Ewan McGregor Had to Relearn His Obi-Wan Kenobi Voice

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Ewan McGregor had almost forgotten how to say “hello there!” 17 years after he powered down his lightsaber in 2005’s Star Wars — Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, McGregor returns to the galaxy far, far away in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though he channeled the Force to make voice cameos in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, reaching out to Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley), the Disney+ limited series is McGregor’s first time physically portraying the Jedi Master since the conclusion to the Star Wars prequels trilogy nearly two decades ago.

And like Obi-Wan — who has spent the decade after Revenge of the Sith retired, the exiled Jedi watching over a young Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) — McGregor was out of practice when he donned the robes to film a screen test on the set of The Mandalorian.

“When we came to do the actual scenes, I totally didn’t have his voice,” McGregor laughed in an interview with On Demand Entertainment. “I was just doing this vague, English voice, it sounded like a sort of school teacher or something. But it sadly didn’t sound like Alec Guinness, and it didn’t sound like Obi-Wan.”

Now playing an Obi-Wan closer in age to Guinness’ sage hermit Jedi in A New Hope, McGregor studied his predecessor’s performance to relearn how to talk like Obi-Wan.

“It just had been so long, I didn’t have it,” McGregor said. “But it was quite good that we got to do it and I got to realize that then (laughs). Seven months later, when we came to start shooting, I had done my homework and I’d listened to a lot of Alec Guinness, and now he’s back.”

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In Obi-Wan Kenobi, the story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Starring Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Rupert Friend, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Indira Varma, Sung Kang, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Benny Safdie, Kumail Nanjiani, and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres with two episodes Friday, May 27, on Disney+. New episodes will air on Wednesdays beginning June 1.

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