As statements of intent go, this is a strong one. Speaking with the Empire Podcast, Ewan McGregor – on the promotional circuit discussing his long-awaited return to the road in Long Way Up – talk turned to the Disney Plus Kenobi series, and McGregor was very clear describing how he feels about returning to the role.
McGregor also spoke of his excitement about returning to the role of Obi-Wan in the near-future, in a series that he says is “a long time coming”. McGregor last played Obi-Wan in 2005’s Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith, and in the intervening years his desire to reprise the role has grown. “I’m more excited about doing this one than I was doing the second and third one that we did before,” he tells Empire. “I’m just excited about working with Deborah Chow [director, who also directed episodes of The Mandalorian], and the storylines are going to be really good I think. I’m just excited to play him again. It’s been long enough since I played him before.”
While the Prequel Trilogy wasn’t initially beloved by all, McGregor is aware of the increasing appreciation found for Episodes I to III in the Star Wars fan community. “You know, our films weren’t much liked when they came out, by my generation who loved the first ones,” he says. “I think people of our generation wanted to feel the way they’d felt when they saw those first three movies when they were kids, and George [Lucas] wanted to take our ones in a different direction, he had a different idea. It was tricky at the time, I remember. But now, all these years later, I’m really aware of what our films meant to the generation they were made for, the children of that time. They really like them. I’ve met people who, they mean a lot to them, those films, more so than the original three, and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding?’”
As well as getting the chance to work with Chow, McGregor spoke about looking forward to a very different kind of Star Wars production process – with the series expected to shoot on The Volume, the innovative high-resolution video wall technology used extensively in The Mandalorian. “The first three [Star Wars films] I did were really at the very beginning of digital photography,” the actor recalls. “We had a camera with an umbilical cord to a tent, it was like back to the beginning of movies where the camera didn’t move very much because there was so much hardware attached to it. Now we’re going to be able to really create stuff without swathes of green-screen and blue-screen, which becomes very tedious for the actor.”
2021 is shaping up to be a very good year for Star Wars, and we’ll be discussing this on the next episode of Making Tracks.