Every Single Line Of Dialogue In Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones Had To Be Added In ADR

The press conference for the upcoming Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" happened this morning, and we learned things not only about the series, but about the actors' past with "Star Wars" films. Ewan McGregor who played Obi-Wan in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, talked about what it was like working with the cutting edge technology of the time, and some of the big problems with it. "Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones" came out back in 2002 — two decades ago. Think about what CGI looked like back then. The tech was very cool, but definitely not what it is today. 

McGregor said that shooting the prequels was his first experience with digital cameras, and the technology was much more primitive back then. He called the cameras they used "dinosaurs."

"They were cutting edge technology, but compared to what we ... they had huge umbilical cords coming out the back of the cameras, and you couldn't change the lenses. Or, they could change the lenses but it would take like, half an hour. So everything was just shot on a zoom lens."

He said that George Lucas was pioneering that technology, and "sound and image, and he was pioneering the cameras and the visual effects, and so, of course he was wanting to utilize it as much as he could." Of course, the cameras led to an even bigger problem — sound.

Obi-Wan says what?

McGregor said the cameras were on cranes and that they moved the cranes and zoomed in and out, and there was a whole lot of noise. 

"The umbilicals led to this big tent in the corner of the stage that literally hummed. It was so noisy. And when in post-production, they realized at the end that the noise they made was exactly the frequency of the human voice. So we had to ADR every single line of Episode 2. None of the original dialogue made it through because of that, because the cameras were like, so new. None of the bugs had been worked out yet. So compared to what we're doing now, it's like night and day."

McGregor did say that the tech also meant more blue and green screen and that this was a challenge for the actors. Look, I'm not a huge fan of the prequels, though I think there are good movies hiding under some of the CG and direction. Knowing exactly how much of this was pioneering at the time does make me appreciate them a little bit more. To ADR (meaning re-record the dialogue, called Automated Dialogue Replacement or ADR) an entire film? That's crazy, and I have even more respect for the actors, having to recreate emotion outside of the actual moments of shooting.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" stars McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram, Bonnie Piesse, Indira Varma, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Simone Kessell, Joel Edgerton, Kumail Nanjiani, Rupert Friend, Sung Kang, and Benny Safdie. It will premiere on Disney+ on May 27, 2022.