Ewan McGregor rewatched the Star Wars prequels before "Obi-Wan Kenobi"

The actor weighs in on the prequel legacy and his real-life connection to the original trilogy

By Daniel Roman

Published May 12, 2022 3:30PM (EDT)

Ewan McGregor in "Obi-Wan Kenobi" (Lucasfilm/Disney)
Ewan McGregor in "Obi-Wan Kenobi" (Lucasfilm/Disney)

This story originally appeared on Winter is Coming.

We're less than a month out from "Obi-Wan Kenobi," the next Star Wars series to stream on Disney+. Though Disney has put out plenty of Star Wars content since it acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, this one feels extra special. The six-part limited series will see Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen reprise their roles as Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader from the prequel trilogy, and will feature other familiar faces like Joel Edgerton as Uncle Owen and Bonnie Piesse as Aunt Beru. Composer John Williams even made a rare jump from movies to television to write the main theme.

Appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," McGregor revealed that in order to get back in the headspace to portray Jedi Master Obi-Wan he revisited the Star Wars prequel trilogy. "I watched all of them to prepare for this because the last one I did, we shot Episode III in Sydney, Australia, in 2003, I think," the actor said. "So it's been quite some time — almost 20 years."

Ewan McGregor reflects on the legacy of the Star Wars prequels

Despite the hype behind "Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi," when the prequel films came out back in the early 2000s they were not well received by all the fans. However, that's not to say the prequels weren't liked, especially among those who were still kids or teenagers when they came out.

"It was tricky at the time. They weren't overwhelmingly embraced by everybody when they came out, our prequels," McGregor said. "It was nice to watch them now knowing that people love them. That the kids who we made them for at the time — they loved those films a lot. It was nice to watch them with that sense."

McGregor has previously said that he "found it quite hard" seeing the negative response to the prequels at the time. But time heals all wounds, and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is leaning pretty heavily into the prequel trilogy mythos; it's a direct continuation of Obi-Wan and Anakin's story from "Revenge of the Sith."

Ewan McGregor's uncle was in the original Star Wars trilogy

Another really fascinating tidbit to come out of the interview is that actor Denis Lawson, who played Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars trilogy, is actually McGregor's uncle.

"I remember standing outside the school, I was five or six, and I was standing outside the school with my brother. And my mom and dad picked us up, and they were taking us to the 'big city' to watch a movie that my uncle Denis was in," McGregor recalled. "So we went and we were so excited to go and see…you know, your uncle in a movie, it was so exciting. And then we sat down there and it was Star Wars. It just sort of blew our minds away."

McGregor called Lawson his acting hero, stating that if he ever felt stuck with something in his own work, his uncle was one of the only people he'd call on the phone to ask for advice. The Force is strong in their family.

The first two episodes of "Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi" hit Disney+ on May 27. After that, the following four episodes will premiere weekly on Wednesdays.

The tie-in novel "Star Wars: Brotherhood" by Mike Chen is out today, which explores how Obi-Wan and Anakin's relationship evolved during the turbulent Clone Wars.


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