I mentioned to Thomson that I was trying to guess where McGregor’s career would go next, if Halston and Kenobi suggested different paths or the same. McGregor’s performance in both cases promotes a form of determination in the face of misery, a bastard in time, a youthfulness regardless of the character’s age. “Youth is a big part of him,” Thomson says. “He is very intelligent and capable. I imagine it’s fun to be with him – he gives that feeling. He adds, with a hint of concern: “I don’t know what he will look like when he turns 60.”
“I had a few moments where I thought about doing something and saying ‘There’s no point, I probably don’t have time,'” McGregor says, shaking his head. “Yeah, so that’s weird.”
We end the interview by waving at each other through our computers, with plans to meet after McGregor returns from a press tour in Europe. It must be exhausting, I think as I close my laptop, being nice all the time.
When Kenobi begins, Obi-Wan hides from the motherly vein of midlife crises, even though we don’t really know how old he is. “We never put an exact age,” laughs Deborah Chow, the show’s director. “Around Ewan McGregor-age-ish.” Kenobi is a broken man. Traumatized. Most of his friends are dead and the vocation to which he devoted his life seems to be destroyed. “He’s trying to live a normal little life and he’s lost,” McGregor says. “He carries a lot of grief. He carries a lot of pain. He is tormented by this guilt of having lost Anakin [to ‘the dark side’] and not being able to prevent it from happening. So that’s where he is. And that’s when we started talking about it.
Initially, Kenobi was supposed to be a movie. Five recent star wars the films crossed the billion dollar mark in worldwide release: The Phantom Menace, the force awakens, A thug, The Last Jediand The Rise of Skywalker. But Soloa 2018 spin-off, only made US$390 million – that’s a lot of zeros to add to a disappointment, but it was the first star wars movie to lose money. So the powers that be at Lucasfilm and Disney have steered the franchise towards smaller screens and stories, which has so far given The Mandaloriananime tinted Visionsand Boba Fett’s Bookwith Andor and Ahsoka yet to come.
“I actually love limited series,” Chow says. Before Kenobishe directed two episodes of The Mandalorian. “It’s a great format to do a character story, in a similar way to how they’ve done things like Logan Where Joker, where you take out a character from a major franchise and really get more depth. Obi-Wan is so iconic – everyone loves this character. But there was still so much to explore.