Ewan McGregor shared his slightly horrified thoughts on acting with the Yoda puppet in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Ewan McGregor is returning to the Star Wars franchise with a solo Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney Plus. McGregor last starred as Obi-Wan in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. In a recent chat with fellow Star Wars actor Pedro Pascal for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, McGregor shared some nostalgic bits from his early Star Wars days. Some of his stories were rather peaceful and pedestrian, but his Yoda puppet story was slightly disturbing.
“The first film I did, I was lucky to do my scenes with the Yoda puppet. And it was extraordinary because I acted with him. I couldn’t believe I was acting with Yoda. There’s so many people operating him, and the stage is lifted up so they’re underneath the floor and we were literally walking next to each other — and he’s alive. Then every time George [Lucas] called cut, Yoda would die, because everyone just stops. It was sort of disturbing every time the end of the scene would come along.”
“Then they replaced him for our second film and our third film with the digital version of him, and it’s not nearly as endearing. Also, we know Yoda as a puppet. We know him from the original movies as a puppet. So when it was suddenly computer-generated, it didn’t feel like Yoda to me anymore. It was interesting that it went back to an actual puppet with your series.”
Pedro Pascal, of course, starred in The Mandalorian as the titular character. In the series, he’s tasked with protecting a baby Jedi who shares the same race as Yoda. Grogu, the little Jedi was mostly seen in the show as a puppet.
“It worked on so many levels and the way that we had to end the second season with this sort of tearful goodbye. To not ave had the puppet for that, and also the knowledge of its reception from the world and how everyone felt about its creation, its relationship to the history of “Star Wars” — it was one of the more strange acting experiences that I’ve ever had. There were so many different things factoring into it that it wasn’t necessarily understanding the story so well in terms of what we were telling within The Mandalorian, but the context of all of it. If that makes any sense.”
What are your thoughts on Ewan McGregor’s slightly disturbing Yoda story? Are you excited to see him return as Obi-Wan? Comment below and let us know!
Directed by Deborah Chow from Joby Harold’s scripts, the Star Wars series stars Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.
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