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We Finally Know Why Obi-Wan's Beard Looks So Strange In Attack Of The Clones' Kamino Scene

More than 15 years have passed since George Lucas wrapped his divisive "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, and the franchise fandom still has very specific feelings towards 1999's "The Phantom Menace," 2002's "Attack of the Clones," and 2005's "Revenge of the Sith." Whether you loved or loathed those films, most folks can agree mistakes were made in bringing them to life for the "Star Wars" loving masses. And more than any singular person involved, George Lucas (who acted as director and co-writer on all three films) is responsible for all the good and all the bad therein.

As far as the good stuff goes, Ewan McGregor's casting as the younger Obi-Wan Kenobi (portrayed by Sir Alec Guinness in the original trilogy) remains one of the more universally revered elements of the prequel films — a fact that no doubt led producers to bring him back for the upcoming "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Disney+ series. But even as beloved as McGregor's work is in the prequels, the character's depiction has inspired its own bit of chatter. The discourse primarily surrounds moments in "Attack of the Clones" where Obi-Wan's beard switches from bushy and cool to patchy scruff, which often happens in the course of the same scene. Here's why Obi-Wan's beard looks so strange in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones."     

Attack of the Clones reshoots and McGregor's busy work schedule led to that embarrassing beard mishap

As far as glaring continuity errors go in the "Star Wars" prequel series, Obi-Wan's shape-shifting beard isn't all that problematic. But once you see it, it's just impossible to un-see. It's also one of those things that leaves you wondering how such a gaffe made it into the final cut of a major motion picture where the budget was presumably not much of a concern. 

For Ewan McGregor's part, the actor actually did grow a beautiful bushy beard for his portrayal of Obi-Wan in "Attack of the Clones." As glorious as that beard is, it actually became a big problem when McGregor was called back for reshoots months later. As noted by What Culture, the issue was that the always-in-demand McGregor had already moved on to his next project, "Black Hawk Down," for which he shaved his beard and buzzed his hair.

Rather than wait for McGregor to beard-up again, Lucas opted to put the actor in a fake beard for re-shoots. Unfortunately, the film's make-up team dropped the ball on the beard, slapping a patchy bit of scruff on the actor that didn't even come close to re-creating the original look. That oversight left Lucas cutting between two dramatically different-looking Obi-Wans at several key moments in the film. The difference is particularly noticeable in the scene where he visits the ocean world of Kamino. For a point of reference, the two pictures in this article are from that very same scene — and they really do speak for themselves.