Ewan McGregor was asked to make a voice cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens just three weeks before the film was released.
The Moulin Rouge! actor played Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and had been hoping to make a small contribution to The Force Awakens, but he had to wait for almost two years throughout the project’s production to get an invitation from director J.J. Abrams, who finally asked him to record a voice cameo just three weeks before the film’s release in December 2015.
“I just got an e-mail from J.J. Abrams,” he tells ET.com. “I don’t know how he got my e-mail, but he did, and he sent me an e-mail like, I’m not joking, it was like three weeks before the film came out. It was really last-minute.”
The Scottish star recorded the line, “Rey, these are your first steps” which appears during Rey’s mysterious vision scene, but his vocals were mixed in with those from the late Sir Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy. Filmmakers found old footage of Alec, who died in 2000, saying “afraid” and cut it down to sound like “Rey”.
McGregor, 44, admits he had trouble getting the voice right because he was out of practice and although he was excited to be asked back, he didn’t feel like he reprised the Jedi character fully because he only worked for 20 minutes on the line.
“I haven’t played Obi-Wan Kenobi for years, so to get his voice right… I said, ‘You know I think we should watch Alec Guinness’,” he adds. “Because when I was playing (Obi-Wan), I was always watching Alec Guinness’ stuff… I was trying very hard to be a younger Alec Guinness.
“I went over there for 20 minutes, but it was nice to involved. It’s nice to be in it… I’m very happy that it’s back, and I’m very happy that he’s (Abrams) done such a brilliant job. I love the film. I love watching it very much.”
J.J. Abrams previously told Entertainment Weekly that he thought McGregor was “awesome”, adding, “He was incredibly sweet and handsome, and all that stuff. Then he rode off on his motorcycle. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.”
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