Ewan McGregor has defended the Star Wars prequels, saying he thinks it was “brave” on George Lucas’ part to steer away from the beloved originals in the films.
The Scottish actor, 51, starred in the prequel trio The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack Of The Clones (2002) and Revenge Of The Sith (2005) alongside the likes of Liam Neeson, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman.
Even though Apparently destined for success like the original trilogy, they are the most critically acclaimed film in the franchise and have been teasing jokes in the Star Wars fan base for years.
Support: Ewan McGregor (pictured speaking at the GQ Summit) has defended the Star Wars prequels, saying he thinks it was “brave” of George Lucas to stray from the originals
But Ewan, who starred as Obi Wan Kenobi and returned to the franchise for a Disney+ series this year, has defended the controversial prequels and said he’s grown to love them over the years.
speaking at the GQ Heroes Annual Summit in collaboration with BMW at the Soho Farmhouse on Thursday, Ewan said he found it “brave” for director George, who helmed the original trilogy, to do something “different with the prequels.”
He also admitted that his own relationship with the films has changed over the years and said he’s fallen in love with them after hearing positive reviews from fans.
Speaking to Adam Baidawi, Head of Editorial Content at British GQ and Deputy Global Editorial Director at GQ, Ewan explained: “I think [my relationship to the prequels] has changed for me as I have met more people of this generation.
Defense: But Ewan, who starred in the films as Obi Wan Kenobi, has defended the prequels and said he’s come to love them over the years after hearing from fans of the films
Cast: The Scottish actor, 51, starred in the prequel trio alongside the likes of Liam Neeson, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman
“I admire George [Lucas] because he was trying to do something different with them, he didn’t just want to do three more Star Wars films that felt like the originals, I respected him for that, I think that’s brave and interesting.
Addressing the films’ poor critical reception at the time, Ewan said critics wanted the prequels to take them back to their childhood.
He added, “I think the critics just wanted to feel like a seven or an eight again and they didn’t get that, so that was my choice [reaction] for years and years.’
Ewan isn’t the first actor to defend the controversial prequels, as franchise veteran Mark Hamill, who portrayed the original Luke Skywalker, spoke out in favor of the films last year.
Controversial: Addressing the films’ poor critical reception at the time, Ewan said critics wanted the prequels to be taken back to her childhood and the original trilogy
“I was impressed that the prequels had their own identity,” said Mark, 70, in an interview for film historian JW Rinzler’s posthumously published book, Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life.
He claimed the three prequel films had been criticized over the years, not because they weren’t good, but because they weren’t as digestible as the others.
“They were criticized for being exposure-heavy and more cerebral and probably, as he said in 1976, not as commercial,” he said, as reported by IndieWire.
The actor continued, “It’s a darker story. But in the age of social media, people’s voices are amplified, and I’m shocked at how brutal they can be, not just in the case of Star Wars films, but across the board.”
He is back! This year, Ewan McGregor has assumed his role as the Jedi Master and returns to the epic franchise for the new Disney+ series Obi Wan Kenobi
George Lucas’ ex-wife, Marcia Lucas, is among those who aren’t afraid to share her displeasure with the prequels, which began with Liam Neeson as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and, in the last two installments, as Hayden Christianson Anakin Skywalker starred.
“I cried,” said Marcia Lucas, who was married to George Lucas from 1969 to 1983, after seeing her a showing of Phantom Menace for the first time.
“I cried because I didn’t think it was very good.”
The Star Wars franchise recently returned for a sequel trilogy consisting of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Fan: Ewan isn’t the first actor to defend the prequels, as Mark Hamill (pictured November 2019), who portrayed the original Luke Skywalker, spoke out in favor of the films last year
From the minds of JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy, the latest trilogy brought back original cast members Mark, the late Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, and also starred new faces Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.
And this year, Ewan McGregor has assumed his role as the Jedi Master and returned to the epic franchise for the new Disney+ series Obi Wan Kenobi.
Speaking about returning to the role in May, Ewan admitted he had to relearn Obi-Wan Kenobi’s accent after matching the timbre of the late Sir Alec Guinness, who originated the role in the 1977 Star Wars film .
Ewan said he had to read for two roles with other actors, and they borrowed the set from The Mandalorian on a Sunday when they had the day off.
“I walked into this dressing room, and there was this Obi-Wan-esque costume, you know. I kind of cobbled it together and I put it on and that was kind of stunning after looking in the mirror for 17 years,” he said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Originals: Mark (pictured in A New Hope) said the prequels were criticized not because they weren’t good, but because they weren’t as digestible as the others
“But then I went ahead and started reading with these other actors, and I didn’t have a voice at all. It was really bad. I was just playing that vague English accent and it didn’t sound like Obi-Wan Kenobi at all,” he said.
Chat show host Jimmy joked that the crew was probably wondering, “Who the hell is this guy?”
“They were quite excited as I walked on, I could feel they were quite excited. But then they were very disappointed,” he joked.
The actor, who reunited with Hayden Christensen for the series when he returned to play Darth Vader, said he needs to do some homework to get the familiar accent back.
“I just had to go back and watch a lot of Alec Guinness films and all the original films. I got into it again. It was good, it was really good fun,” he said.
Franchise: The franchise has returned for a sequel trilogy consisting of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
He also confirmed that he performs Jedi-like hand gestures and pretends to be using The Force for his own amusement.
“Yeah, I know, like an automatic door, I can’t help it,” McGregor said, laughing.
‘At the airport or something. You know, airports always have automatic doors. I always do it for myself, but I also hope someone sees me doing it, you know,” he said, breaking down in tears.
Speaking of the new episodes available to stream on Disney+, Ewan said, “I’ve seen them all and I really like them, so I think people won’t be disappointed.”
Ewan McGregor spoke at GQ Heroes in collaboration with BMW at the Soho Farmhouse.
Amusing: Speaking about returning to the Star Wars franchise, Ewan admitted he had to relearn Obi-Wan Kenobi’s accent after matching the late Sir Alec Guinness’ timbre
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