Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor says he's going to enjoy making the Obi-Wan series on Disney Plus more than the prequel trilogy, thanks to the advances in technology that have occurred since Episodes I-III were made.
McGregor was speaking to ACE Universe (opens in new tab) about working on the new series. He didn't talk specifics about the untitled TV show itself, which he jokingly said could be called "Hello There!", but he did discuss why the technology pioneered by The Mandalorian is likely to make filming the Disney Plus series more enjoyable than the prequels.
"I think I am going to enjoy it all much more," McGregor explains. "We'd shot [The Phantom Menace] on film, and we shot [Attack of the Clones] in Australia on these new HD cameras, which are pretty primitive compared to what they've got now. It was quite technically complicated, I remember. It was all blue screen and green screen and it was hard to imagine, but nowadays, I think things have moved on so much, and I think a lot of what you see is gonna be what we see on the set."
The Mandalorian filming used virtual sets made in Unreal Engine 4, an effect that somehow made the show look just as good as the movies, even though the actors did few location shoots. It sounds like the Obi-Wan Kenobi-focused series is doing the same thing.
"I don’t know if you’ve seen the behind-the-scenes of The Mandalorian series, but they employ that incredible screen...it's pretty amazing. If you're on set, if you're on a snowscape or something, you're going to see that. And it makes you feel like you're in the place. It's going to feel realer for us, for the actors. And I think we'll be using some of that technology on our show, which is untitled, as yet."
The series, which has no release date on Disney Plus yet, will surely benefit generally from offering actors a heightened sense of immersion on-set. The prequel films featured some pretty amazing CG aliens and worlds, but the films felt cold compared to the Original Trilogy's locations and characters.
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What do we know about the Obi-Wan series?
The Obi-Wan series has been discussed for a while, first rumored as a movie, before becoming a series on Disney's then-new streaming service. It's easily one of the most exciting projects in the works, and it'll be written by John Wick 3's Joby Harold, while Deborah Chow is directing. Chow directed two of The Mandalorian's best episodes (but weren't they all great?): 'Chapter 3: The Sin' (the one where Mando rescues Baby Yoda from Werner Herzog's The Client) and 'Chapter 7: The Reckoning'.
Filming on Obi-Wan is supposed to begin in January 2021, which means a 2022 release date is likely. Rumors have suggested Jar Jar Binks may feature in some capacity, but with some way to go until filming starts, we're not putting much stock in that.