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Ewan McGregor Reflects On The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Surprised People Love Them

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BY September 11, 2020
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For a thousand generations (read: 15 years), fans who loved Star Wars only had three films to watch and rewatch. Then, in 1999, George Lucas released Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to an audience whose hyped expectations for those films couldn’t possibly be met. Even yours truly, who is Comic Years’ Chief Star Wars Apologist Correspondent, had a tough time accepting the story Lucas wanted to tell versus the story I wanted to see. (It’s a problem still happening in the Star Wars world, but that’s another story.) It seems that one of the series’ stars is aware of this reaction, but also surprised and delighted at how prescient Lucas was. In a new interview, Ewan McGregor looked back at the Star Wars prequel trilogy and realized that they’ve aged very well.

Just like Star Trek, Star Wars is an inherently political story. While the original trilogy was Lucas’s attempt to make a myth for the post-Watergate world, the prequel trilogy was a warning to folks about how that happened in the first place. Fans, eager to see the Jedi in the prime and the stories they only imagined since A New Hope, ended up dismayed by the politics heavy film. (And, of course, Jar Jar Binks.) Yet, Lucas wasn’t making these films for the kids who grew up with Star Wars, but rather for the generations yet to come. And, he was right. Because (especially in light of how many were disappointed by the sequel trilogy) the prequels are now mostly beloved amongst the Star Wars fanbase.

Now, with Ewan McGregor set to return as Obi-Wan in a new Disney+ series, he’s looked back at the prequel trilogy and is surprised at how beloved they are today.

How Wonderful the Mind of a Child Is….

How Many Episodes the Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Will Be Featured Obi-Wan Revenge of the Sith Image via screengrab

The catch-22 about Star Wars is that while fans crave new stories, they also want the films to make them feel exactly like they felt as kids. And that’s a tough needle to thread. With the prequel trilogy, however, George Lucas wanted to do something totally new. So, old-school fans were tough sells on the new films, but kids back then saw those films with the same eyes that the rest of us saw the originals.

While discussing his excitement to return the role, Ewan McGregor talked about how much the prequel trilogy means to the kids who grew up with it.

As Ewan McGregor told Empire about the prequel trilogy:

“You know, our films weren’t much liked when they came out, by my generation who loved the first ones,” he says. “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 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?’”

While the Disney+ series hit bumps in the road, even before COVID, it seems that everyone is committed to making this series happen. Not only does McGregor want to return to the role, he also wants to give the fans more of this character that means so much to them.

What do you think about Ewan McGregor and his part in the prequel trilogy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Featured image via Lucasfilm.

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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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