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The Great Way Ewan McGregor And Hayden Christensen Prepared For Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi Series That Star Wars Fans Will Appreciate

Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

There’s a lot for fans to be excited about when it comes to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The limited series (which will be accessible with a Disney+ subscription) brings back one of the franchise’s most beloved characters and thrusts him into a dangerous new adventure. The on-screen reunion between Ewan McGregor, who returns as Obi-Wan and Hayden Christensen, who reprises his role as Darth Vader, is also an exciting prospect. This has been a long time coming for both actors, and they seem to have taken their role reprisals very seriously. As a matter of fact, they both found great ways to prepare for their roles, which fans are sure to appreciate.

What makes Obi-Wan Kenobi’s story so unique is that it not only brings in characters and themes from the Prequel Trilogy but also utilizes concepts from the animated shows Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels. Both series have added a considerable amount of content to the canon since the final prequel film, Revenge of the Sith, was released in 2005. That’s why Hayden Christensen opted to binge both programs before he started work on the upcoming live-action show, and it sounds like he found them to be relatively helpful:

It was interesting. They did a lot with these characters in those shows. And they did further explore the relationship. There was interesting stuff there to learn about. It was great fun getting to go back and re-immerse yourself in this world that just continues to grow and become more and more vast.

Clone Wars, in particular, spent a great deal of time further fleshing out the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan. While the films mostly painted them as teacher and student, the animated show (overseen by producer Dave Filoni) drove home the brotherhood aspect of their bond. At this point, there’s been no official indication as to whether Hayden Christensen will also appear as Skywalker though, given the actor’s method of research, I’d say there’s a chance fans could see him play the role in a flashback or two. Regardless, I just admire the star’s diligence.

Ewan McGregor has been just as sharp when it comes to his own preparation. Sure, the actor reunited with his Jedi robes ahead of time and has pretended to be a Force-user in real life, but he did much more than that. Like his co-star, he spoke to EW, explaining that he revisited the prequel films . And of course, he looked to his iconic Obi-Wan predecessor for guidance: 

It was interesting to watch our films because I hadn't seen them since they came out, not at all. So it was cool to see and interesting to watch them and enjoy them without all of the noise that was around when they came out. … I started reading science fiction. Iain M. Banks is a Scottish writer, and I started reading his science-fiction novels. I kind of didn't do it the first [time]. I did absolutely study Alec Guinness and watched the original three Star Wars films when we did the first one, but I didn't really think about the genre. And it's not something I would normally do, but this time I did. I got jazzed about being back in space because I really love it as a movie watcher.

The Scottish actor has previously discussed how his work was influenced by Alec Guinness, who he studied before filming 1999’s The Phantom Menace. When it comes to this new project, the Down with Love alum hopes to maintain the qualities of his Obi-Wan while channeling elements of Guinness’. 

The reunion between Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen is certainly a treat (and apparently even surprised Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy). As special as it’ll be to see them share the screen, the experience should be even more satisfying for fans now that they have a better understanding of how much work the stars put in. In short, we’re here for passionate performers!

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s two-episode premiere hits Disney+ on Friday, May 27.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.