Obi-Wan Kenobi Could Return After Disney Series Says Ewan McGregor

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“It’s true, it was a long journey to get here. It’s like finishing Episode 3, really, and the journey from there. It was interesting to see that it became more and more something I wanted to do the further I got away from the end of Episode 3.”

At one point, it would have been hard to imagine McGregor jumping at the chance (assisted by the Force or not) to reprise his role from the Star Wars prequels, which were mocked and maligned when they first appeared in theaters. . The performances were too wooden, some said, the effects too lifeless, and overall this newer (but ironically, older) trilogy was no patch on the original films that had enthralled the world in the 70s and 80s.

McGregor clearly took some of the criticism at the time to heart and regularly dismissed the idea of ​​returning in interviews for years afterwards. And yet, and yet. Over the years, the prequels have come to have something of a reassessment, with the fans who were just kids when they came out eventually representing a much more vocal part of the audience.

“It took years to realize there was an audience that really loved them,” McGregor tells me now. “The kind of sound wave that came out after the movies came out wasn’t very positive, because back then there was no social media. And then we just heard the critics. And they decided to don’t like them.

“But then slowly you start meeting these people who were kids, when we made these movies, who are now young adults, and you realize that for them, our Star Wars movies were their Star Wars movies. And it’s really nice. It’s good to have this relationship with them now.

Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith SEAC

So when the call came to play Obi-Wan again, McGregor was in a much better place than he had been before.

“If I hadn’t wanted to do it, I just wouldn’t have done it,” he says with some force. “So it was totally something I wanted to do. I just think once you thought of something, or at least for me, and I started thinking about it.”

And it was lucky he was so determined, because bringing Master Kenobi back to the screens wasn’t the easiest production process. First there was a movie idea, directed by Stephen Daldry, that was scrapped after Solo underperformed in 2018. Then there was an early draft of a Disney Plus show that was on the set to begin filming in early 2020 before LucasFilm pulled the plug, with rumors of trouble with the scripts.

Now, finally, the third version of Kenobi’s return has finally come together under director Deborah Chow’s eye – and Kenobi says all the production pains were worth it in the end.

“I always thought there could be a good story between episode 3 and episode 4, between my last and Alec Guinness in [1977’s] episode 4,” he says.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Alec Guinness

Obi-Wan Kenobi, portrayed by Alec Guinness in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977 lucasfilm

“We really went through all the iterations – the movie with Stephen, then with Deborah, and, you know, the different versions of the story with Deborah. We got through, I think we got a really good story, we found the best story with this one.

Exactly what this story entails remains a tightly closed mystery – by the time you read this the first two episodes will have been released, but beforehand details were limited beyond the fact that we’ll see Kenobi watching over a young Luke Skywalker, avoiding Imperial Inquisitors and (at one point) facing Darth Vader, played once again by McGregor prequel co-star Hayden Christensen.

McGregor is an old pro at avoiding spoilers at this point. Instead, he prefers to speak lyrically about exactly How? ‘Or’ What they brought the series to life, with the actor much more involved in the production process this time around than when he directed the prequels.

“It wasn’t that I was in the room with the writer,” he explains. “But at the same time, I was reading all the different drafts and giving my opinion on them. So I was a little more part of the process.

Ewan McGregor looks around a wall in Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in his new Disney Plus series lucasfilm

“And it got pretty exciting at the point where we started shooting. I really loved working with Deborah, she’s a really amazing director. And she really understands this world. And it was an amazing experience, because we had this technology that we didn’t have when we made the first three.

What does he mean?

“When we did episodes two and three, George [Lucas] was really a pioneer of digital cameras, and ILM and visual effects, you know, he was the pioneer of this whole world,” he says.

“So of course he wanted to use more and more of it, which meant that on set we had less and less live sets, we had more and more green screen, more and more screen blue.

“And at the end, Episode 3 was so much blue screen, it was three months, four months in front of a blue curtain, and that’s pretty hard work.”

But the days of McGregor and his co-stars walking around empty sound stages with nothing but the odd prop to anchor them are over. Now he’s evangelical about The Volume, the 360-degree screen technology previously used to film The Mandalorian that is now turning its power to other Star Wars TV shows.

“Here we have this amazing new technology called Stagecraft, we call it The Volume, which is like an LCD screen dome that covers everything above your head and all around,” he tells me excitedly. .

“And it plays the backgrounds live so that when the camera is filming us, you’re back in the desert. Everywhere you look is desert and as your camera moves, technology reads camera and lens, aperture, everything.

“So when the camera moves, the background changes perspective. So you don’t create any background afterwards. It’s all in the camera. And it just makes for a very different experience. It feels a lot to us. more realistic.

“You can be in an environment that you could never build. We were in cities you couldn’t have built, you can do exteriors like you’re in a cockpit flying through space, outside the window there’s space beyond you , you know, it looks really real.

“It’s good. It’s a lot of fun for us.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader on new poster

A poster for the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus series Disney+

While Obi-Wan’s experience in the Star Wars universe is getting worse, it looks like McGregor’s is getting better. Is it any wonder he thinks this six-part miniseries may just be the start?

“I hope this isn’t the last time I play against him,” he said. “I hope I will do it again. I would love to do it again.

He smiles. “I mean I had such a great time doing this, I’m sure we can think of a few more stories before I become Alec Guinness. Don’t you think?

Obi-Wan Kenobi Episodes 1 and 2 are now streaming on Disney Plus, with new episodes released on Wednesdays. For more, check out our science fiction page or our full TV guide.

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