Since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, it’s become clear Star Wars isn’t going anywhere. But following The Rise of Skywalker, the “galaxy far, far away” is taking a step back from the big screen. In the meantime, shows like The Mandalorian keep the saga alive. Even Mark Hamill praised the “wonderful advantage” the Disney+ series has over the movies. Now fans can add Ewan McGregor to the Star Wars alum weighing in on the show.
Ewan McGregor played Obi-Wan Kenobi from 1999 to 2005
From 1999 to 2005, McGregor memorably played Obi-Wan Kenobi. Alec Guinness, of course, previously created the role of Luke Skywalker’s (Hamill) initial Jedi mentor. But when George Lucas launched the Star Wars prequel trilogy, he brought in McGregor as a younger version of the character.
The actor filled the role in all three films, with 2005’s Revenge of the Sith leaving him where the original film picks up many years later. Lucas’ prequels continue to divide fans. Some feel like the director overindulged on CGI and bogged the saga down with trade disputes and wooden lead performances. Others believe his vision transcends these potential issues, choosing to focus on the elements that stand out.
McGregor’s Obi-Wan is often cited among the best performances of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, leaving the actor with an interesting perspective going forward. That’s why it makes total sense Lucasfilm is bringing McGregor back for the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series. After years of rumors, now it’s finally on the way.
‘The Mandalorian’ even had an effect on the ‘Star Wars’ veteran
From 2005 to 2015, Lucasfilm focused on animated Star Wars projects, such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But The Force Awakens and its sequels brought the live-action side back to life. Suddenly, The Mandalorian was restoring much of the fan goodwill some felt was squandered during the prequel and sequel trilogies. And the Disney+ series had a similar effect on McGregor, he told The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal recently.
“[The Mandalorian] is so loved,” McGregor said during an installment of Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “I tell you what it’s done is it’s– for me, because I’ve started doing this Kenobi series, and it’s similar in the technology and what-have-you. But it pulled me back into the Star Wars world, The Mandalorian series, in a way I didn’t expect. I had my experience doing it in the 1990s. And it sort of blew me away how much I loved it.”
The show initial breakout character, of course, was Baby Yoda aka Grogu. As The Mandalorian has gone on, Pascal’s titular bounty hunter has evolved into a fan favorite too. And to McGregor’s point, the show often strikes a balance between what worked in the original trilogy and the modern storytelling tools available now.
Could Ewan McGregor and Pedro Pascal ever share the screen?
Seeing the chemistry between McGregor and Pascal in this video also leans into something fans are hoping for. Although the timeline doesn’t match up, some wonder whether The Mandalorian will cross over into another of the many upcoming Disney+ series set in the Star Wars universe. Could Obi-Wan pop up on the show, for example?
Given the fantastical world of Star Wars, one can never say never. However, Obi-Wan as a character is long dead by the time The Mandalorian is set. Perhaps some time-travel shenanigans — a trick alluded to in the saga’s other media — or a flashback could unite Pascal and McGregor. For now, all fans can do is speculate about what might happen.