The Star Wars franchise has been enthralling moviegoers for decades, with entire generations brought up on George Lucas' beloved space opera. The sequel trilogy is currently in theaters, but the previous entries in the franchise were Lucas' prequels. Ewan McGregor starred as young Obi-Wan Kenobi in all three movies, putting a strong performance into the character's backstory. While the prequels have been the butt of countless jokes throughout the years, McGregor recently revealed what he loved most about playing the iconic Jedi.
Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi had a significant character arc in the prequel trilogies. Beginning as a Padawan, audiences watched Kenobi come a Jedi Master, and eventually battle his apprentice as Anakin turned to the dark side. But the part that made McGregor the most satisfied was being able to study original Obi-Wan actor Alec Guinness, and attempting to bring a younger version of him to screen. As the Doctor Sleep actor explained it:
The most satisfying thing about those films, other than some of the fight sequences, which were amazing to do, was the study of Alec Guinness and trying to be believably him as a younger man. As an acting challenge that was the most satisfying thing about those movies.
Well, that makes a great deal of sense. Ewan McGregor had three movies to explore and find his version of Alec Guinness. That was a major challenge, but also seemingly a rewarding aspect of his time in the galaxy far, far away. And now he'll get the chance to further that exploration with the untitled Obi-Wan series on Disney+.
Ewan McGregor's comments on his recent Conan appearance help show what it was really like working on the Star Wars prequels. There was a ton of hype around George Lucas' return to the franchise, but the movie didn't want deliver the way fans were hoping. Ewan McGregor's tenure as Obi-Wan was universally praised, especially in regard to how it paid tribute to Alec Guinness.
Later in his conversation with host Conan O'Brien, Ewan McGregor went on to explain how the honor of imitating Alex Guinness will change with his upcoming Disney+ series. As he put it:
So now, that’s the same except I’m just closer to the age he was when he made that film. So it’ll be interesting to play him now. And also it being post, plot wise, the three films that I made already. It's after that, obviously, so there's a bit of story plot there.
It looks like Ewan McGregor has his work cut out for him when he finally returns to play Obi-Wan Kenobi. He won't be able to play the same version of the character, but one who has aged and is perhaps closer to Alec Guinness' appearance. Luckily, that's exactly what he loved about playing the character previously. And fans are no doubt eager to see him play the beloved Jedi Knight again.
The Star Wars franchise will continue with The Rise of Skywalker on December 20th, which will also wrap up the Skywalker Saga. The untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series doesn't currently have a release date/year, but it will be available on Disney+. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.