The Knight is Young

A new Star Wars… and a new Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ewan McGregor steps into the Jedi robes, to play a younger, more impetuous Knight.
By Jean Cummings

selected from Starburst #252

Ewan McGregor has had one ambition since he left home at age 16 to pursue his dream: “To be an actor, not a star”. Until now, he’s done just that. He’s appeared on stage in his native Scotland, on television and on film opposite Gwyneth Paltrow (Emma) and Cameron Diaz (A Life Less Ordinary).

Ewan McGregor steps into the Jedi robesHowever, despite his disclaimer of becoming a star, Ewan’s stature has been changed forever, both professionally and privately. He is Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. After making his British TV début in 1993, the handsome young actor has worked at a breakneck pace doing both television and films. When quizzed about his work ethic, he makes no secret of the fact that he may well be a workaholic.

“I just like my work,” he says without hesitation. “I just love working, you know? I didn’t get into this, nor should I say, I didn’t become an actor not to work. I didn’t become an actor to become a star.

"I’ve always been quite arrogant about that, and I’m very lucky. I mean, I realize that every day but I’m still very passionate about what I do."

Of course, McGregor’s been signed by writer/director George Lucas for what is guaranteed to be two additional Star Wars films, and in each he’ll be portraying a character made legendary by an actor of world-wide stature, Alec Guinness. This is not something young Ewan’s ignored.

”I was six when I saw the first Star Wars and Alec has become a legend for that part, for playing in really only half of the movie,” the actor exclaims. “He’s really only in half of it and I was blown away by seeing the film the first time when I was that age.

“I mean, it’s a great age to see it, and then becoming him, that was the challenge. That was one of the most interesting things about playing the part was to try and track back from a guy we know as an older man. To try and see what he might be like as a younger man without doing an impersonation of him... "

All Star Wars images © Lucasfilm
Read the full range of Star Wars Interviews when you get
Starburst issues 252, 251 and Special #40

Also available: our Movie Idols poster magazine devoted to Ewan McGregor
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