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Ewan McGregor Once Thought He Would Never Return To Play Obi-Wan Again

TheThings logo TheThings 8/7/2022 Jen Ong
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Ewan McGregor recently made a return to the Star Wars universe in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. The show also sees the actor reunite onscreen with former Star Wars movie co-star Hayden Christensen. At the same time, it also introduced some Star Wars newcomers, including Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, and Sung Kang.

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As enjoyable as Obi-Wan Kenobi was to fans though, it’s unclear if Disney would be open to pursuing another season for the series. Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped fans from wondering whether McGregor will be back again.

Ewan McGregor Returned To His Iconic Role After Nearly Two Decades

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For a time, it truly seemed that McGregor was done with the Star Wars galaxy. Since starring in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, he has gone to do films such as the critically acclaimed Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Mortdecai, and Birds of Prey.

Not to mention, McGregor also starred in the Oscar-nominated movies August: Osage County, Trainspotting, Christopher Robin, and Beauty and the Beast. And then, back in 2019, McGregor surprised fans when he appeared at the D23 Expo where he was introduced by LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy.

“After secrets and fibs and not being to talk about it, I'm thrilled to bring out a beloved member of the Star Wars family,” Kennedy said onstage as she was joined by McGregor shortly after. The actor then gamely told Kennedy, “Can you please ask me am I going to play Obi-Wan Kenobi again.” And when she did, McGregor simply said, “Yes.”

Admittedly, there was a time when McGregor planned on never returning to Star Wars. After they were received poorly, the actor thought it would be best never to repeat the experience again and move on.

“When they came out, there was a period, a long period of time when it didn't seem that [the prequels] were much liked the prequels, you know, the critics didn't like them,” McGregor recalled.

“And we were sort of left feeling that we'd put all this effort and time into these movies and that the response was pretty much negative, which was very difficult to deal with.”

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But then, years later, McGregor realized that many were embracing his old Star Wars movies more. “Years go by, and then I start feeling that there is this warmth for the prequels. That the audience we made them for, who were kids when they came out, [the movies really] mean something to them and they're important to them. And so I started feeling that,” the actor explained.

“And then I was always asked on social media, if I'd play Obi-Wan Kenobi again. And then I was always asked by journalists, if I would do it again. And I started thinking, ‘Yeah, maybe there is a good story to tell between Revenge of the Sith and [1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope] and that's how [and] why it came about, really.’”

And when McGregor did agree to produce and star in Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was also impressed by how much filming these kinds of stories have changed.

“The more we went through the three movies I made with George [Lucas], the less I was surrounded by anything,” the actor recalled. In contrast, McGregor said the Kenobi set “made us feel like we’re there.” “When you’re in the spaceship, the stars are flying past you, and it feels real.”

Would Ewan McGregor Be Open To Reprising His Role Again After Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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For now, it’s unclear if McGregor will be asked back to the Star Wars universe again although he is hoping that he does. “I really hope we do another,” he said. “If I could do one of these every now and again – I’d just be happy about it.” His desire to play Obi-Wan again may also be technology-driven in some ways.

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“The technology is so different from what it was back in the early 2000s. We’re no longer working in front of blue screens and green screens,” McGregor explained. “We're in the environment. We did a lot of location shooting for this. But also, the new stagecraft sets are just amazing… So if you're in the desert, it feels like you're in the desert. And if you're in space flying your spaceship through space, there is space all around you. It's really quite a game changer for the acting. I just loved it so much.”

And while McGregor may be ready to return to Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi director Deborah Chow confessed that there aren’t any plans for a second season. “For this one, we really did conceive it to be a limited series,” she explained. “It really is one big story with a beginning, middle, and end. So, we weren’t thinking past that.”

Following Obi-Wan Kenobi, McGregor has been hard at work on various upcoming non-Star Wars projects. These include the upcoming Netflix animated film Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. No matter how busy he gets though, it seems McGregor will make the time to play a Jedi once more.


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