Ewan McGregor says he initially struggled with the idea of becoming part of the Star Wars franchise back in the 1990s as it went against his reputation of being an "urban" actor.
The Trainspotting star was cast as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy; The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
At the time of the release of The Phantom Menace, it received negative reviews from the general public and scathing reviews from Star Wars fanatics, who naturally compared the film to the first trilogy.
McGregor was contracted to two more films after that, and he admits there were points when he didn't want to continue.
“I felt like I was part of this new wave of British cinema, really, and that Star Wars wasn’t me, that’s not what I stood for. I was this sort of urban, grungy, independent film actor," he told Vanity Fair.
“It was hard because it was such a huge decision to do them, such a big event. It was quite difficult for all of us to deal with that, also knowing you’ve got a couple more to do.”
Following the conclusion of the prequel trilogy, McGregor moved on to other projects and it seemed like he had put Star Wars firmly behind him. That was until an invitation to a Star Wars marathon at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood in 2017 when he was asked to introduce one of the prequel movies.
There, he caught the Star Wars bug again.
“They asked me if I would want to introduce one, and I’ve never done anything like that, but suddenly, it just struck me that I really did want to," he admits.
“I really do think it has to do with growing up.”
He was subsequently asked on numerous occasions if he would return to the part, and that finally materialised into an agreement with Disney for the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Where is Obi-Wan Kenobi in the new series?
The show takes place after the events of Revenge of the Sith and sees Obi-Wan looking out for Luke Skywalker from afar. In this time, he must deal with a new foe in the form of the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) as well as, of course, Darth Vader, played by a returning Hayden Christensen.
As for Obi-Wan's mindset at this time in his life, McGregor says we are dealing with a more serious version of the Jedi Knight.
“I just said, ‘I think that it should be a story about a broken man, a man who’s lost his faith,’ ” he explains.
“He always has a funny line to say or always seems to be calm and is a good warrior or soldier or whatever, but to see that man come apart, and see what gets him back together again—that’s where we started.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ on 27 May.
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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
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1999 • 136 minutes
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