Saga Obi-Wan Kenobi: Ewan McGregor vs Alec Guinness

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

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Who's the better Obi Wan: McGregor vs Guinness

Ewan McGregor (Episodes I - III) 90 vote(s) 62.9%
Alec Guinness (Episodes IV - VI) 53 vote(s) 37.1%
  1. SithLord_1270 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2008
    star 3
    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 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 5
    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.
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  3. Jcuk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2013
    star 5
  4. Jedi Master Kenobiwan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2011
    star 6
    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. ;)
    Last edited by Jedi Master Kenobiwan, Mar 24, 2013
  5. Grigsy Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    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.
    Last edited by Grigsy, Mar 24, 2013
  6. Jinnsfirstpadawan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    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 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2010
    star 6
    Guiness,

    to be honest I wasn't all that impressed with Mcgregor, he didn't seem to have the warmth Guiness had.
  8. Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 6
    Most of his "warmth" was in ROTS, just as most of of Anakin's "likeability" was in ROTS as well. IMHO.
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  9. SlashMan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2012
    star 4
    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 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    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 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2012
    star 4
    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 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 2
    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 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2013
    star 5
    I loved Ewan. His use of dry humor really made him a cool character to me.
  14. Prodigy_Knight Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2013
    star 1
    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 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2013
    star 4
    I can't vote since it is a tie for me.
  16. oXdanXo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    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 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2012
    star 2
    I like Ewan more as Obi
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  18. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of CT, SW Saga and Lucasfilm Ltd

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    I need a "both" choice. Each actor was great playing Obi-Wan in the right time frame.
    kainee likes this.
  19. Pensivia Host of "International Interview"

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    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 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2013
    star 1
    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 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    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 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    They're equal to me.





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

    /LM
  23. MRCynical Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2008
    star 1
    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.
    Last edited by MRCynical, Apr 27, 2013
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  24. Giovs Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2013
    star 2
    Hard to decide.
    Guiness is great, but MCGregor was probably the best actor in the PT.
    I guess I'll stick with McGregor.
    Last edited by Giovs, Apr 29, 2013
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  25. Carbon1985 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2013
    star 3
    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]
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