Ewan McGregor Says First Time on Camera with the Lightsaber was Nerve-Racking

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Ewan McGregor reprises his role as Obi-Wen Kenobi in the new Disney+ series 16 years after STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH. McGregor admits he was nervous when it came time to shoot with the lightsaber on set, and he had forgotten how to speak like Obi-Wan the first time he donned the cloak.

No one can blame McGregor for not immediately slipping into Obi-Wan’s shoes since it’s been more than a decade. During a press conference for the Disney+ series, the actor admits he had no problem picking up the lightsaber during the 4-month long training but when it came to shooting the fight scenes, he had butterflies in his stomach.

Below he describes that feeling, while also working in an entirely different production environment since Episode III when he walked onto the same set used in The Mandalorian.

McGregor: I’d never worked on the Stagecraft set before and it’s just such a game-changer for us. The experience of the first three, especially Episode II and III, there's so much blue screen and green screen, and it's just hard. It's very hard to make something believable when there's nothing there, you know? And here we were in this amazing set where if you're shooting in the desert everywhere, you look it's the desert, and if you're flying through space, then you know, the stars are flying past you as you scat along. It's so cool. So I couldn't pick one out really. I mean, the fight scenes are always something extra when you're doing something like this, because they just require such a lot of preparation. And there's a sort of real nervousness about when you walk on set, to do a fight that you've been learning and training for months. There's a sort of real, your stomach gets really nervous, you know, cuz you want to do it the best you can. And sometimes you're shooting them for, two, three days in a row. And it requires an enormous amount of stamina, which is also why getting fit beforehand was really important cuz so we could sort of maintain that, but ...

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Getting back into character required some additional homework for McGregor. When he donned the costume for the first time before production began, he realized he had lost the character’s voice. Below he describes what happened the first time he inhabited the character again.

McGregor: That was the first thing I did. As Obi-Wan again since, you know, 2003. So I arrived, we borrowed a bit of the Mandalorian stage on a Sunday when they were off and some of their crew. And I walked into the dressing room and there was a sort of Obi-Wan--ish costume hanging up in the wardrobe, the Mandalorian's wardrobe department had put together and putting that on was just really crazy after all that time. But then walking out onto the set was crazy, cuz there's so many Star Wars fans in this crew,, which was a new experience for me. So there was a sort of buzz about Obi-Wan walking back on stage, you know, but then when we came to do this, the actual scenes with these other actors, I was ...I just did...I was doing sort of a vague English accent and it was not, wasn't really Obi-Wan-'s voice at all. And I was like, 'oh dear, it's not, that's not very good.' So, you know, luckily we had months before we actually started shooting. So I went back and did some homework with Alec Guinness and what I'd done before in the original films. But those, I think were the two things, but playing him felt totally like he'd always been there ready to come out any minute, but just his voice needed a bit of work.
So it was back to the drawing board for the actor but the assignment was a bit different this time around, says McGregor. The older Obi-Wan is now much closer in age when Guinness played Obi-Wan so McGregor felt it would be appropriate to match that tone.


The Obi-Wan Kenobi 6-episode series is now streaming on Disney+ with the first two episodes, and a new episode every Friday.

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