When Kumail Met Obi-Wan….

Obi-Wan, Ewan McGregor, Kumail Nanjiani

Image: Alexis Miguel, Lucasfilm

Nanjiani and McGregor Inside the World of Star Wars

Sometimes the most remarkable Star Wars story of the week hits the net on a Tuesday (and you read it on a Wednesday, posting about it on a Thursday). Hey, I have a 9-to-5 job and three kids!

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Image: Alexis Miguel

Now, what do you think you would do if you:

  1. Got signed to act in a Star Wars project.
  2. Then got to act alongside Ewan McGregor.

Me, I would pretty well do what I did in my sixth-grade musical – forget my lines and mumble through the entire show.

Starstruck on Star Wars?

Now, Kumail Nanjiani is “a little” more experienced than I; however, his reaction was at least in the realm of my own grade-school stagefright (if not being starstruck).


Recently, the red hot actor (set to star in Eternals) told Rolling Stone’s Brian Hiatt that, on the day he found out about the part, he was called by his agency – all of his agency.

I was like, “OK, this is either amazing news or really awful news.” And they’re like, “They want you to play a part in Obi-Wan, and apparently it’s substantial.” So then I talked to [director Deborah Chow] and we had a great conversation.”

Deborah Chow. Image: Lucasfilm.

Unique to the Universe

That conversation led to a unique character for Nanjiani.

[T]he character sounded awesome — I was so excited… We haven’t seen this exact thing in Star Wars yet. This is like a new version of a type of Star Wars character we’ve seen before. And she was trying to sell me on it. And I was like, “I was gonna do it before the conversation!”

But that’s not even the starstruck piece of it for Nanjiani.

Nanjiani in Marvel’s Eternals. Image: Marvel Studios

Nanjiani encountered the Star Wars galaxy’s Obi-Wan at work, and let’s say Kumail needed to be brought down to earth by McGregor.

“[T]here was this weird moment where I’m talking to Ewan, and they yell “Action,” and he’d started talking to me, and I was like, “Oh, I’m talking to Obi-Wan right now. This is not Ewan McGregor. This is Obi-Wan Kenobi that I’m talking to.” My character is supposed to be a little bit intimidated by him, and I was a little bit intimidated. You know, it’s… Obi-Wan, what are you gonna do?

Well, if you are Kenobi, you say, “You know, none of this is real.”

Andor, Star Wars
Image: StarWars.com

Inside the World of Star Wars

Now, McGregor was talking about the fantastic digital backgrounds on the set. However, it probably didn’t hurt Nanjani to plant his feet on the ground; that’s especially so because of his lifelong fandom.”

“It’s amazing to be inside the world of Star Wars, the world that I’ve been watching since I was born,” he told Rolling Stone. “I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember.”