Besides James Arnold Taylor, who has been the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in many a film and game in the Star Wars franchise, the face of the beloved Jedi and teacher has always been synonymous to Ewan McGregor.
It’s no wonder that McGregor’s teasing that he would be open to becoming part of the Star Wars franchise again in some way has always been met with excitement and hope in the fandom. However, during auditions, if one person didn’t intervene, there’s a fifty per cent chance that Obi-Wan could’ve been portrayed by a different actor.
Speaking to The Wrap, actor Joseph Fiennes shared an audition story that actually involved vying for the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi. It had already gone well, so well in fact, that the choice was down to just him and another actor (we all know who this is).
“I auditioned for a great director. It was whittled down after many auditions to myself and another fine actor who I was at that time at drama school with.”
Narrating his experience, Fiennes revealed that he got to as far as moving up to audition directly to George Lucas and casting director Robin Gurland. After that, he was introduced to Lucas’s daughter as “quite possibly” the actor for Obi-Wan Kenobi. The next words were both epic and sad (for Fiennes, at least) at the same time:
“His daughter turned around and said ‘I don’t like this guy. He’s weird. I don’t like him.’ And that’s how my audition went.”
Fiennes did get to star in a lot of other roles after that, with his current involvement being with The Handmaid’s Tale. And despite the drawbacks of the prequel trilogy, one of the things that made it great was McGregor’s portrayal, so we’re all still happy. Perhaps even more if McGregor’s call for a spin-off movie gets approved.
For now, we can look forward to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will arrive in theaters on Dec. 15.