to imagine, how would he play these scenes as a younger guy? It led me to watch a lot of his early work, which I hadn't seen before. Brilliant movies, wonderful films that he'd been in. I had such a great time sort of studying him in those movies," McGregor explained. "This time, I'm much closer in age to him. It will be my challenge to try and meet him somewhere. I love Alec Guinness. I never got to meet him, but I love him, through his work, and it's a great honor to try and pretend to be him."
Preparing for a series he says is "a long time coming," McGregor revealed in an interview with Empire earlier that he's more excited to play the iconic character now than he was in the last two prequel films. "I'm more excited about doing this one than I was doing the second and third one that we did before," the actor explained. One of the reasons for the excitement: his director. "I'm just excited about working with Deborah Chow [director], and the storylines are going to be really good I think. I'm just excited to play him again. It's been long enough since I played him before," said McGregor.
McGregor's also looking forward to getting some time filming on The Volume, the high-resolution video wall tech that allows for large-scale artificial environment creation used by The Mandalorian. "The first three [Star Wars films] I did were really at the very beginning of digital photography," the actor explains. "We had a camera with an umbilical cord to a tent, it was like back to the beginning of movies where the camera didn't move very much because there was so much hardware attached to it. Now we're going to be able to really create stuff without swathes of green-screen and blue-screen, which becomes very tedious for the actor."
Chow moves from directing episodes of The Mandalorian to directing the entire run of the series with directorial "geek cred" that also includes American Gods, Better Call Saul, Lost in Space, Jessica Jones, Reign, and Mr. Robot. In April, Joby Harold (Army of the Dead) was tapped to replace Hossein Amini (Drive) after reports surfaced that Lucasfilm president and Obi-Wan producer Kathleen Kennedy was dissatisfied with Amini's scripts. Allegedly, Kennedy was concerned that having the lead character serve as a mentor to a young Luke and/or Leia skewed too close to The Mandalorian-The Child aka "Baby Yoda" dynamic.