Ewan McGregor Reveals Why Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Finale Surprised Him

By Alycia Leach Updated:
Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi

Months after the series premiered on Disney+, Obi-Wan Kenobi star Ewan McGregor, who plays the titular character, reflected on the finale.

In May 2022, the highly anticipated show, Obi-Wan Kenobi, finally began streaming on Disney+. The release followed years of retooling and had been in the works since Disney first bought Lucasfilm in 2012.

The popular Disney+ project had an incredible run and packed several surprises, from Princess Leia's unexpectedly massive role in the series to Qui-Gon Jin's surprise cameo in the show.

Ewan McGregor now opened up about his thoughts on the hit Star Wars show, especially its thrilling conclusion.

Obi-wan Kenobi’s Surprising Final Fight

Ewan McGregor was interviewed alongside his co-star Hayden Christensen for the Disney Studio Awards consideration site. The stars reflected on the final confrontation between their characters, McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen's Darth Vader.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader

When asked about the "transformative moment" in which Obi-Wan and Vader clashed sabers, McGregor commented just how emotional it was to film. This took the actor by surprise in a way he hadn't anticipated:

“Well, like Hayden said, it took us by surprise a bit, I think. In the playing of it, it became quite emotional in a way that I don’t think I had imagined it would be."

He pointed out how the "series and the confrontations" had led up to that moment, with the exiled Jedi finally "getting his strength back" when saving Princess Leia from a rooftop in the show's second episode:

"Obviously… the series is leading up that moment where Obi-Wan has to step back into the ring and has to not only try to step back into the world of the Jedi and to fight… through the series and the confrontations he has, he’s sort of building up to it. You can see him getting his strength back and he has to save Leia when she falls from the top of the rooftop."

Still, while there were "obvious stepping stones," the gravity of the final moment was a "surprise""

"There are obviously stepping stones back but it’s leading to this moment where he has to fight his old Padawan, you know? His best friend. So there’s the emotional side of that and then there’s the physical side of that, and both were a surprise.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

This was despite just how "beautifully realized" the confrontation was. McGregor also praised the talent of fight arranger Jonathan Eusebio for translating deep-seated emotion into a physical struggle:

"The actual fight itself was unbelievably well-designed and choreographed by [Jonathan Eusebio], our fight arranger. Beautifully, beautifully realized… So carefully thought about and he’d studied all the fights we’d done in the prequels and took Obi-Wan’s style into a place where… somebody who’s rusty but also older and just very well thought out. But it was hard."

That physicality did not come without its challenges. Despite this, McGregor commented that the emotionally driven clash was "amazingly satisfying to do" and that this was made even better by the real-life history that McGregor and Christensen share:

"I think both of us felt like it was beautiful for us to be working again together. And there was something about our lives and everything that happened to us since we last worked together. It was sort of in the air between us. So it was a real… I don’t know if the word ‘meta’ is right, but there was something beautiful about that and it did. It took me by surprise. It was just very moving.”

In the same video, McGregor also reflected on what it was like to return to his role almost a decade after George Lucas' prequel trilogy

He commented that he had understood Obi-Wan's despair in a "cerebal way," and it had been discussed when Disney "first started talking about doing this movie." 

Still, the actor feared taking the character to a "broken" place wouldn't be interesting, but this worry was quickly overcome when he realized just how "interesting" it could be:

 "I think the depth of his despair I understood in a sort of cerebral way before we came in and when we very, very first started talking about doing this movie, which became a series."

McGregor seemed to suggest that he hadn't been able to imagine Obi-Wan's despair until he began to act it out in front of the cameras:

"[That was my feeling that it] wouldn’t it be interesting to take this character who we know and love from Alec Guinness through the original films, through my work in the prequels, and take to him to really different place where he’s broken? But I couldn’t of really imagined what that felt like until we played it and that was really interesting."

Will There Be a Kenobi Season 2?

Since the show ended in June, enthusiastic fans have been silently praying for a second season, and despite rumors, a continuation hasn't been confirmed.

Director Deborah Chow confirmed that the show was "definitely conceived as a limited series" with a clear "beginning, middle, and end." If the show was to continue beyond one season, Chow noted that it would be imperative to answer the question "why." 

Throughout the promotional tour in the run-up to the series, it was also evident that the show was a limited series, and there was a sense of finality.

Still, this could all change, especially given the series' success and how much the cast enjoyed working on the project.

Deborah Chow commented that the cast had an incredible time filming the series, and Ewan McGregor furthered this sentiment. 

The actor is "totally" up for a return to playing the beloved Jedi. Given the staggering popularity of the character and actor, it would be doubtful that Obi-Wan Kenobi - regardless of whether it gets a second season - is the last we see of McGregor in the role.

All six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are now streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Alycia Leach
Alycia Leach is a writer at The Direct. She joined The Direct in November 2020 and prides herself on her extensive knowledge of Luke Skywalker.