Obi-Wan Kenobi is the latest smash-hit Star Wars series to air on Disney+. The show sees Ewan McGregor return to his iconic role as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in a story set ten years after the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and nine years before the original Star Wars (aka Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). In that original film, Obi-Wan, under the alias of Ben, is portrayed by legendary British actor Alec Guinness and now, as reported by Comicbook.com, fans can see Alec Guinness replace Ewan McGregor in the limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The report finds a VFX artist on youtube, who goes by the name of stryder HD, that has used deep fake technology to merge the late great Alec Guinness’ likeness onto Ewan McGregor in a variety of scenes in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. The results, which you can see below, show that there really isn’t a great difference between McGregor’s grizzled appearance to that of Guinness. Given that Alec Guinness was 63 years of age when Star Wars was released and Ewan McGregor has just entered his fifties, it should come as no surprise that there are some similarities in their appearances. However, it does go to show that McGregor was an inspired piece of casting for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
The importance of Alec Guinness and his original Obi-Wan Kenobi performance is not lost on Ewan McGregor. The Independent reports how Ewan McGregor was constantly channelling Alec Guinness in his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and that given the age of the character in the new series, this had an even more important effect, thoughts McGregor put into words at a press conference covering the series: “It all came from Alec Guinness – “It was just interesting to take a character that we know and love from Alec Guinness’s creation of the character in the 70s, this wise spiritual sage-like man, to take him to a more broken place was really interesting to do.”
Famously, Alec Guinness was not a fan of his time as Obi-Wan Kenobi and found the whole ordeal of shooting Star Wars to be an overall negative experience. The same cannot be said of Ewan McGregor however, who has been speaking fondly of the role upon his return to the role fifteen years on from his last appearance as Obi-Wan Kenobi. As things stand, Ewan McGregor’s return in Obi-Wan Kenobi has been a major success for Disney+. The Star Wars show has set a new record for the most watched premiere of a Disney+ original series. It would appear that the success has had a profound effect on Ewan McGregor, as reports suggest that the Scottish actor is keen to continue with the role beyond the current series of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
With every Wednesday episode release of Obi-Wan Kenobi, fans will be able to see how Ewan McGregor builds toward the version of Obi-Wan portrayed by Alec Guinness. Given the love for both actors’ portrayals of the iconic Jedi Knight, countless eyes are likely to be on the developing plot of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the incredible Alec Guinness deep fake. It is a testament to Guinness as an actor, that despite his trepidations, his performance has inspired so many in the decades that have followed.