Pedro Pascal and Ewan McGregor on ‘Star Wars,’ Then and Now

·3-min read

Sixteen years after “Revenge of the Sith” completed George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequel trilogy, with Ewan McGregor playing Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, the actor has returned to the franchise for the highly anticipated Obi-Wan series on Disney Plus. When McGregor and Pedro Pascal, the star of “The Mandalorian,” talked for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, they compared notes about “Star Wars.”

For one thing, McGregor noted, the prequels relied heavily on CGI. “I did the first three films in the late ’90s and into the 2000s, and by the time you did Episode 2 and 3, literally 90% of the scenes were just on green sets with green floors and green walls, or a blue set with blue sides and blue walls.”

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His “Obi-Wan Kenobi” experience has been entirely different, he said: “I’m excited about it because I feel like anything’s possible now. That you can invent stuff, interiors or exteriors that don’t exist in the real world, and put us into that environment.”

Pascal marveled at the production design of “The Mandalorian” as well, saying, “It’s like being on an amusement park ride.”

He also talked about what drew him to “The Mandalorian,” having come of age as a movie fan — and as a recent immigrant from Chile to the United States — in the age of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg movies. “My father, who’s a doctor but loves going to the movies, would be taking us all the time,” Pascal said. “And so, it kind of dominated my childhood experience, “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” and “E.T.”

Pascal — who said he’ll be back for Season 3 of “The Mandalorian” — described getting to know the show’s braintrust. “The first thing that I noticed when I started meeting with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni was that they were finding a way to totally realize their love of ‘Star Wars,’ all of our love for ‘Star Wars,’” he said. “And so, creatively to step into something, it just felt so safe. It was so clear to me that they knew what they were doing, starting with their heart being in the right place — and doing it with a lot of love.”

“The beautiful thing is that it’s a galaxy far, far away,” McGregor said. “It’s a universe of possibility, really. We’ve got the original movies, the linear nature of those. But I just love that they and you took it into this different direction, into a slightly different tone, but in the same world, you know?”

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is set 10 years after “Revenge of the Sith,” so it will be a different world for McGregor’s character. “I had to walk past two Stormtroopers. I realized I’ve never acted with a Stormtrooper because mine were clones, you know?” he said. “I’d never seen a Stormtrooper. So I was walking past them in this scene. I turned around — and I was 6 years old again.”

Pascal asked, “Doesn’t it do something to you?”

“Insane!” McGregor said. “I was feeling like I was 6 again or something, because I’m so close to one — and I got a fright, you know?”

For more, click here, or watch their full conversation below.

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