Ewan McGregor: It Almost Was A No To Star Wars Role

By November 14, 2016
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Nowadays it’s hard to imagine Star Wars without Ewan McGregor playing the too-good-for-his-own-good Obi-Wan Kenobi. In fact, there are many who said he was one of the few bright spots in that last trilogy series produced directly by George Lucas.

mcgregortrain-inset111416Yet McGregor, who’s returning to his roots with a sequel to his 1996 cult hit Trainspotting, said he almost turned down Lucas flat back in the 1990s.

Why? Well, he told Telegraph Magazine (through Cinema Blend) that it’s simply because he found Star Wars to be too “mainstream” for his tastes.

“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.”

kenobi-inset111416McGregor, who up until that point had appeared primarily in independent films and was not widely known to American audiences, was reportedly initially chosen to read because of his likeness to a young Alec Guinness, the actor who played the older Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. He had been nominated, however, for an Emmy for a guest appearance on ER in 1997, but would lose to Pruitt Taylor Vince in Murder One.

Unlike Guinness, McGregor was a Star Wars fan, even as he appeared in all three of Lucas’ prequel films – a claim only he and co-star Natalie Portman can make of the major live-action actors.

Even though McGregor has been quite busy working since finishing his final Star Wars film in 2005 – including a sequel to Trainspotting that will be released next year – the actor has expressed interest in returning as Obi-Wan in a potential anthology film from Disney. Such a role, according to Cinema Blend, would be helping to close the gap between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

No plans for such a movie have been released. And if so, it’s almost certainly something fans wouldn’t see before 2020.

In the meantime, McGregor will star in the third season of FX’s Fargo, set to debut early next year. T2: Trainspotting hits theaters March 10, a week before McGregor also will appear as Lumiere in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.

Check out the trailer for T2: Trainspotting right here.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.