Ewan McGregor Struggled To Get Back Obi-Wan Voice Ahead Of Kenobi Show

Ewan McGregor struggled to re-learn his Obi-Wan Kenobi voice ahead of Disney+’s upcoming Star Wars series. 22 years after Alec Guinness made Ben aka Obi-Wan Kenobi famous in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, McGregor (whose uncle played Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy) made his debut as a young version of the character in The Phantom Menace. He would go on to portray the legendary Jedi Master in George Lucas’ subsequent prequels, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Director Deborah Chow’s upcoming series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, is set 10 years after its titular character left his fallen apprentice, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), for dead in Revenge of the Sith. It follows Obi-Wan during his time in exile as “Ben" on Tatooine as he watches over Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) — a situation that is complicated by Vader’s band of Inquisitors dispatched to exterminate any Jedi who managed to survive Order 66. In addition to McGregor's Obi-Wan and Christensen's Anakin/Vader, the limited series also stars Joel Edgerton's Owen Lars, Bonnie Piesse's Beru, Rupert Friend, Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Benny Safdie, Sung Kang, Indira Varma. That said, it’s been 17 years since the series’ main character said, “Hello there!”

Related: Star Wars: Obi-Wan's Mistakes With Anakin Made His Fall Inevitable

In a recent interview with On Demand Entertainment, McGregor discussed his screen test for Obi-Wan Kenobi on the set of The Mandalorian. While trying to get back in his character’s skin, the actor realized he was out of practice and needed to go do his homework before production began. Read the full quote below:

"When we came to do the actual scenes, I totally didn't have his voice. I was just doing this vague, English voice, it sounded like a sort of school teacher or something. But it sadly didn't sound like Alec Guinness, and it didn’t sound like Obi-Wan. It just had been so long, I didn't have it. But it was quite good that we got to do it and I got to realize that then (laughs). Seven months later, when we came to start shooting, I had done my homework and I'd listened to a lot of Alec Guinness, and now he's back."

In addition to proving himself a formidable performer thanks to films like 1996's Trainspotting, one of the reasons McGregor was cast as Obi-Wan decades ago is because of his resemblance to Guinness, which McGregor took in stride. The actor has talked in the past about how he studied Guinness’ voice and mannerisms in the original Star Wars trilogy to inform his performance. Amid a gargantuan amount of pressure, McGregor managed to produce much more than an impression, making the role his own and equally iconic. While he’s lent his voice to The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi marks the first time McGregor has embodied his Jedi Master since Revenge of the Sith.

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s most recent trailer shows Obi-Wan telling Uncle Owen, “when the time comes, he must be trained.” Based on that line alone, it’s safe to say McGregor’s voice in the series will sound even closer to Guinness’ in the original films. Studying his predecessor’s performance and watching the entire Skywalker saga in preparation for Obi-Wan Kenobi was no doubt a nostalgic experience for McGregor. Despite his Obi-Wan being the definitive version to those who grew up with the prequels, Star Wars fans are sure to appreciate his due diligence and respect for continuity when Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres its first two episodes on Disney+ on May 27.

More: Obi-Wan & Vader's Duel In Kenobi Will Change Star Wars Canon In 4 Ways

Source: On Demand Entertainment/YouTube

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Josh Plainse (1030 Articles Published)

Josh Plainse is a writer, movie, and television fanatic based out of Wisconsin. Josh works for Screen Rant covering the latest in entertainment while simultaneously pursuing the never-ending dream of becoming an established novelist, screenwriter, and/or decent human being. Josh would accredit characters such as Goku, Han Solo, Simba, and Maximus Decimus Meridius for instilling within him an affinity for storytelling. It is this incessant obsession which has propelled him to seek opportunities that inform, entertain, and inspire others.

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