To begin with, McGregor is absolutely ready to make a return to the Star Wars franchise. Back in 2015, McGregor was promoting a movie at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and he had expressed his desire about once again playing Obi-Wan. He stated: “I’ll say it publicly, here, now. I’d be happy to do the story between Episode III, that I finished in, and Episode IV that Alec Guinness started in. I think that would be good. Disney should definitely do that.”
We also believe they should.
McGregor said the same thing again to Collider in 2016 about his wish to do an Obi-Wan solo in that period. Collider questioned him if he had talked about it with Lucasfilm or Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and his reply was quite mysterious: “I’m not sure I’m at liberty to say, really, but I’m very interested in doing that. That would be great. Maybe there’s even a trilogy!”
And then there was McGregor’s voice in The Force Awakens. We heard him during Rey’s Force vision at Maz Kanata’s castle. Obi-Wan said, “Rey, these are your first steps.” The first part, Rey was taken from Alec Guinness’ portrayal of Obi-Wan in A New Hope, and the rest is all McGregor.
Therefore, McGregor has already been back to the Star Wars universe, and he is prepared to portray Obi-Wan once again. He might have discussed the subject with Lucasfilm as well. There are compelling reasons for him to play the weird old wizard called Ben Kenobi. However, they are not the only stakeholders.
McGregor’s age is perfect to play an aged and more weather-beaten Obi-Wan. More than 12 years have gone since Revenge of the Sith came out, and there was a gap of nearly 19 years between Episode III and IV. A great deal has been said about how quickly Obi-Wan aged during that period and McGregor transformed into Guinness (you must know that desert environment isn’t great on the body), however, if they base the movie about five years or so into the self-chosen exile of Obi-Wan, then it would be apt.
Besides being in the right age bracket to play the role with conviction, McGregor also understands the character. He has played Obi-Wan in three movies. He has portrayed different stages of the character’s life. McGregor used to be a young and keen learner when he was taught by Qui-Gon Jinn, he became a hesitant teacher and guide to Anakin, and then he was seen as the assured and matured Jedi. It is quite obvious for him to take up the role and introduce Obi-Wan to the hermit phase of his life.
And also, McGregor was one of the best things about the prequels. He took dull or idiotic dialogs and nailed them. He brought a peculiar energy to Obi-Wan’s lines and often laced his scenes with a humorous tone. He was capable of surprising you with the way he said dialogs such as “You were the Chosen One.” Simply recalling McGregor’s intensity is enough to make one teary-eyed with nostalgia.
Just think about what all McGregor is capable of doing with a brooding and bored Obi-Wan who is just trying to control his urge to jump into the battle and trying to stay unnoticed and unheard. He can own it. Also, it would mean that he will have to keep his beard again and that’s superb too.