Ewan McGregor Was 'Truly Frightened' While Acting Opposite Darth Vader For The First Time

Even Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi felt "a proper jolt of absolute fear" when facing the towering villain known as Darth Vader. In an interview with Total Film, Ewan McGregor, spoke about his experience of filming opposite Darth Vader in the upcoming Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi." The actor recalled:

"I've never met Darth Vader. I had rehearsed the scene with Vader, but not with the helmet on or anything like that. When we came to do the scene, when they shouted 'action', he had to come from behind me. I turned around, and f**king Darth Vader was coming at me. It was like I was six again. I'd never acted into Vader's helmet. I'd never looked him in the eye."

Given how McGregor's Obi-Wan had only dealt with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) so far, and that the actor himself has never experienced Darth Vader face-to-face until now, his fear is totally understandable. Vader has always been a cultural icon, more than a villain in the "Star Wars" franchise, and the range and depth of his influence on the unraveling narrative are impossible to ignore. After all, having someone like Vader sneak up behind you is never good news.

Even Stormtroopers can be scary, dude

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" will be delving into the time the Jedi spent on Tatooine during self-imposed exile, while he makes sure a young Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) is safe from various threats, all while avoiding Jedi Inquisitors on the hunt for those who survived Order 66. Kenobi could also possibly be checking in on a young Leia Organa, although she would be on Alderaan at the moment, waiting to grow up and become part of the Rebel Alliance. As for Darth Vader, he's on his way to unprecedented power during the events of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," and we know there will be a pivotal confrontation between him and his old master.

While the circumstances under which Obi-Wan meets Vader for the first time are unclear at the moment, the experience would undoubtedly be an emotionally overwhelming one for both parties. On the one hand, Obi-Wan would be witnessing Vader's transformation first hand, all signs of the padawan apprentice and brother he loved now annihilated. Meanwhile, Vader would be encountering his previous Master, who he deems responsible for his fall and perhaps even the death of Padmé.

McGregor further explains the visceral fear he felt while shooting these scenes, and that fear extended beyond Vader too:

"It scared the s**t out of me. I'm not joking. It gave me a proper jolt of absolute fear. I was like, 'Oh my God, that's not acting. That's real. I'm really, truly frightened right now.' And the same thing would happen with the Stormtroopers. I'd worked with Clone troopers before, but so many of them were CGI. I never worked with Stormtroopers, and, again, I was like seven years old again. Because when you're actually faced with a Stormtrooper, with a blaster, it's like: 'F**king hell.'"

Perfect aim or not, witnessing Stormtroopers with their blasters can be an intimidating experience. As for the fear evoked by Vader's presence, director Deborah Chow alos described it as "very intense," and "an amazing thing" when they first started filming those scenes. Hopefully that translates to the series when we get a chance to see it next month.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" premieres May 27, 2022, on Disney+.