As a prominent face of George Lucas’ ill-fated Star Wars prequels, Ewan McGregor still has something of a point to prove. His return as Obi-Wan Kenobi represents a chance to cement a legacy that isn’t quite secure yet, and it’s also afforded an opportunity for him to re-evaluate the prequels.
In a recent interview with Empire, McGregor reflected on how the films were received at the time, saying:
“Our films weren’t much liked when they came out, by my generation who loved the first ones. I think people of our generation wanted to feel the way they’d felt when they saw those first three movies when they were kids, and George [Lucas] wanted to take our ones in a different direction, he had a different idea. It was tricky at the time, I remember. But now, all these years later, I’m really aware of what our films meant to the generation they were made for, the children of that time. They really like them. I’ve met people who, they mean a lot to them, those films, more so than the original three, and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding?’”
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The generation gap McGregor describes is something I can attest to as one of those younger fans growing up with the prequels, as opposed to the original movies. Bizarre as it seemed to adults at the time, the so-called “Star Wars” generation, 90s kids enjoyed them, and for many, that childhood attachment remains strong to this day. Because let’s be clear, no rational adult could watch The Phantom Menace and not melt into the seat in resignation. No rational adult except Roger Ebert at least. 4 freakin’ stars he gave it, out of a total of 4.
Thankfully, however, the untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series (if Disney call it anything other than Kenobi, they’ve gone loopy) can put some of those wrongs right. It’s that rare crowd-pleasing fantasy to have come true, though it’s too bad we’re going to have to wait until 2022 to see it. I mean, we could get through an additional pandemic in that time. Let’s hope we don’t.
If you’ve got any thoughts on McGregor’s prequel comments, or on Obi-Wan, drop them below. In the immediate future there is at least fresh Star Wars material to look forward to. The Mandalorian season 2 is only a few weeks away, after all. That ought to tide us over till the new year, right?