Ewan McGregor says filming the ‘Star Wars’ prequels could be ‘tedious’: ‘I don’t want to be rude, but it’s not Shakespeare’

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Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ Lucasfilm
  • Ewan McGregor starred in all three “Star Wars” prequel films.
  • He told The Hollywood Reporter that the films were “tedious” to make thanks to extensive CGI work.
  • He also criticized George Lucas’ dialogue: “I don’t want to be rude, but it’s not Shakespeare.”
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Ewan McGregor has reassured fans that his upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi “Star Wars” spin-off series will be more realistic than the “Star Wars” prequels, which he says he found difficult to film because of George Lucas’ liberal use of CGI and bluescreens.

In contrast to the original and beloved “Star Wars” trilogy, the prequel films – “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” and “Revenge of the Sith” – which were all written and directed by George Lucas, were universally panned by critics and inspired intense backlash from fans who criticized the film’s storylines, dialogue, and the introduction of Jar Jar Binks, one of the most loathed fictional characters ever created.

“George loves technology and loves pushing into that realm,” McGregor told The Hollywood Reporter of Lucas’ reliance on CGI technology. “He wanted more and more control over what we see in the background. After three or four months of that, it just gets really tedious – especially when the scenes are … I don’t want to be rude, but it’s not Shakespeare. There’s not something to dig into in the dialogue that can satisfy you when there’s no environment there. It was quite hard to do.”

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Ewan McGregor and George Lucas at the UK Premiere of ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith.’ Gareth Davies/Getty Images

McGregor said that he found it “difficult” when the prequels films were not well received by fans but he is eager to return to the “Star Wars ” universe.

“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “Maybe more so than the first ones, because I’m older – I just turned 50 – and I’m just in a much better place.”

He continued to say that there will be no issues with excessive bluescreens or CGI on the production of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which is currently slated for a 2022 release on Disney Plus, because the directors will be using a new production process called StageCraft. The process was developed by Jon Favreau, creator of “The Mandalorian” and allows real-world environments to be re-created on a set.

“If you’re in a desert, you’re standing in the middle of a desert. If you’re in the snow, you’re surrounded by snow. And if you’re in a cockpit of a starfighter, you’re in space. It’s going to feel so much more real,” McGregor said.

In the past, George Lucas has discussed the backlash against the prequels films and he has always maintained that the films were created to his specific vision. Back in 2002 following the release of “Attack of the Clones,” Lucas told The Guardian that dialogue was not a priority in his films.

“I’ve always been a follower of silent movies. I see film as a visual medium with a musical accompaniment, and dialogue is a raft that goes on with it,” he said.

“I create films that way – very visually – and the dialogue’s not what’s important. I’m one of those people who says, yes, cinema died when they invented sound. The talking-head era of movies is interesting and good, but I’d just like to go to the purer form.”