Star Wars: The Force Awakens was influenced much more by the original trilogy of movies than the prequels, but filmmaker JJ Abrams didn’t entirely do away with Episodes I, II, and III. Abrams has previously revealed that he recruited actor Ewan McGregor, who portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, to record dialogue for The Force Awakens’ memorable flashback/dream sequence. On Thursday night, McGregor explained to Jimmy Kimmel what that process was like for him.
“I’d been waiting for the call to come for two years,’ McGregor said. “I thought maybe they’ve lost my agent’s phone number. Then I got a call from JJ just shortly before the film was released. He asked me to come in and said, ‘I’d love you to be a part of it.’ “
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McGregor wasn’t the only Obi-Wan recruited for this scene. Filmmakers combined McGregor’s line reading with archival footage of original Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Alec Guinness. McGregor explained the breakdown.
“The line is, ‘Rey, these are your first steps,’ ” McGregor said. “But they got Alec Guinness to do ‘Rey,’ which is extraordinary because he’s not alive anymore. They got a line of him as Obi-Wan Kenobi saying ‘afraid,’ and cut the ‘A’ and the ‘D’ off. So Alec Guinness is saying ‘Rey,’ and I’m saying, ‘These are your first steps.’ “
Watch the clip below.