As much as we all love to complain about The Rise Of Skywalker’s absolutely ludicrous plot where Rey is Palpatine’s granddaughter (and no, Palpatine does not fuck), nothing will ever beat the anger we collectively feel towards the Star Wars prequels. They’re painful to watch and there’s a reason why many Star Wars fans choose to skip them while binge-watching the movies in order, beginning instead with the impeccable Rogue One. The digital effects are partially to blame for the prequels being a total cinematic disaster, and now that Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen are getting the chance to revive their Star Wars characters, Disney+ is making sure fans get to see Obi-Wan Kenobi and young Darth Vader in all their glory sans Disney Channel-quality CGI.
In a Hollywood Reporter profile, McGregor recalls the horror of George Lucas piling unnecessary CGI onto the prequels, because Lucas “loves technology and loves pushing into that realm. He wanted more and more control over what we see in the background.” And the actor agrees with fans that the visuals absolutely sucked, with Revenge Of The Sith mostly consisting of bluescreens instead of the detailed sets we love from the original trilogy. “After three or four months of that, it just gets really tedious—especially when the scenes are… I don’t want to be rude, but it’s not Shakespeare,” he said. “There’s not something to dig into in the dialogue that can satisfy you when there’s no environment there. It was quite hard to do.”
But thankfully, a lot has changed since the early ’00s. Technology, for instance: As McGregor explains, Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi uses a process called StageCraft, where “they project [the virtual backgrounds] onto this massive LED screen. So if you’re in a desert, you’re standing in the middle of a desert. If you’re in the snow, you’re surrounded by snow. And if you’re in a cockpit of a starfighter, you’re in space. It’s going to feel so much more real.” It’s the same technology used for The Mandalorian, so you know what to expect. It’ll be exciting to finally see McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a way that won’t deeply embarrass him—and us.