Obi-wan Kenobi star Ewan McGregor: ‘It looked like I was touting for work!’

Obi-wan Kenobi
Ewan McGregor as Obi-wan Kenobi. (Image credit: Disney+)

Ewan McGregor says the new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi came about because he kept saying on social media that he wanted to reprise the iconic role he played in the Star Wars prequel movies.

He explained that the series developed out of press junkets where he was constantly asked if he’d ever like to return to Trainspotting and Star Wars. The answers were in the affirmative.

He told Collider: “And then, Disney just asked me to come in one day for a meeting because they kept seeing on social media that I was saying that I would like to play Obi-Wan Kenobi again. It looked like I was touting for work at Disney’s door like, ‘Could you cast me?’

“So, they got me in and asked me if I meant it and I said, ‘Yeah, I would love to play him again. I think there’s got to be a good story between Episode III and Episode IV.’ That’s definitely what we found, after a lengthy process of exploring some different storylines. I think we’ve ended up with a really brilliant story and one that will satisfy the fans, sitting between those two episodes.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi streams on Disney+ from Friday, May 27, and connects the dots between the films Ewan played as a warrior hero and the original films in which Obi-Wan has become the Jedi Master, famously played by Sir Alec Guinness.

It is also a chance for the 51-year-old Scottish star to actually enjoy being in the Star Wars universe, because his films were not actually well received on release in the early 2000s.

He explained that he was a super-fan when the first film, A New Hope, came out in 1977, but it was realising that the children who had grown up with his Star Wars films actually loved them that inspired him to make the new series.

“The Star Wars fans are amazingly passionate. They’re probably some of the strongest fans in the world, for anything. And so, to be able to give them something like this, and to make the Obi-Wan series, which it seems that there’s been a hunger for, for some long time, is really exciting.”

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.