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Ewan McGregor admits the Star Wars prequels are ‘not Shakespeare’

‘There’s not something to dig into in the dialogue that can satisfy you when there’s no environment there. It was quite hard to do’

Rachel Brodsky
Los Angeles
Wednesday 28 April 2021 22:52
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Ewan McGregor has shared his feelings around working on the Star Wars prequels, where he starred as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The actor, who will reprise his role of Obi-Wan in an upcoming Star Wars programme on Disney+, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that working on the prequel trilogy could at times be “tedious” due to director George Lucas’ use of CGI and bluescreens.

“After three or four months of that, it just gets really tedious – especially when the scenes are ... I don't want to be rude, but it's not Shakespeare,” McGregor said. “There's not something to dig into in the dialogue that can satisfy you when there's no environment there. It was quite hard to do.”

Lucas himself has admitted to not making dialogue a high priority in his films. In 2002, he told The Guardian, “I see film as a visual medium with a musical accompaniment, and dialogue is a raft that goes on with it. I create films that way – very visually – and the dialogue’s not what’s important. I’m one of those people who says, yes, cinema died when they invented sound.”

The prequel films, The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), were famously poorly received when they first came out and generally are not looked kindly upon by Star Wars fans.

In the interview, McGregor also acknowledged that it “was hard they didn't get well received. That was quite difficult. They were universally not very much liked.”

He is, however, “excited” to return to the Star Wars universe as Obi-Wan, telling THR: “I'm really excited about it. Maybe more so than the first ones, because I'm older – I just turned 50 – and I'm just in a much better place."

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