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Ewan McGregor Recalls ‘Hard’ Time After ‘Panned’ ‘Star Wars’ Prequels

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Ewan McGregor got candid during a panel at Sweden’s Gothenburg Film Festival (via Variety) about his reaction to the fierce critical backlash to the Star Wars prequels. McGregor memorably played Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’ follow-up trilogy, and reprised his role for a well-received Disney+ series.

Though they’ve been reevaluated in some circles, critics and fans alike were deeply disappointed with the quality of the prequels upon their initial release. The worst reactions were reserved for the first film, 1999’s The Phantom Menace. McGregor talked about the distinct anxiety of knowing he had to go back and shoot two more sequels after the first installment was universally “panned.”

“When these films came out, they were so disliked,” the Fargo“That was hard,” the actor recalled. “That was hard. We had to make two more films after the first one was panned. It was weird to be in a film that was hammered,” McGregor emphasized.

The remaining films in the series, 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the SithThe prequels did not receive much praise from critics. In recent years, fans who grew up watching the prequel trilogy rather than the original films have voiced their appreciation for Lucas’ movies.

With retrospect, McGregor is “happy that I am this character for a lot of people.” He was able to relax more into the experience of shooting the Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off, knowing that he’s now unambiguously embraced by fans of the series.

“I would love to do the second season,” McGregor enthused, “but there’s no talk of it yet. There is a lot going on at Disney.”

McGregor elaborated on 2022. GQHow his feelings have changed over time. “I think [my relationship to the prequels] has changed for me as I’ve met more people in that generation,” he explained.

“I admire George for having tried to do something different with them. He didn’t make just three. Star WarsI like films that look and feel like the originals. I admired him for this. I thought that was interesting and bold,” he said.

“I think the critics just wanted to feel like they were seven or eight again, and they didn’t get that,” McGregor opined. “So I was left with that [reaction]For years and years [until I started] meeting people, and I realized how important our films have been to them.”


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