The Episode VII casting rumors just keep coming.
Just the other day the hot rumor was that actor Ian McDiarmid would be reprising his role as Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in some form in Episode VII. That rumor was first reported by Jedi News, a UK based fansite. Subsequently the website Latino Review ran with a similar story. Both the Jedi News and Latino Review stories cited anonymous sources, but it is not clear if the source was the same for both stories or not. It sounds like Latino Reviews source is based in England so it may be the same person talking to both sites.
.@Latinoreview just got a call a few minutes ago from source in England. We have to delay scoop till morning @ source's request. Sorry guys.Now we have a report from Latino Review that Obi-Wan Kenobi will be showing up in the film as well and that Ewan McGregor may be returning to play the character.
— elmayimbe (@elmayimbe) August 16, 2013
"I have confirmed this with three close sources that are on the project and they all confirmed to me that Ewan McGregor would be back as a Force Ghost in the upcoming sequel trilogy."
"But that is not all! Check this out! The interesting part of the conversation I had with my source was that McGregor also wants a solo standalone film! Whether he gets one or not is still up in the air. The other question now is whether or not Hayden Christensen will return."It sounds like Episode VII is starting to resemble the Hogwarts dinning hall with all these ghosts floating around. So there really are three parts to this rumor;
- Ewan McGregor to return as Force Ghost Obi-Wan.
- McGregor wants a stand-alone Obi-Wan film.
- Hayden Christensen may return as well as a Force Ghost.
Let's take these rumors apart one by one.
1) Ewan McGregor to return as Force Ghost Obi-Wan
Lucasfilm has the technology to digitally animate Sir Alec Guinness if they wanted to for this film. Older fans like myself who remember the controversy of the changed appearance of Anakin's Force Ghost probably would prefer them to take this approach if they were to include Obi-Wan in the film. They could then have someone like James Arnold Taylor do a voice match of Guinness. If Obi-Wan's role in Episode VII is small it is probably more time and cost effective to use a flesh and blood actor instead of going the CGI route.
I actually like the idea of a younger Force Ghost of Obi-Wan and let me explain why. As Yoda explains to Luke, "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter," why should Force Ghosts be tied to the physical appearance of their body at their death? We know that Anakin's original Force Ghost played by Sebastian Shaw had all his limbs, yet we saw Anakin lose both legs and an arm in Episode III.
This is an opportunity to expand the mythology surrounding Force Ghosts. The idea should be that when a Jedi learns how to retain his consciousness in the Force after death, that not only can he choose when to appear but also how to appear. A simple bit of exposition and even a joke perhaps Luke saying to Ben that he looks better than the last time he saw him and Ben retorting that Luke looks a little worse, could provide a humorous moment as well as a chance to explain more about Force Ghosts and Obi-Wan's changed appearance.
An example on how this deepening of Force Ghost mythology could retroactively fit is Obi-Wan appearance only as a voice in Episode IV. It can be explained because in these situations Luke was busy fleeing from Imperial troops in the hanger and later flying his X-Wing down the Death Star's trench. If Obi-Wan had appeared physically it would have been a visual distraction for Luke.
So I think it can work story-wise for McGregor to portray a younger version of Obi-Wan as a Force Ghost. Another thing to keep in mind is scheduling. McGregor currently has three filming commitments lined up for 2014, Mortdecai, co-starring Johnny Depp and Gweneth Paltrow, Born to Be King, co-starring Kate Hudson, and Our Kind of Traitor, co-starring Ralph Fiennes and Mads Mikkelsen. So in addition to filming these three films McGregor probably has to do some significant promotional work next year as well. Scheduling may be tricky but if the role isn't extensive I would have to imagine they could find a way to fit him in to filming.
2) Ewan McGregor wants a stand-alone Obi-Wan film
McGregor's Episode III portrayal of Obi-Wan was so powerful and wrought with pain that it brought an emotional depth to the character that took it to a whole new level. A film set featuring Obi-Wan set between Episodes III and IV is right near the top of my wish list for any spin off or stand-alone movies that Lucasfilm does. For an idea of how awesome a story can be featuring Obi-Wan and set in this time period, I cannot suggest highly enough reading the soon to be released, Kenobi by John Jackson Miller. The book due out on August 27th, deal with Obi-Wan as he first returns to Tatooine and begins his self-imposed exile to watch over infant Luke Skywalker.
3) Hayden Christensen may return as well as a Force Ghost
One possibility is that we see Luke in Episode VII learning the Force Ghost technique and we could see not only Obi-Wan, but Anakin, Yoda, and Qui-Gon all appear. Christensen seems personally to be on good terms with George Lucas based on recently attending Lucas' wedding. But I have no idea if Christensen would be interested in reprising his role as Anankin in Force Ghost form.
SOURCES: Latino Review