Although the Obi-Wan Kenobi panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe might not have had the news many fans were hoping for — we’ll get to that soon enough — it did, to the delight of a packed crowd at the Celebration Stage on Sunday afternoon, feature series leads Ewan McGregor and Viviene Lyra Blair share how much they appreciated the chance to play opposite each other as Kenobi and the young version of Leia Organa, respectively.
“It was a new relationship and it was so fun to create that — there were old relationships in the series but there were new relationships that we got to create,” McGregor told the excited crowd about getting to share scenes with the talented newcomer. Blair was equally thrilled, she shared, while also sharing her take on the relationship between Obi-Wan and Leia.
“Obviously, Ewan is incredible,” she shared. “He’s an incredible human being and working with him was just amazing. I think we had a lot of fun.” (“We did,” Ewan confirmed immediately.) She went on, “I think with Leia and Obi-Wan, she says it a few times, she doesn’t know him much, he just kind of shows up and takes her and that’s what the kidnappers did, and then she sees he’s wanted, and that’s a red flag.” Things only started changing, Blair said, when Leia realizes that, for all that Obi-Wan might be dangerous, she was never actually in any danger when he was around… at least from Obi-Wan himself.
“The relationship was so brilliantly written that she has an effect on him,” McGregor added, telling Blair directly, “You played it beautifully. You managed to make the character your own but it was still Leia that we knew.” “Keep talking,” she replied, joking.
The bond between the two was clear in their individual selection of the clips chosen as their favorites from the series, as shared with the SWCE crowd. Blair chose the scene where Leia asks Obi-Wan if he was her real father, a scene that she said was “when I really felt that character. I felt Leia. I understood her, I understood how badly she wants to know, and not really because she wants to find her own family, but because she just wants to know. I understand that feeling, I don’t like being left in the dark.”
McGregor, meanwhile, chose a scene from the show’s final episode, where Obi-Wan and Leia say goodbye to each other… and Kenobi says a famous line for the first time in the series, meaningfully. He told the crowd that he watched the episodes in a screening room as soon as they were ready, and “when it came to this and we say goodbye to each other, I was just sitting alone and crying my eyes out. The fact that 'May the Force be with you' doesn’t come until then, it’s because [his faith] finally come back to life for him. I think that’s the point of the series.”
McGregor continued to enthuse about the experience for the entire hour-long panel, talking about his joy at reuniting with co-star Hayden Christensen again (“There was something about the experience of working together again, because we just love each other, you know, and we haven’t seen each other in so long! All of that was alive on the screen,” he said), his pleasure at working with director Deborah Chow on the show (“I think we can all agree that Deborah just absolutely nailed it”), and his excitement at returning to this particular character after two decades away.
“The time that had passed between then and now, it was just the right time to come back to play him again. The Star Wars part of my life is back, and I have to say, it feels really good,” the actor told the crowd, before adding, “hopefully someone would think that we should do some more.” That got the crowd to its feet, cheering, but sadly it wasn’t the announcement of a second season that many had perhaps thought it was — and, in fact, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has just reported that a second season isn’t in “active development,” but “there’s always the possibility.”
Perhaps fans need to be a lot more vocal in demanding what they want if that possibility is ever going to come true.