Why Ewan McGregor Almost Passed On Star Wars

Star Wars

When you think about the Star Wars prequels, the words "good" and "quality" probably aren't used in the same sentence. The Prequel Trilogy is largely ridiculed by the Star Wars community, but one of its few universal praises is Ewan McGregor's portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi. People love their Obi-Wan (where's that spin off movie, Disney?!), but it turns out McGregor almost passed on the role back in 1999. He struggled with the decision because he wasn't he thought Star Wars might have been too mainstream for him.

Star Wars is Star Wars, it's something I grew up with as a kid. At first, I was very reluctant to do it, because I saw myself as this urban, grungy actor doing films about heroin and stuff, and that's who I felt like I really was. But the nearer I got to it, the more I wanted to do it: and it wasn't for money reasons, because it was back in the day I got paid nicely for it, but it wasn't ridiculous by any means. It was to do with being in it and it didn't feel like Hollywood. George Lucas hated Hollywood he was in San Francisco following the beat of his own drum.

Through an interview with Telegraph Magazine (via Female First), Ewan McGregor revealed that he didn't make the decision to play a younger Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace easily. At the time he was a down on the streets kind of actor, making films like Trainspotting and Shallow Grave. Star Wars is a massive franchise, so it's not hard to understand any trepidation in taking over for Alec Guinness. Long story short, he decided to take the part and then went on to star in the worst of all the Star Wars movies.

But thank the Force that Ewan McGregor did take the part because, again, he was one of the best things to come out of the prequels. His character has become so popular over the years that many considered a forgone conclusion that he would be getting his own spin off film in the future. And with Disney aiming to make a Star Wars film every year for the remainder of all time, it's not a question of "if" but "when". For his part, McGregor has expressed interest into returning to the biggest role of his career and exploring what Obi-Wan was up to in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Disney has made no official confirmation that such a film is in development... but come on. What else are they going to do after the Han Solo spin off, a Max Rebo movie?

There's no word on the future of Obi-Wan, but stick with CinemaBlend and we'll keep you updated as new information becomes available.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.