Ewan McGregor Says Darth Vader Scared the Sh-t Out of Him

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The upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ brings back Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader and the Dark Lord of the Sith frightened star Ewan McGregor. While McGregor and Christensen worked closely together on the Star Wars prequel trilogy, that was when Christensen played Anakin Skywalker. MacGregor’s Obi-Wan never came face-to-face with Vader. That changed on the set of the Disney+ series, and the experience left an impression on McGregor.

“I’ve never met Darth Vader,” McGregor tells Total Film, which features the star as Kenobi on its latest cover. “I had rehearsed the scene with Vader, but not with the helmet on or anything like that. When we came to do the scene, when they shouted ‘action’, he had to come from behind me. I turned around, and fucking Darth Vader was coming at me. It was like I was six again. I’d never acted into Vader’s helmet. I’d never looked him in the eye.

“It scared the shit out of me,” he continues. “I’m not joking. It gave me a proper jolt of absolute fear. I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not acting. That’s real. I’m really, truly frightened right now.’ And the same thing would happen with the Stormtroopers. I’d worked with Clone troopers before, but so many of them were CGI. I never worked with Stormtroopers, and, again, I was like seven years old again. Because when you’re actually faced with a Stormtrooper, with a blaster, it’s like: ‘Fucking hell.’

“It’s like actual childhood memories of being scared. That’s how deeply it’s in us. I’ve acted for 30 years, and I’ve never been genuinely frightened when I’m acting frightened… But I had moments on this that were genuinely quite scary. It’s so funny.”

Director Deborah Chow had a similar reaction to seeing Vader. “There was a moment of silence, collectively, when he first came onto set,” Chow says. “Just having Vader standing in front of you is a crazy thing. It’s an amazing thing, but it’s very intense when you first start doing it.”

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Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy previously discussed how exciting it was getting McGregor and Christensen back together. “The thing that was most exciting was being on the set and watching the two of them get excited,” Kennedy told Empire Magazine. “They hadn’t seen one another in a long time. I was surprised at just how incredibly emotional it was for each of them to find themselves back in these roles, and just realizing how important Star Wars was to each of them. It was the beginning of their careers.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ on May 27th.

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