Ewan McGregor returns to a galaxy far, far away for the first time since 2005 — and it’s been just as long since he revisited the Star Wars saga. McGregor starred in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy as Obi-Wan Kenobi, the padawan of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) turned teacher of apprentice Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). Though he made voice cameos in 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, the finale to the Skywalker Saga, McGregor wouldn’t reprise the role in live-action until Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, the limited event series premiering May 27 on Disney+.
“I watched all of them to prepare for this because the last one I did, we shot Episode III in Sydney, Australia in 2003, I think. So it’s been quite some time — almost 20 years,” McGregor said during a virtual appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Admitting he “didn’t do them in one go,” McGregor added it was “really interesting” to rewatch his first turn as the younger version of Alec Guinness’ hermit Jedi in 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
“It was such a huge thing to happen,” the Trainspotting star said of the blockbuster role that would transform his career. “So to go back and watch that movie again was really great fun.”
McGregor reprised his role as the Jedi Knight turned Jedi Master in 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, part of a prequel trilogy not as well-received as the classic original trilogy that starred Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford.
“It was tricky at the time. They weren’t overwhelmingly embraced by everybody when they came out, our prequels,” he said. “It was nice to watch them now knowing that people love them. That the kids who we made them for at the time — they loved those films a lot. It was nice to watch them with that sense.”
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.