5. Ewan McGregor
Before being cast as young Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor had a rising film career, having worked steadily but most notably starring in the film of the moment Trainspotting, the initial launching pad of his career.
With the prequels, actors had the unique challenge of connecting audiences with the original characters while also making the roles their own. In McGregor’s case, he had big robes to fill with Sir Alec Guinness’ iconic original performance of Old Ben.
However, McGregor managed to find his own footing in the role, first with Obi-Wan as a padawan struggling to gain his footing, then as a master trying to keep his own padawan on track. In the midst of the prequels and beyond, McGregor’s career fully took off and he made some of his most iconic films, including Moulin Rouge!, Big Fish, and I Love You Phillip Morris.
McGregor has worked steadily and successfully in the years since, including a return to the franchise in a move that surprised and delighted fans. Though the prequels were ill-received at the time, and McGregor was a bit young and cocky, he’s since become grateful for the role Star Wars has played in his life and his career and seems happier than ever to be back as Obi-Wan.