Chances are, if you see Ewan McGregor walking down the street, you’d probably recognize him from movies like Trainspotting and Down With Love, but most likely from Star Wars Episodes I-III. As astonishing as it sounds, the now 45-year-old Scottish actor nearly passed on the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. With Sir Alec Guinness playing the role of Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope, it was needless to say that McGregor had pretty large shoes to fill in The Phantom Menace, the first Star Wars film to be released in 16 years after Return of the Jedi.
The Moulin Rogue! star talks to Telegraph Magazine (via Female First) about his thoughts on being in the 1999 Star Wars, one of the movie franchises he loved as a kid and his reluctance going into the film based on his feelings about his previous roles.
“Star Wars is Star Wars, it’s something I grew up with as a kid. At first, I was very reluctant to do it, because I saw myself as this urban, grungy actor doing films about heroin and stuff, and that’s who I felt like I really was. But the nearer I got to it, the more I wanted to do it: and it wasn’t for money reasons, because it was back in the day I got paid nicely for it, but it wasn’t ridiculous by any means. It was to do with being in it and it didn’t feel like Hollywood. George Lucas hated Hollywood he was in San Francisco following the beat of his own drum.”
With McGregor doing such a fantastic role in the Star Wars prequels, it’s no surprise that some fans are clamoring for him to reprise his role in an Obi-Wan trilogy. Hopefully if those films are ever set in motion, he won’t hesitate to jump back into the universe as the wise Jedi Master.