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It doesn’t look like ‘ole Obi-Wan Kenobi will have a role when Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hits this December. However, Ewan McGregor, who played the younger version of the grizzled Jedi and a veteran of some of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy’s most seizure-inducing lightsaber battles, has some lightsaber-related criticism on the upcoming film’s most notable new weapon.
While discussing his thoughts on Episode VII with Vanity Fair, McGregor brings up what is increasingly becoming the film’s 800 lb. gorilla in the new, quasi-medieval crossguard model lightsaber wielded by new character, Kylo Ren. His initial thought on the matter was that he was "a bit dubious," adding:
It’s got a hilt now. You don’t need a hilt. If you know how to handle a lightsaber, like we did, you don’t need a hilt. That’s just one thing that I think they might have got wrong."
When McGregor says "handle a lightsaber like we did," he was likely just making a playful competitive jab at the new batch of whippersnappers heading into the new Star Wars films. However, there’s a more ergonomic argument to be made against its usage, as it would clearly prevent the more dexterous flicks and handle spinning that we witnessed in the Prequel Trilogy’s intricately choreographed lightsaber duels; most notably the one between McGregor’s young Obi-Wan and Ray Park’s Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. (Acknowledged as a high point even among the film’s many critics.)
Just one look at the new lightsaber of Kylo Ren (presumably the character of Adam Driver) and it becomes abundantly clear that he’s going to have very little wiggle room to perform the kind of phalangeal gymnastics that we saw in McGregor’s films. If there will be any sort of adherence to the laws of physics (at least physics unrelated to The Force,) then it may be the case that Kylo Ren will have to utilize a more muted, less flashy dueling style, probably with the necessary control of double-hand wielding, to prevent what would seemingly be the likely event of having one’s own hands sliced in half with the slightest of moves.
Listen to Ewan McGregor in full. There's more Star Wars talk near the end:
Ewan McGregor’s interview was conducted at the Sundance Film Festival where he premiered his latest film, The Last Days in the Desert in which he tackles one of the most loaded roles of them all: Jesus. It’s been quite an evolution for the Scottish actor, who, himself, was rumored to return in some (maybe Jedi Spirit) capacity for at least one of the Sequel Trilogy films. Whether or not Obi-Wan can transcend death again to come back and give Kylo Ren a piece of his mind about lightsaber design remains to be seen.