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How Ewan McGregor Ended Up in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’


It was rumored as far back as 2013, before the seventh “Star Wars” even had a title, that Ewan McGregor would reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in “The Force Awakens.” He did, of course, if only in a brief voiceover which, it turns out, was very last-minute.

“I was literally emailed by J.J. Abrams. I don’t know how he got my email, but he emailed me out of the blue weeks before the film came out,” McGregor recalled to Collider. “Like really, weeks, saying, ‘I really feel like you should be involved somehow. It feels right that you’re a part of it in some way, and there’s a scene where Rey is in this sort of dream land and I want to hear Alec Guinness — I want to hear Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice speaking to her.’ So I replied saying, ‘I’ve been waiting for the call.’

“I was happy to go in,” he continued. “So I got a chance to go — I was editing a film I directed just here, and I jumped on my motorbike after the edit was finished, rode over to their lot and met J.J. for the first time and he took me in.”

By last summer the persistent Obi-Wan rumors had grown to purported plans for an Obi-Wan trilogy, which probably won’t happen (although, hey, there’s always the possibility of a standalone film). That said, McGregor indicated last year that he’d be happy to don the Jedi robes again.


  • dekko

    I’d love an Obi-Wan trilogy. I just want to see the moment when he decides that the best way to not let anyone know that he’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is to take the name “Ben Kenobi…”

  • jeff_14

    He probably wore glasses most of the time like Clark Kent.

  • Federico Tedeschi

    It should be a comedy.

    – Hey, are you Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi Master, Hero of the Clone Wars, and traitor of the Empire?
    – Who, me? No… I’m- I’m… Ben! Ben Kenobi. His Tatooine cousin. *His stress Force-turns his lightsaber on* Oh, shit…
    – How come I’ve never seen you around?
    – I… Uh… I was sewing this beautiful robe *he shows the robe*
    – Hey! That’s a Jedi Master robe! And that’s a lightsaber!
    – *Obi-Wan swings his lightsaber and kills the thug* Boring coversation anyway…

  • LogicalLeopard

    Actually, I’d love that 100 times more than a Han Solo movie. How they passed up on that, when you have Ewan McGregor floating around and vibrant is kind of odd. Unless he just said he was never going to do it. *shrugs* Plus, you have Liam Neeson and Hayden Christiansen floating around, in case they wanted to do some stuff from Obi Wan’s childhood or the Clone Wars.
    But you know what, about the whole Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi thing, I think that it was less of a problem than people think. We don’t know how common the name Kenobi is. Could be like Smith in some parts. And I get the impression that most people don’t really know who the Jedi are individually, or will ever get a visit from them, unless they live on Coruscant. Out in the outer rim, in places like Tatooine, Obi-Wan probably wouldn’t have had to even change his name in the first place. Who knows or cares about the Jedi, the Clone Wars, or anything there?