1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga Obi-Wan Kenobi: Ewan McGregor vs Alec Guinness

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by darth_mccartney, Mar 17, 2013.


Who's the better Obi Wan: McGregor vs Guinness

  1. Ewan McGregor (Episodes I - III)

    100 vote(s)
  2. Alec Guinness (Episodes IV - VI)

    60 vote(s)
  1. SithLord_1270

    SithLord_1270 Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 5, 2008
    Why not a "both" choice? I thought both were great! Guinness at portraying the mature OB1 who has all the years & experience, Ewan, portraying the younger OB1 earning that experience. If they were portraying OB1 @ the same age I could see. But they are portraying different characters.
  2. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Agreed - but I would have loved to have seen the Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan dynamic taken to the level it was in the novelisation, it would have been a beautiful foreshadowing of Obi-Wan & Anakin's relationship. There's only so much you can do in a film, and some of it's there, but after reading the novelisation, it really seemed like a wasted opportunity.
    Anakin & Jar-Jar are taken to a different level in the novel which probably couldn't have been realised in the film, but I still believe that so much more could have been done with the two Jedi Knights - the squabbling, the jealousy and the true nature of the master/apprentice relationship. Both actors were well and truly capable of doing so, had they been given the opportunity to.
    kainee and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.
  3. Jcuk

    Jcuk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 16, 2013
  4. Jedi Master Kenobiwan

    Jedi Master Kenobiwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 8, 2011
    I love both, but I voted for Ewan. Because we see him more in the movies than we see Alec. We get to know more about from Ewan than frome Alec. Actually. But both fited the role perfect. Alec started it, and Ewan finished it. ;)
  5. Grigsy

    Grigsy Jedi Padawan

    Mar 24, 2013
    The winner is Guinness, but Ewan McGregor did the role justice. Guinness was a professional actor with decades of experience (watch some of his old films! They're good), while McGregor was rather young and inexperienced as an actor when he took on the roll of Obiwan in 1997-8 ish (tpm was released in 99 so it had to be before). McGregor grew as an actor and compared to Hayden Christensen, it was a joy to watch (my gosh he was a terrible actor"). Guinness was constantly good of an actor through out his original 3 films, while McGregor (being younger) was a good (though not superb in tPM), better in AOTC, and a very very good actor in ROTS.
  6. Jinnsfirstpadawan

    Jinnsfirstpadawan Jedi Youngling

    Mar 25, 2013
    As a child, Obi-Wan Kenobi from the OT held a fascination for me, but once the PT came out, I saw the character is a whole new light... young, vibrant, a powerful warrior. I fell for the character completely, thanks to Ewan's portrayal.
  7. Sistros

    Sistros Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 24, 2010

    to be honest I wasn't all that impressed with Mcgregor, he didn't seem to have the warmth Guiness had.
  8. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    Most of his "warmth" was in ROTS, just as most of of Anakin's "likeability" was in ROTS as well. IMHO.
    kainee and Jarren_Lee-Saber like this.
  9. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2012
    Two sides of the same coin.

    It was Ewan's job to follow Alec's mannerisms and such, but not completely emulate the character. We saw the character slowly grow into the great Jedi seen in A New Hope. They both had to create their characters onscreen, so there's no clear "better."
  10. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    On the contrary I think the 'greatness' of Obi-Wan is displayed in the PT, being for a long time the only Jedi in the galaxy who had faced a Sith Lord in combat. Not to mention essentially ending the war by killing Greivous and making the hard choice of killing his former best friend. The Obi-Wan we get in the OT (though protrayed amazingly but Guinness) is a shadow of his former self, alone and tortured by memories of the past.
  11. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2012
    True, but it just seemed to me that Alec Guinness portrayed an older Jedi who was wisened by experience. Of course, we see the full extent of that experience in PT.

    And now that you bring it to my attention, I don't think I can imagine anyone else in place of Ewan in the final Mustafar scene. That was acting.
  12. QsAssistant

    QsAssistant Jedi Master star 2

    Apr 13, 2011
    I wish their was a 'both' vote. They both own the role. I ended up picking Guinness only because when I first hear the name Obi-Wan or Ben Kenobi I think of him first.
  13. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 26, 2013
    I loved Ewan. His use of dry humor really made him a cool character to me.
  14. Prodigy_Knight

    Prodigy_Knight Jedi Youngling star 1

    Mar 10, 2013
    I can't vote as there isn't a "both of them" option :p

    They're each great in their own way, in the OT we have Obi at the end of his journey truly a sage while in the Pt we have him as the apprentice, even when he was a master, still growing into his own it depends on which archetype your identify better with or which you saw first.
  15. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2013
    I can't vote since it is a tie for me.
  16. oXdanXo

    oXdanXo Jedi Youngling

    Apr 14, 2013
    I prefer Ewan, but I guess that could be because I'm young and prefer the Prequels to the Originals. Alec only really had one film, in my opinion movies have come a long way since the OT were filmed, when I saw 4-6 the lightsaebr fights were there but they didn't seem intense, it was like fencing, but mixed with a bit of nothing. When you watch Episode 3, the fighting is really well done. The special effects aside though they are both playing really different people.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  17. Ambervikings91

    Ambervikings91 Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 1, 2012
    I like Ewan more as Obi
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  18. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I need a "both" choice. Each actor was great playing Obi-Wan in the right time frame.
    kainee likes this.
  19. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Apr 24, 2013
    I agree with many of the posters here who feel like they couldn't choose one over the other (I didn't vote for that same reason). I think Ewan does a good job of subtly "connecting" his performance to Guinness's--not an easy task to accomplish without being too obvious or reducing one's performance to only "mimicry." Of course, Ewan had more of a range of emotions and actions to work with in playing the younger character, so I'm sure that helped him develop the character.

    Also, I can't resist mentioning--if I was absolutely forced to vote, as a woman, I would probably have to go with Ewan because he's so attractive (particularly in RotS...definitely less so with his AotC mullet!). I would actually be curious to know how many girls/women on this forum have had (at some point) a total crush on Ewan's Obi-Wan :)
  20. OldSchoolFan

    OldSchoolFan Jedi Padawan star 1

    Apr 6, 2013
    As much as I enjoyed Sir Alec's portrayal of Obi Wan and still do, I had to go with Ewan on this one as I thoroughly enjoyed his incarnation of the younger Kenobi. He was the one character out of the whole PT that I consistently enjoyed watching (especially in ROTS), even though his attempts at Guinness's vocal inflections left a bit to be desired. I could actually see McGregor maturing into Guinness over the years of solitude on Tattooine. Maybe if Guinness was given a bit more to do in the OT my vote might have changed but as it stands I'll stick with it.
  21. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2011
    Voted for Guinness. Obi-Wan has adapted by ANH, and the character plus Alec's performance reflect this wisdom. Despite the age difference being a bit of a plot-hole, you really buy that this guy has had interesting and diverse past. It's cool to see the character fleshed out in the prequels, but Obi-Wan in the OT has charm... many quotable lines and a fitting introduction to the force for the audience. If you start at TPM you don't really get the same understanding as you do watching Obi-Wan force-trick (and his explanation on the "weak-minded"), Yoda musings, and Luke's growth in the OT.
    Ewan's best performance is imo ROTS. Anakin and Obi-Wan come off as friends in the first half, and there is a sense of loss when they betray this, which of course also ties nicely into their final encounter in ANH (love Obi-Wan's confidence in those ANH scenes. Anakin is dead to him).
    Ewan sells the immolation scene, and makes the Grievous fight fun. He is generally fitting in that roll in Ep3, but I still think Guinness' incarnation of the character is the true Obi-Wan.
  22. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    They're equal to me.

    - He died about the same time as your father.
    - I was under the impression he was killed before that.

  23. MRCynical

    MRCynical Jedi Knight star 1

    Oct 7, 2008
    Ewan McGregor apparently watched DVDs [edit: probably more like videos!] of Alec Guinness movies (even ones completely unrelated to Star Wars) just so he could get some of his mannerisms and incorporate them into his portrayal of Obi-Wan. Effectively he set out to play a 'young Alec Guinness' as well as a young Obi-Wan.
  24. Giovs

    Giovs Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 29, 2013
    Hard to decide.
    Guiness is great, but MCGregor was probably the best actor in the PT.
    I guess I'll stick with McGregor.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  25. Carbon1985

    Carbon1985 Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 23, 2013
    Alec Guiness was almost too good of an actor to be in a Star Wars movie. The ironic thing is Guiness did so many great roles throughout his career and our generation knows him as Obi Wan Kenobi! [face_laugh]
    kainee and Pensivia like this.