- McGregor admits it was “annoying” to be asked about playing Obi-Wan Kenobi for almost two decades.
- Despite knowing a project was in the works, he said he “had to lie” to journalists and fans.
- “I’d have to say, ‘Well, you know, I don’t know. I’d be happy to play him one day again,'” he said.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Now that a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor is officially in the works at Disney Plus, the actor says he’s relieved to finally not have to play coy with “Star Wars” fans and journalists anymore.
McGregor played the legendary Jedi master in the “Star Wars” prequels (a role originated by Alec Guinness in 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope”). But since the final release of the prequel trilogy, 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith,” the actor has been peppered with constant questions about whether he’d ever play the character again.
“That was annoying,” McGregor told “CBS Sunday Morning.” “Every interview I ever did for, you know, years, people would say, ‘Well, are the rumors true?’ And I’d have to sort of, I’d have to lie. I’d have to say, ‘Well, you know, I don’t know. I’d be happy to play him one day again.'”
“It started looking like I was sort of asking Disney for a job! Like, every interview I was asked that. ‘Well, I’d be happy to play him again, you know,’ and it was just a way of, like, trying not to be dishonest, but at the same time not telling the truth,” he continued.
However, behind the scenes, a McGregor-led Obi-Wan Kenobi project was in the works and he was fully involved.
In March 2017, McGregor gave his standard “happy to play him” line to Insider when we asked him about reprising the Kenobi role.
“I think they are set going into the 2030s with their movies, but it would be fun to do, of course I’d be happy to do it,” he said at the time.
But in fact, something was definitely in the works by that point.
That summer, The Hollywood Reporter reported that an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie was in development with McGregor returning and filmmaker Stephen Daldry (“The Hours”) directing. However, the disappointing theatrical release of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” made Disney put a pause on “Star Wars” one-off movie plans.
Years later, with the success of “The Mandalorian” series on Disney Plus, the “Kenobi” project found new life as a series for the streamer.
Now, McGregor told “CBS Sunday Morning” it’s nice that “the cat is out the bag” about the upcoming “Star Wars” series and he no longer has to lie about it.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which will be set ten years after “Revenge of the Sith,” began filming last month. Hayden Christensen will also star in the series, reprising his role from “Sith” as Darth Vader.
Also starring are Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Benny Safdie, and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse reprising their roles as Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru from the prequels. A premiere date hasn’t yet been announced.