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While the Star Wars limited series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, marks Ewan McGregor’s return as the titular Jedi Master, it will also see Hayden Christensen reprise his role as Kenobi’s former apprentice-turned-Darth Vader. And as the anticipation for their onscreen reunion builds, the 51-year-old actor recalls what it was like seeing his former co-star step onto set as the Sith Lord.
“It was amazing,” McGregor tells ET’s Will Marfuggi. “I’ve never quite seen a crew react the way they reacted when [Hayden] came on set for the first time as Vader. I mean, it was like one of the greatest moments on any film set that I have ever seen.”
According to the actor, “hundreds of people appeared [all over the set] and I was like, ‘Why are there so many people here today?’” As it turns out, they were all there to see Christensen as Vader. “Hayden walks out in the suit, and I was like, ‘Oh, of course, that’s why everyone is here. Everyone is here to see this moment.'"
Premiering with two episodes on Friday, May 27 on Disney+, the six-part TV event sees Kenobi on the run as the story picks up 10 years after the events of the third prequel, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Hot on the trail are a team of Inquisitors, who will stop at nothing to meet their master’s bidding.
For McGregor, it’s the first time he’s worked with Christensen since the release of the 2005 film. Prior to that, the two spent a lot of time together in Australia, where Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were filmed in the early 2000s.
“We were both away from home. So, we spent a lot of time in the fight gym with each other, training together, learning the fights together,” McGregor recalls. As a result of spending so much time together on set, the two grew very close.
In the 15 years since the last film, they admittedly saw less and less of each other. But when they did finally bump into each other again, McGregor says, “I was so happy to see him.”
“It felt like, you know, the special people in your life as you go along your life, and he’s one of those to me. So, it was just great to see him again,” the actor continues. “Then, when I met him the next time, I was able to talk about [Obi-Wan Kenobi] and say how excited we were that he was going to do it.”
And then, just like that, “we ended up on set again,” McGregor concludes.
While the series has resulted in a happy reunion for the two actors, it also allowed McGregor to revisit a world he thought he was done with a long time ago. “I came to the end of the three prequels, and I was very happy with the work we’d done and very satisfied and [felt] lucky to be part of the Star Wars universe, but I think probably I felt very much that there wouldn’t be any more,” he says, explaining that what follows his turn is Alec Guinness’ iconic performance in the original three films.
Now that he’s closer to Guinness’ age when he did the films and that a newfound appreciation for the prequels has emerged, McGregor felt good about revisiting the universe. “Over the years, it became more and more of a good idea in my mind,” he says, adding that the fans’ support of his films “means a lot to me and it certainly informed my desire to try and make this happen.”