Ever since its May 25, 1977, theatrical release, "Star Wars" has been inspiring kids to dive headlong into its richly imagined universe. Children could spin their own fantastic tales with action figures and playsets, or lose themselves in the franchise's many video game spin-offs. You could immerse yourself in that galaxy far, far away for hours on end, and take the saga in all kinds of directions.
But there was nothing more fun than hitting the playground of your elementary school and acting out the characters in impromptu stories of your own devising. You could create blasters out of LEGOs or fabricate one with your fingers. As for lightsabers, everything from wiffle-ball bats to sticks would do. And when you dueled with your friends, you enhanced the experience by making the trademark humming noise created by Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt.
And if you find yourself fortunate enough to star in an actual "Star Wars" movie, you might very well find yourself replicating the hum on set. Ewan McGregor is famous for doing it.
McGregor's A Great Big Kid, And We Love It
We learned upon the release of "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" that Ewan McGregor made the sound while crossing lightsabers with Darth Maul in the film. It's an endearing habit that he continues to this day.
During the virtual press conference for Disney+'s "Obi-Wan Kenobi," McGregor was initially evasive about the practice. But then his co-star Moses Ingram busted him. "Everyone knows that you do it," she said.
Finally, McGregor came clean. "I know," he said. "It's impossible not to, and if you're not making them, you're doing it in your head, I think."
Maintaining that sense of play is essential to being a great actor. Your inner eight-year-old must always be accessible. So it's wonderful, and not at all surprising, to learn that McGregor is living out every kid's dream when he dons his robe and takes up his blue lightsaber. I would do the same thing, and so would you.
As for McGregor's portrayal of Kenobi, it doesn't appear that the character will be back any time soon. Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy told Variety in April 2023 that a second season of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is not in active development. Given how many spin-offs the company has on tap, and the less-than-enthusiastic critical reception to the miniseries, it's possible we've seen the last of McGregor's Kenobi -- which is fine. There's nowhere for the character to go now that the gap between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope" has been spackled. Let the tortured Jedi rest.
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