25 Greatest Characters in Star Wars History

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13. Obi-Wan Kenobi

(Write-up by Kyle Warnke, Dork Side of the Force Assistant Editor)

One of the rare bright spots of the prequel trilogy is Ewan McGregor’s delightful performance as Obi-Wan Kenobi. He imbues the character with a tongue-in-cheek slyness and humor that’s sorely missing in the rest of the downtrodden cast. Plus, McGregor pays plenty of homage to Alec Guiness’ original portrayal, capturing the wariness and gentle demeanor of the veteran actor even as he’s playing a younger version.

That’s a tough thing to do for an actor, especially when Guiness had all those real-life locations and sets and McGregor mostly acted opposite a bunch of green screens. Even in the darker and more serious scenes, McGregor nails the emotional requirement without trying too hard or overdoing the camp, unlike some of his colleagues.

He presented a nice arc over the course of the trilogy, too. In Episode I, he’s a brooding youngster eager to prove himself to his master; in Episode II, he’s struggling with the responsibilities of training Anakin; and in Episode III, he’s become a disappointed parent who must come to terms with Anakin’s downfall and his failures as a teacher and master.

And don’t forget the physical demands, which forced the actor to pick up swordfighting. He acquitted himself admirably, never seeming too slow or out-of-place during the key fight scenes (when he wasn’t a CGI creation, that is). I won’t see McGregor gave a better performance than Guiness, but the late actor would certainly have been impressed with how his counterpart carried on the torch of the role.

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