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First of all, did you know Star Wars' Wedge actor Denis Lawson is Ewan McGregor's uncle? Mind = blown. I may be the last to know that, but it took me a minute to get past it. Then I was surprised to hear, from McGregor, that his uncle suggested he pass on playing Obi-Wan in George Lucas' Star Wars prequels.
Scottish actor Denis Lawson is now 72 and he's had a long career on the stage and in television. His list of films is shorter and starts with rebel pilot Wedge Antilles in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope. He continued as Wedge in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the original trilogy. It was fantastic for fans to see Wedge once again for a cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But apparently being part of the Star Wars galaxy hasn't been as thrilling for him as you -- or at least I -- might expect.
When my parents took me to see Star Wars for the first time in a cinema, to see my uncle on the screen but also it was Star Wars, it blew my mind. [My uncle] was always really dismissive of it because he did a couple of weeks work, sitting in a cardboard spaceship… and yet he had this massive following. It sort of annoyed him.
Really? Well, maybe that played into why -- according to Ewan McGregor -- Denis Lawson warned his nephew not to take on the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels.
He was one of the people who said, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it.' And then the nearer I got to it, the more I wanted to do it. ... I’m so glad I did because it was so interesting to be part of that.
I'd like to hear from Denis Lawson on this, because maybe in its full context he was trying to protect his nephew from comparisons to the great Sir Alec Guinness. Or maybe he had a premonition about how much fans would hate the prequels, especially The Phantom Menace.
After all, who knew Ewan McGregor's performance would end up being one of the bright spots in the prequels? I'd probably recommend a relative not try to follow in Sir Alec's footsteps too. McGregor just happened to be exactly the right talent for the job, and now he gets to go back to the role in his own middle-aged years.
The Mandalorian Season 1 had eight episodes and was a huge hit for Disney+, so it's not shocking that Disney's Bob Iger is shifting the Star Wars focus from film to television. That may include Mandalorian spinoffs and it definitely includes Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan series.
I don't know if Denis Lawson would be up for it, but I'd love to see him be part of the Obi-Wan series somehow. The Obi-Wan series will reportedly be set between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. There's a good reason why Wedge didn't appear in Rogue One, but even if they don't want a Wedge cameo in the Obi-Wan series -- and they'd either have to recast anyway or de-age him The Irishman-style -- I wonder if Lawson could cameo in another role. Plenty of Star Wars actors have played multiple roles in the galaxy, from Mark Hamill to Warwick Davis.