PT Does anyone else think Ewan McGregor played obi wan good?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Derek4799, Oct 14, 2013.

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  1. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Ah, I thought Ewan really brought Obi-Wan to life and I (my opinion) would hardly call his character flat. Ewan infuses the character with great but subtle depth, and I realize that subtlety is something many find hard to relate to. But I thought his character was rich and deep.
  2. Starwars_1977-2005 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2003
    star 2
    I'm sure Alec Guiness would have agreed about the casting, and certainly have respect for Ewan's work, but I'm not sure he could have watched even 10 minutes of these movies ...

    Among the good guys, Ewan was the best actor (by far !!). And that doesn't say a lot : Padme was wooden, Hayden was ...errrr .. Hayden, SLJ was boring, Jimmy Smitt was wooden, Yoda was CGI.
    Ewan played a good boy. Good boy, OB1, good boy ! Being a good boy from ep 1 to ep3 didn't allow him to do anything as an actor. In fact, he spent most of his time doing nothing, just walking and staring ...

    Don't want to drift out of topic, but do Wise knights or wizzards and politicians have to be over-serious and boring ? No. Watch 'House of cards'. Watch 'game of thrones'. French movie 'L'exercice de l'Etat'. Watch LOTR.
    Excalibur. Scandal. Movies by Hayaki. Etc, etc, etc, ...

    Actors in the prequels were never given a chance to act well. Mc Diarmid was lucky to have well written scènes, and talented enough to make something out of them. But some scènes are awful too (in AOTC, his scenes are lame, and there are a few lame moments in ROTS too). Why ? The director !!!!

    What I see in Ewan's performance is not his talent (and there are many actors in the movie industry who manage to look like someone else, real or not).
    What I see is the total lack of a good director.
    George never even tried to get something from his actors, he was so proud to be able to fix everything later in the editing room and filling green screens with this or that.
  3. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    I adore Ewan's work as Obi-Wan. In fact, to be completely honest, it's because of Ewan's portrayal that I'm a fan of the character. Not that Alec Guinness isn't a fantastic actor, but I felt that in ANH he played the stereotypical wise, old master a bit too much. In ESB, he's barely in the film and then by ROTJ I have some issues with how Lucas deals (or doesn't deal) with Obi-Wan's deception of Luke.

    But, truly, Ewan does a wonderful job. I will say, though, that I think my favorite version of him is in AOTC. I also don't understand why people say he doesn't have an arc -- having a character arc doesn't have to mean that the character switches sides or radically alters. Rather, it can just mean that the character grows up and develops -- which is what Obi-Wan does, I would argue. In TPM, he's a very inexperienced padawan. He's very straight-laced and can be a bit condescending at times, but he's essentially good hearted. He hasn't yet really been on his own and so that affects how he deals with others. He's clings with utter devotion to the Jedi Code because he hasn't carved out his own path yet. In AOTC, then, we see how this causes friction with Anakin when his by-the-book nature rubs his unusual padawan the wrong way. At the same time, though, this Obi-Wan is much more compassionate and accepting of others -- he greets Jar Jar warmly and tries to reassure Anakin as best he can. It's not until ROTS, though, that he really comes into his own. Anakin's rubbed off on him a bit and gotten him to loosen up, while he's made Anakin grow up a bit and be more aware of his responsibilities. We see him here as an equal and a peer on the Council, but he retains that devotion to duty that he always had.

    By my estimation, he's certainly a more dynamic character than Han (post-ANH) or Leia.

    Ewan's performance really conveys the core of the character: a strong sense of duty and willpower, one who loves deeply but doesn't express it freely, someone who has had to learn and accept that they can't control everything and that things won't always go exactly as planned, and a more accepting and open-minded person as time goes on.

    Now, that's not to say that Obi-Wan is perfect. Once he's made up his mind, he can't readily be moved from his course. That's both good and bad because while that fuels his loyalty to the Jedi, it also prevents him later in the OT from acknowledging that maybe Anakin could come back. Like most people, his greatest strengths can also be his greatest weaknesses.
  4. kane1138 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2013
    ^ I agree. Although, I will always feel a little sad that I never got to see Kenneth Brannagh don the cloak :(
    Skywalker Thing and Yunners like this.
  5. Starwars_1977-2005 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2003
    star 2
    We have very different opinions PiettsHat !

    Like we're not watching the same movies, or maybe have different expectations. That's the beaury of it : pluralism. Different point of views.

    Noone complains about OB1 not being perfect. It's not even a question. This has nothing to do with Ewan's work. Nobody expects a character in a movie, novel or comic to be perfect.

    You say that OB is a dynamic character. Well, the story develops between TPM and ROTS, so he certainly has to react and change a lil'bit. I find him more wooden than anything else. And when he expresses emotions, things are so forced and clumsy in the prequels that he looks ridiculous : 'I loved you ! you were like a brother !!'. o_O Well.
    Make feel, don't say ! But it's too late to make us feel ... anything at all.

    Ewan's OB1 is just as alive and dynamic as his CGI counterpart in Clone wars . The same could be said of most characters by the way. It's not the actor's fault.

    This is just my opinion ! We see things so differently, it's fascinating ! :)
    Last edited by Starwars_1977-2005, Oct 18, 2013
  6. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    I couldn't disagree with you more. That execution of that line (which of course you quoted incorrectly. Its: "You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you.") and the previous "chosen one" line drips with more emotion than any scene in the entire Saga. Its so beautiful it almost makes me cry.
    Last edited by Jarren_Lee-Saber, Oct 18, 2013
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  7. darthfettus2015 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2012
    star 3
    the thing that confuses me about your point of view and those that share it is - from my perspective, there is very little difference between the OT and PT. The advance in technology being the only real difference in my book. The OT was slammed for poor acting and poor dialouge but it became the most popular movie of all time and the reason why we are all here talking about it, GL does get a lot of undeserved crap imo. Harrison Ford, Dennis Lawson and Alec Guiness both had big issues with GL in the OT but that did not stop millions of people adoring their characters and playing with their action figures. (Though Ford's disdain for the script did not stop him cashing in again with Indiana Jones).Its also not meant to be Shakespeare its meant to be a saturday morning Matinee in the style of Flash Gordon for kids. The difference is the original kids have grown up to be cynical adults and the modern day kid is a hundred times more cynical than their 1970's counterpart. The lucky ones get it! My nearly four year old loves Anakin in all his guises Jake, Hayden and Vader as he loves the old and new Obi Wan. Ewan's performance is amazing and the depth he gives his back story and together with Alec somehow against all the odds make my favourite fantasy film character of all time. That was GL's idea y'know...
  8. Starwars_1977-2005 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2003
    star 2
    I've heard this OT = PT before.

    Irvin Kershner spent more time with actors, and you could tell : the acting and character development is 1000 times better.
    EpIV was cheesy, although Harrison managed to make his character exciting, Leia had character (although her looks and acting brought it close to parody) and Luke was ok as a naive space farmer. But it's still a great movie, fresh, with very dynamic characters.
    EpVI was the worst of the original lot, and came close to the PT's cringy moments.

    What was new in Ep VI was : too many characters with nothing to do and clumsy dialog. Same with the PT. Same with Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Fisher couldn't act because of drug, Harrison felt he had nothing to do. It's a GL flaw : he has trouble to put any tension in his movies. Trouble to put life into his characters. Both as director (especially TPM and AOTC) and as writer. That said, the trench fight above 'death star I' was one of the greatest, most tense space battle ever. Great editing. Editing saved episode IV from George Lucas !

    OB in the PT was victim of that : hanging around with nothing to do, little to say. But in the PT GL had no contradictors, met no resistance (still, ROTS was not that bad, even acting wise).

    Saying that audiences have grown cynical is not a valid argument, IMHO.

    The fact that GL never spent enough time on the PT to get good performances just because he could fix everything later (or so he thought) is a problem. No actor can work to his best in such conditions.
    See the Starwars PT 'behind the scenes' bonus : it's lifeless, actors are secondary agents of the filmaking process.
    See the LOTR 'behind the scenes' bonus : Actors, actors, friendships, human relations. See how PJ speaks of them. And it's not an 'actor's movie' ! But PJ knows how to make it work.
    Last edited by Starwars_1977-2005, Oct 18, 2013
  9. Samnz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    I also thought Ewan McGregor was wonderful throughout the trilogy and especially impressive in ROTS. His appearance in ROTS is the single best acting performance in all the Star Wars films, imo. He's just fantastic.

    I have to disagree here, vehemently.
    Obi-Wan has a very clear and classical arc in TPM.
    Throughout the film, he doesn't understand why his master Qui-Gon would defy the Council all the time. Qui-Gon just responds " I shall do what I must, Obi-Wan." and moves on to say that Obi-Wan still had much to learn. He would learn over the course of this film! It can also be seen that Obi-Wan does not respect each individual in the same way, he calls both Jar Jar and Anakin "pathetic". By the end of the film, however, after having witnssed the contributions of these two "pathetic lifeforms" to their succes, he defies the council himself because he wants to train one of those individuals he called "pathetic" ealier in the film.
    He understood that there is merit in every individual and he learns that one should do what seems the right thing to do for him. I also like that his first lesson to Luke in ANH is a variation of what he learnt in TPM:
    People complain over and over again about "bad dialogue" in the films but completely ignore the good stuff. I find that sad. I, for one, rather appreciaciate the good stuff and compliment Lucas on subtle connections and developments like this.

    I also think Lucas tested his character nicely in that film. In the end battle, he has to witness the death of his master. That made him angry, of course. Fighting with that anger and going dark made him stronger, but also more reckless and frivolous at the same time. That's what almost made him lose the fight. However, in the last moment, he remembers what makes a Jedi and his master and kills the Sith with a clever move and his master's lightsaber.
    He passed the test and became a Jedi Knight.

    Then, AOTC and ROTS are films that show him fully growing up. The experiences with Anakin as a Padawan made him a lot more relaxed and balanced. PiettsHat already said all that. Additionally, I think a lot of the appeal of Obi-Wan's characters stems from the fact that one can feel for him. He loses everything and that because of his former student. Worst of all, he has to fight his former student. I just think that burden and pain makes his character deep and powerful alone. And Ewan did a fantastic job of bringing these emotions to life.

    I have to disagree here, too. While I agree that TESB shows the best acting within the OT (personally, I think ROTS is even better, but never mind), I don't think the "character development" is very impressive (that's more of a writer's task, anyway). Besides Luke, I don't think the movie portrays significant development. Leia is the same throughout the whole film, Han is also static and almost "recidivist" in parts. Vader becomes more interesting and Lando is a pretty good supporting characters, but I just don't see it ahead of other SW films. Certainly not "1000 times".
    Last edited by Samnz, Oct 18, 2013
  10. Derek4799 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2013
    It does make me cry if i watch it on a bad day lol
  11. Dinos4Ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2013
    star 2
    Actually, out of all the original actors from the PT, Ewan McGregor was one of only two I truly wish were brought back for TCW. Obi-Wan's VA wasn't bad, but something didn't carry with the voice. It didn't sound as heavy as I would have liked it. The voice actor didn't seem like he had the emotional span for the role. Ewan McGregor did a terrific job creating a heavily likable character out of the mostly emotionless Jedi Order from the PT.
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  12. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Fascinating, these different perspectives and none are wrong (maybe mistaken :p [face_laugh]).

    One tiny point I must address: Obi-Wan never called Anakin pathetic. He asked of Qui-Gon ",another pathetic lifeform?" to which Qui-Gon answered, "It's the boy." So obviously (to me) he had no idea who or what he was calling pathetic - not that that excuses that to those who don't hear the "half humorous" swipe in his voice and are appalled at his condescension towards others.

    My problematic "condescension" in TPM is his sticking Jar Jar in with the droids - hey what (even if it was somewhat on Qui-Gon's orders from the novel, it's not set up in the movie).
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  13. Yondo Kuromu Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2013
    star 1
    I thought he was great. I loved the portrayal of the emotions of a failed father figure and his pain in Episode 3. On of the saving graces of the prequel trilogy.
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  14. Malcolm Reynolds Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2013
    star 5
    Ewan did the best acting job in the PT, imo. He had to follow an acting legend and he did it well.
  15. Darkslayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 4
    I think a better question would be: Does anyone think Ewan McGregor was bad as Obi-Wan?

    Most people I've talked to (myself included) thought he was fantastic in the Prequels.

    My 5 favorites for the PT were: Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L Jackson, Christopher Lee, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor.
  16. thecurseofchris Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2013
    star 1
    Ewan was probably my favorite actor in the PT. I think he added to the character of Obi-Wan greatly, and really did the best he could when given some of the more atrocious dialogue in the movies.
  17. DARTHKANISS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 1
  18. Ilias Karagiannis Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2013
    I think he was great in his role as obi wan!I actually loved Obi just because Ewan made me love him :p
  19. Master Sabira Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2013
    star 1

    I think this covers it. It had nothing to work with and still pulled it out of the hat. It shows how true to acting he is just off of this.
  20. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan is almost the *sole* grey character opposing the Sith/Empire I like in the PT. He did Sir Alec honour.
    Garrett Atkins likes this.
  21. sharkymcshark Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2013
    star 2
    One of the three actors in the PT who wasn't all over the shop
  22. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Meaning what and who are the others according to you?
  23. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Isn't there another thread similar to this one?
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  24. Garrett Atkins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2013
    star 4
    I don't think Ewan played Obi-Wan good.

    I think he played Obi-Wan well.
  25. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    Ibry dang bawddy dun finkin Yoo-wan MrrrreeeedirpydangmacGreyy-Gorr dirky dirby dunna dang Oh-Buay-Wuhrn rill goooohd.
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