Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ has gotten a release date for May 25th. New interview view Forbes:
17 years since he last played the wise Jedi Master up on the big screen, actor Ewan McGregor will soon breathe new life into his beloved Star Wars character in the highly-anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi series that just announced it will premiere May 25 on Disney+.
I spoke exclusively with McGregor, 50, at Forbes while promoting his new Expedia Super Bowl ad airing this Sunday. When I asked him what he could share right now about his feelings playing Obi-Wan and what it was like suiting back up in his iconic robe once again, he says, “Oh my gosh, well I loved playing him again. I mean it’s quite interesting, after the experience of making the first three films and living through sort of their reception in the world, which wasn’t always glowing, I have to say. And then now, meeting the generation who we made those films for, the children then – and now, people in their late teens or early twenties, those people who were kids who we made those films for, they loved them. To them, they’re their Star Wars films, you know? For us, it was the original films of the ‘70s, but for them, it was our films were their Star Wars. So to step back into his shoes again now and do a series, a whole series about Obi-Wan Kenobi for those fans, it just makes me really happy.”
McGregor was first seen as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), followed by Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and lastly in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). The storyline will continue after Episode III in the form of six brand new episodes on Disney+.
When speaking about the filming process of this new series, McGregor says, “It was a great experience. Deborah Chow directed all the episodes and she’s really good. She directed a couple [episodes] of The Mandalorian and she’s a really great director. She really knows the Star Wars world, inside out, far more than I do (laughs). We just had a great time. I think it’s no secret that Hayden Christensen comes back and we got to play scenes together again as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and it was just fantastic to work with him again. I’m not going to give away anything else about the storyline, only I think it’s really going to satisfy Star Wars fans. I always felt there was a story between Episode III where I finished playing Obi-Wan in the movies and Episode IV where Alec Guinness is Obi-Wan Kenobi. The [Obi-Wan Kenobi series] writers and Deb and I and everyone, I think we crafted or they crafted a very fine storyline. I think people are going to like it.”
In reality, McGregor may not be traveling off to a galaxy far, far away, but he is making exploration a priority in his life today. Most recently, he has teamed up with Expedia to encourage the world to focus their time and money on experiences, rather than on stuff.
McGregor tells me, “I don’t find myself guilty of needing the latest iPhone or needing the latest television. I’ve never really been like that. I love traveling and my hobbies tend to revolve around things that can take me places. I really daydream about trips and I’ve been lucky to ride [my motorcycle] all around the world with my friend Charlie and make documentaries of those trips to inspire other people to maybe do the same thing.”
He goes on to tell me that his mentality with work and business changed when his Netflix limited series Halston (a role in which he won an Emmy for just last year) shutdown in the middle of production in March 2020 when the Covid-19 lockdowns began. With production not starting up again until September 2020, McGregor says that gave him an unusual amount of quality time with his family at home, something that has changed his perspective on where he chooses to dedicate his time most in this current chapter of his life.
“I was lucky to shoot the Star Wars series here in LA, where I live, and so I was able to go home every night and home every weekend. A huge portion of my life has been spent away – away from my family, working in lots of interesting places but also I’ve often spent my weekends sitting in a hotel room on my own. It was a revelation to be off during that time and now me and my family can plan exciting trips once things properly open up again. Spending more time at home and more time doing the things that I love. That’s why I love this [Expedia] commercial at the end. We’ll look back and regret the places we didn’t go or the experiences we didn’t have.”
With McGregor’s newfound outlook on life, he has even found a way to mix family with filmmaking. He goes on to tell me that he just shot a movie that one of his daughters Clara starred in, wrote, and produced. The project allowed McGregor and her to play father and daughter on-screen together, something he recalls as an amazing experience.
With more promising performances on the horizon for McGregor and an elaborate list of past projects admired by moviegoers, I wrapped up our conversation by asking him what thoughts go through his head most these days when he reflects on his decades of making memorable films.
“Just how lucky I’ve been,” McGregor reveals. “I really have been involved in some lovely projects and there’s sort of wonder to it. I like films like Big Fish and Moulin Rouge – they’re sort of dreamers films, you know? They’re big, proper movies that tell great stories and with really great people. To get to play for a living, I count my lucky stars every day – I love it! I’m so happy with all of the work I’ve been able to do. There’s no favorites for me. They’re all stepping stones, they’re all important, they all taught me one thing or another.”