The return of the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens was such a big deal that numerous Hollywood stars wanted to be in it. While we knew that several of the original trilogy’s cast would be returning, we were a bit shocked to discover that at least one actor from the prequels would be reprising his role as well, even if it was only for a few words. Ewan McGregor got to be Obi-Wan Kenobi again for a scene in The Force Awakens, and the only thing better than hearing the line is hearing him talk about recording it.
It needs to be said the single greatest thing about the prequel trilogy is how much Ewan McGregor nailed his accent to sound like Sir Alec Guinness. Hearing him shift into his Obi-Wan voice on Jimmy Kimmel Live actually makes us ever so slightly miss those movies. Seriously, if they want to make more movies, just about Obi-Wan, and that rumor exists, we’d be ok with that. McGregor talks about getting the call from J.J. Abrams to ask him to be part of the film, a call he claims he was anxiously awaiting.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when Rey picks up Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber for the first time, she experiences a vision that includes her hearing the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi. This has led a number of people to believe that there may be a greater connection between the two characters.
One interesting item is that Ewan McGregor says that the call to have him come in and record the line arrived fairly late in production. While certainly recording and adding the line was far from technically difficult, you would think that the plan to record it would have been made earlier. It sounds like maybe the idea to put the line in may have been a fairly late addition to the plan. It wouldn’t be the first time that something got added to the script after the fact because J.J. Abrams had an idea.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is full of people that you hear but cannot see. In addition to the two Obi-Wans, you also can hear the voices of Daniel Craig, Kevin Smith and Simon Pegg without ever seeing them. We have to assume that was the kind of role that Ewan McGregor was expecting to get when the phone rang. The idea that the new movie would have a role for Obi-Wan, and the younger one at that, seemed like an extremely long shot before we actually saw it.
If there is a connection between Rey and Obi-Wan, maybe this won’t be the last time we hear Ewan McGregor’s voice in the series.