In a new cover story published by The Hollywood Reporter, Ewan McGregor admits it was hard watching his “Star Wars” prequels be released to poor reviews from critics and outrage from certain corners of the franchise’s vocal fandom. “That was quite difficult,” the actor said. “They were universally not very much liked.” McGregor is reprising Obi-Wan Kenobi for the eponymous Disney+ series, but will the show be greeted with more open arms when it debuts? It’s too early to tell, of course, but McGregor says “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is already better than the prequels in one department: Production.
As he has said in the past, McGregor reiterated to THR the nightmare experience of acting opposite VFX blue-screens during the production of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. Lucas relied on CGI more and more with each installment, so much so that physical sets and backdrops were replaced entirely by blue-screens by the time filming was underway on “Revenge of the Sith.”
“He wanted more and more control over what we see in the background,” McGregor said. “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.”
Updates in technology will make the filming of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” a less tedious experience for the actor. As is the case on Disney+’s “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will be filmed using the virtual reality StageCraft technology developed by Jon Favreau and VFX artist Rob Legato. Instead of acting against blue-screen backdrops, performs work on a set backed by a massive LED screen that projects photorealistic environments.
“If you’re in a desert, you’re standing in the middle of a desert,” McGregor said of the technology. “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.”
All episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” are being helmed by Deborah Chow, who directed two fan-favorite installments of “The Mandalorian.” The series will not debut until 2022 at the earliest.