LOS ANGELES: Fifteen years after her last role as a Jedi Knight, Ewan McGregor has learned the lessons of age and experience to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, a new Star Wars series.
When it was released in 1999, “Ghost Threat”, a new episode of the saga, which fans long mourned after the initial trilogy, aroused great enthusiasm. But the film disappointed many with its often-agreed dialogues, intricate political and spatial intrigue, and senseless Jar Jar Binks.
For Ewan McGregor, who took on the cult role of Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Alec Guinness at the time, the experience was painful.
“One of the difficulties for me in these prequels is that they didn’t seem to be well received when they came out,” the actor told a news conference. Virtual press organized for the presentation of the Disney + series.
“Since there were no social networks, there was no direct contact with fans at that time. And the fans were children, “he said.
But in retrospect, Ewan McGregor was able to see that the trilogy in which he participated, found favor in the eyes of fans of “Star Wars”, especially the youngest.
“I think it reconciled me a bit with these films, as well as with my experience in the Star Wars universe,” the actor explained.
Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, who co-starred with Anakin Skywalker, returned to a six-part mini-series chronologically unfolding between prequel events and the first Star Wars film, released in 1977.
In particular, Obi-Wan Kenobi unfolds decades after the tragic end of Revenge of the Sith, where the evil Emperor Palpatine seizes power and turns Kenobi’s young student into the Dark Side, who becomes the sinister Darth Vader.
The Jedi Knight, played by McGregor, leads a gloomy and frustrated life in the Tatooine Desert.
“For ten years, Obi-Wan has been in hiding, unable to communicate with any of his former comrades, and he is truly isolated,” says the actor.
“He cannot use the Force. So somehow he lost faith. It’s as if someone has departed from his religion … The only responsibility he has left from his past life is to follow Luke Skywalker, “he said.
Kenobi will not be bored for long as he fights the Inquisitors, monstrous villains whom the Empire has commissioned to exterminate several Jedi survivors.
Inspired by Alec Guinness
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is the result of Disney’s recent decision to transfer the extremely rich and lucrative universe of “Star Wars” from movies to television.
The saga is set to play a central role in the commercial strategy of Disney +, an on-demand video platform launched by the world’s number one entertainment company.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” will soon be followed by the series “Andor”, a prequel to the movie “Rogue One”, then a new season of the successful “Mandalorets”.
Other Star Wars series are in the works, including Asoka and Novice.
On the other hand, Disney decided to abandon the films after the disappointing performance of “Solo” in 2018. The most conservative fans did not appreciate how the young actor changed Harrisson Ford in the role of a symbolic smuggler of “space”.
Lucasfilm chairman Kathleen Kennedy admitted that looking back was a bad idea.
To avoid such a reaction, the series “Mandalorets” preferred to use advanced technology to artificially rejuvenate the stars of original films, even to create digital avatars with a computer of the now deceased actors.
That doesn’t stop Juan McGregor from following in the footsteps of Alec Guinness, a star he says continues to inspire.
“Now that I’m approaching the age of Alec Guinness, it’s getting interesting… my Obi-Wan is a little closer to him,” says the 51-year-old actor.
“It’s all from Alec Guinness. He always had that mischievous gleam in his eyes … the twinkle of his eyes. I always try to think about him, to smell him nearby, to hear him say his text,” he explains.
The first two series of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will be available on Disney + from May 27.