How Ewan McGregor Felt When The Internet Thought Star Wars Might Recast Obi-Wan Kenobi

While the Star Wars prequels have a pretty rough reputation as films, most seem to be in agreement that Ewan McGregor's performance as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of the highlights of that trilogy. This led to a lot of excitement after Disney purchased Lucasfilm and rumors began to spread of McGregor possibly reprising the role. However, there was also talk at various times that the role of Obi-Wan could be recast, and the actor admits that he found such talk humiliating because people thought he might lose the role.

For years it seemed Ewan McGregor couldn't get out of an interview without being asked about possibly playing Obi-Wan Kenobi again, and the actor always had to give a generic response about how he'd love to play the role again, but he knew nothing about whether that might happen or not. We know now that McGregor had been in talks to reprise the role of Obi-Wan basically the entire time. Since the actor couldn't talk about it, it led to speculation that perhaps Disney would actually cast somebody else in the role, which McGregor tells THR he found somewhat humiliating, saying...

I'd see stuff on social media like, 'They better cast Ewan as Obi-Wan,' and I wasn't able to say anything. But it was pretty humiliating to think that [Disney] might be thinking about casting someone else.

The rumors of a film, or possibly even multiple films starring an Obi-Wan Kenobi character between the prequel and original trilogies was one of the earliest rumors we got after Disney started making new Star Wars movies. The rumor kept being repeated so often and came from so many different sources that it seemed all but certain that Disney was planning something with the character, but with Ewan McGregor never able to confirm that he was in talks to return, it seemed from the outside like maybe Disney was moving forward with this idea without him.

We know now that was never the case, the role always belonged to him, but one can certainly understand the frustration from Ewan McGregor as he reads about people suggesting other actors for the role, all because he has to stay silent. And who knows, considering all the changes the Obi-Wan project went through, originally conceived as a film and then shifting to a Disney+ series, perhaps there was even a fear that Disney might end up changing directions so much that they would cast somebody else, though that seems incredibly unlikely.

To be fair, if something insane had happened and Ewan McGregor hadn't been cast in the new Obi-Wan series there would be a lot of angry fans. He's literally right there and the only reason one would not cast him should be if he didn't want the gig, which we know was never the case. Luckily, everything worked out and we will see Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi again. The only problem now is that the show is just too far away.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.