Ewan McGregor reveals he got to choose the hilt of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber for Star Wars. McGregor made his debut as the famed Jedi in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, an experience the actor has been reflecting greatly upon leading up to the premiere of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. He’s shared much about the ups and downs of his relationship with Star Wars following the harsh criticism of his prequel Star Wars trilogy, including how he and his friend and Star Wars/Obi-Wan Kenobi co-star Hayden Christensen have now come to embrace it following the new love the trilogy is receiving.
McGregor’s role of portraying a character as infamous as Obi-Wan Kenobi from the original Star Wars trilogy was never meant to be an easy task, but the actor has added his own iconic flairs to the character that has only enhanced his legacy. For one — on the more comedic side — his longer hairstyle in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones coined his Obi-Wan with a “space Jesus” identity, which has become a classic meme amongst viewers. On a more serious note, McGregor’s performance also lended greatly to how he became portrayed in the beloved animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, most notably his wit and his sass. From his fighting style with a lightsaber to the jokes he shares with Anakin, McGregor’s Obi-Wan has long since captured the hearts of fans. McGregor has revealed that he’s responsible for yet another iconic part of Obi-Wan: his lightsaber hilt. In a video shared by Star Wars via Twitter, McGregor discusses his memory of arriving to the studio where The Phantom Menace was filmed for the first time. The actor says he was approached by the props-master himself with a large chest full of various lightsaber hilts. McGregor was invited to choose whichever one he liked, and after some careful inspecting and testing, a young McGregor had the opportunity to choose his favorite. The actor describes it as “a moment I’ll never forget” as he held what has now become known as Obi-Wan’s first lightsaber hilt.
Obi-Wan’s lightsaber hilts are undeniably some of Star Wars’ most famous and popular, only following Anakin’s iconic hilt that went on to be used by both Luke and Rey as well as Luke’s Return of the Jedi hilt. The Jedi would go on to use this hilt in both The Phantom Menace as well as Attack of the Clones, until earning the rank of Master led him to build the lightsaber hilt Obi-Wan will be seen using in Obi-Wan Kenobi that was first seen all the way back in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. It’s always encouraging to see how the actors get to be involved in choices regarding their characters, and something as important as a lightsaber hilt with McGregor is no small feat.
Star Wars viewers’ love for the actor has only grown ahead of his return as Obi-Wan in Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is now just over a week away. With the generation who grew up with the prequel Star Wars trilogy now grown up, the hype for the limited series has been immense. It all comes back to McGregor’s first Obi-Wan performance in The Phantom Menace, where he proved just how much he can add to the iconic character. The hard fight the young Jedi apprentice put up against Darth Maul with his chosen hilt remains a fan-favorite to this day, with moves audiences will finally have a chance to see Obi-Wan use again in just a few days. McGregor has contributed greatly to Obi-Wan’s legacy and that of Star Wars as a whole, which only makes his return to the galaxy even more exciting.