Star Wars Episodes 1-3

Was going to create title “Star Wars Prequels” but the word “prequel” is really a non-word, a poor word, an icky word, so I am not using it. A better description is backstory, or history.

One of factors with the group of actors in the Star Wars prequels is that the Harrison Ford type of guy was or is Ewan McGregor, but he is a Jedi so he can’t be nihilistic or such a rogue as Han Solo is. Anakin is going to be the rogue, rebellious Jedi when he gets older. Han Solo is realistic, yet he somehow ends up helping out in the idealistic fight instead of fighting to survive another day. He sees things for what they are.

I mean by this an insouciance that partly comes from the actor’s personality… and Ewan McGregor has this in the slight swagger we see, in his jokes,  in the confusion in how he sees Qui-Gonn make mistakes, errors in judgment like not waiting for him to attack Darth Maul together. He seems to be able to skate above much throughout Episode 1, until QG is killed. AND notice Qui-Gonn has all that long hair and beard, and Chewbacca has all that fur – okay this last bit is really silly. (one of my favorite early Ewan films is Shallow Grave where he sports a mullet).

Obi Wan also senses this at first when he sees young boy Anakin. He questions getting involved with the young boy, freeing slaves, going outside the mandate and mission given to them by the Jedi Council. He breaks from Jedi tradition in taking on Anakin’s training himself though he was just a padawan learner himself. And that turns out to be a disaster for everyone.

So, Ewan McGregor himself and his portrayal of Obi Wan in Episodes 1-3 fill the same role story wise as Han Solo does in the later episodes. He sees the long and big picture, he is realistic, a survivor – he does survive the Jedi purges and lives in the desert on Tattooine.

In contrast Jar Jar was supposed to be the comic relief, the fool to the two knights in episodes 1-3. Fine, but the action was overdone.


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