Published On: Mon, Dec 21st, 2015

JJ Abrams reveals Frank Oz, Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness lines in ‘Force Awakens’

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has proved to be a box office smash with the return of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill as Han Solo, Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker respectively. According to director J.J. Abrams, there are a couple other returning cast members that weren’t so prominent, but in play during an important part nonetheless.  SPOILERS AHEAD

Abrams has confirmed that Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy), Alec Guiness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy) and Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) were brought back for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


Abrams points out that at Maz Kanata’s business, Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds herself drawn to the basement, hearing the cries of a child. She ends up in a room that has a bunch of odds and ends in it, including a crate that contains the lightsaber of Luke Skywalker, the one he lost when his hand was cut off in The Empire Strikes Back. And when Rey touches it, we get thrown into a wild Force flashback, flash forward etc…

Rey ends up in the hallway from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke once faced Darth Vader. She sees Luke next to a fire putting his metal hand on R2-D2, perhaps before leaving everything behind.

Bodies are scattered on the ground in the pouring rain with Kylo Ren having just killed one of them while a group of similarly dressed people stand next to him, it’s the Knights of Ren.

She sees herself as a young girl being left behind on Jakku with Unkar Plutt (Simon Pegg) and then she’s in the snowy forest at night with Kylo Ren ready to face her.

During these flashes is when Ewan McGregor, Alec Guinness and Frank Oz can all be heard. There are a few snippets of echoing dialogue from Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda as Rey makes this strange journey through the past and eventually into the future as well.

John Boyea and Daisy Ridley

John Boyea and Daisy Ridley

Yoda’s line is one from The Empire Strikes Back that was re-recorded by Frank Oz while Obi-Wan Kenobi’s was something new entirely, and the way it was created with both Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness is cool: “Rey, you’ve taken your first steps.”

Entertainment Weekly caught up with Abrams after a Writers Guild of America screening, and they talked about how they made that happen: “We asked Ewan McGregor to come in and do the line. And he was awesome and we were very grateful. He was incredibly sweet and handsome, and all that stuff. Then he rode off on his motorcycle. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.”

Originally you would have just heard Ewan McGregor in The Force Awakens since Guinness is no longer with us.

Bryan Burk, one of the executives at Bad Robot, surprised Abrams with old Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice saying the name “Rey” and he thought it was just McGregor’s voice manipulated: “I said, ‘That’s cool, is that the thing from Ewan McGregor?’ He said ‘No, we took a line from Alec Guinness saying ‘Afraid.’ They cut it, and you hear the performance – he’s saying it the way I would have begged Alec Guinness to have said it. It is so crazy perfect. So when you hear Obi-Wan talk to Rey it is both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor doing the voice.”

Frank Oz apparently recorded a number of lines that could have been used in the movie, though they only ended up going with one. Abrams says: “He was incredibly generous and came in to Bad Robot, where we had a recording area, and he was doing Yoda, saying a number of lines we gave to him. This whole experience has been one outrageous moment after another. Just watching Frank Oz, you look at him and talk to him and his voice is very deep. I don’t know why I would have thought he sounded like Miss Piggy!”

So there’s a little cool behind the scenes information that brings back some more familiar faces (or at least their voices) to The Force Awakens.

Daisy Ridley as Rey Star Wars the force awakens poster

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    […] Kenobi’ Movie rumored to start production in 2019, 2020 release JJ Abrams reveals Frank Oz, Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness lines in ‘Force Awakens’ Ewan McGregor, Bryan Singer talk ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ Watch TV […]

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