Ahead of the Friday arrival of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, Ewan McGregor opened up about how terrified he was when he first acted opposite Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader. In an appearance on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to talk about the new Star Wars series, McGregor shared how happy he was to be reunited with Christensen before the reality of his role as Vader truly settled in.
“It’s lovely to work with Hayden again. We spent such a long time together,” he said, noting they filmed Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith together in Australia in the early 2000s. “So we spent a lot of time on set and we had a lot of fight training to do. And we spent a lot of time off set. So, it was nice to see him again.”
While the 51-year-old said it was “nice” to see Hayden, 41, after so long, he admitted it was eerie when he finally acted across Christensen as Vader. “It was frightening to see him again, knowing the—I hadn’t acted with Darth Vader, you know. And I’ve been acting a long time, I think I’ve done a lot of stuff, but the first take with Darth Vader scared the shit out of me. It’s true.”
He reflected that for their first scene together, they had rehearsed without Christensen’s helmet on. “They went, ‘Action!’ And I’m walking down and I hear something, I turn around, to fucking Vader’s coming at me,” he said with a laugh. “I swear to god, I just about shit my pants, really. … I was like seven years old again. It was really genuine fear. I’ve made horror films and stuff, they’re not frightening. But that was.”
Elsewhere in his interview, as seen in the clip below at the 4:00 mark, he also touched on how he “struggled” to relearn Obi-Wan Kenobi’s distinctive accent. He recalled shooting some early test footage for the show and realizing he “totally didn’t have his voice at all.” McGregor joked he was just doing a “vague English accent” that “didn’t sound at all” like the character. “And then I did some homework. I just had to go back, and, like, watch lots of Alec Guinness movies and watch all the original films.”
Watch both clips from the show above.