What is the single biggest obstacle facing the prequels? That is the toipc of this editorial. Imagine the following hypothetical situation.
Skywalker Ranch, May 24, 1999
George Lucas enters a room where his PR people are watching TV.
George: "Whatca doin', gang?"
Gang: " We're watching the Muppet Show. Ewan's doing his guest appearace tonight to promote the prequel."
George: "Oh, no. Not again. Please don't let him say anything stupid."
Gang: "No kidding. Those boutny hunters from Utah almost nailed him on Letterman. He got away that time. Too bad about Paul Schafer, though. Oh, it's on!"
The Muppet Show appears on TV. The Lucasfilm crew holds their breaths.
Kermit: "Welcome our very special guest, Ewan McGregor!! Yayyyy!"
Ewan: "Hallo, Kermit. Thanks for having me on the show."
Gang: "Whew! Doing OK so far!"
Kermit: "So, you're in the new Star Wars! Who do you play?"
Ewan: "I play Obi Wan!"
George: "Good, good..."
Kermit: "So, what was your favorite scene?"
Gang: "Oh, no....!"
Ewan: "When I pulled out my lightsaber!"
George: (slaps his head) "Doh!"
Kermit: "Wow! How did that scene go? Can you show the kids?"
Ewan: "Why certainly, Kermit!" ziiiipp!
The above scene didn't really happen...yet. But one thing has already proven true. It's still a year and a half till the prequels and Ewan McGregor's mouth has proven that it will be one of the most interesting PR nightmares that Star Wars has faced.
So far, he has talked about how he likes to drop his pants and show off his 'lightsaber' in almost every interview he has done. He also ticked off the entire state of Utah with one comment. He describes how he desperately wanted to try drugs in order to better familiarize himself with his role in Trainspotting. His speech would probably make a sailor blush and his habits ain't exactly the most healthy you'll run across. Now of course, that's his own business and he's free to do whatever he wants. But put yourself in Lucas' position. If you're going to be having millions of 6 yr olds idolizing him, is this the guy you want? What kind of backlash is Lucasfilm going to take from parents? Will parents really even care? Interesting questions.
Now please keep in mind, we have absolutely no idea what Lucasfilm REALLY thinks about this. I really wish I had asked Lynne Hale when she was on the phone. It might have been interesting. But these are my thoughts and my editorial, so only take it as that. They may not even care or they might even be getting a big kick out of his routine for all I know.
I get the impression from what I read that Ewan doesn't really realize what he has gotten himself into. His life is about to be put under a microscope which he has never had done before. Up till now, he could say what he wanted and do what he wanted and nobody really cared. Now he's going to have billions of people watching him. How will he handle it? Will he be like his character, Ben Kenobi, and fumble the ball when it's his responsibility?
I guess what it comes down to is Ewan is going to have to learn when to shut up. It's a long, hard lesson. Believe me. I'm still working on it myself. Just ask the rest of the team. But it's all part of maturing. Hopefully Ewan will figure that out.
In the meantime, this is going to be something interesting to behold.
May the Force be with you,
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