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Ewan McGregor: It Was ‘Difficult’ to Finish ‘Star Wars’ Prequel Trilogy After ‘Phantom Menace’ Bad Reviews

"It was quite difficult for all of us to deal with that, also knowing you’ve got a couple more to do."

"The Phantom Menace"

“The Phantom Menace”

Everett

In a galaxy not so far, far away, Ewan McGregor had more than a few second thoughts about joining the “Star Wars” franchise. The end of the millennium presented McGregor, who described himself as a “sort of urban, grungy, independent film actor” at the time in a new Vanity Fair interview, with the chance to join a genre-defining franchise.

“I felt like I was part of this new wave of British cinema, really, and that ‘Star Wars’ wasn’t me, that’s not what I stood for,” McGregor told the outlet.

The 1999 prequel film “The Phantom Menace” seemed to bring McGregor’s franchise fears to life: It was panned by critics — and McGregor was locked into a trilogy contract to play Obi-Wan Kenobi.

“It was hard because it was such a huge decision to do them, such a big event,” McGregor said. “It was quite difficult for all of us to deal with that, also knowing you’ve got a couple more to do.”

Now, 23 years later, McGregor is playing the epic “Star Wars” Jedi once again for the eponymous Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” premiering May 27. The series is set 10 years after the events of 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith,” which saw Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) turn into Darth Vader.

McGregor noted that returning to “Star Wars” had to “do with growing up” on a personal level. Originally, Lucasfilm set out to make “Obi-Wan Kenobi” a movie, directed by Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry. McGregor was slated to be a producer.

“I just said, ‘I think that it should be a story about a broken man, a man who’s lost his faith,'” McGregor recalled. “He always has a funny line to say or always seems to be calm and is a good warrior or soldier or whatever, but to see that man come apart, and see what gets him back together again — that’s where we started.”

Eventually, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” was crafted into a Disney+ series, following Obi-Wan living in Tatooine and observing a young Luke Skywalker while being hunted by an “Inquisitor” named Reva, played by Moses Ingram. Christensen is also returning as Vader, and series director Deborah Chow revealed that the show will focus on the “love story” between the two opposing forces.

And “Star Wars” has proven to be a cornerstone in McGregor’s personal and professional life. His partner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, is confirmed to be joining the “Star Wars” series “Ahsoka” with Rosario Dawson.

“Our little boy has been born into this massive ‘Star Wars’ family,” McGregor summed up. “He will either embrace it or really go the other way. I don’t know. Maybe he’ll be a Trekkie!”

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