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Ewan McGregor On Why Obi-Wan's Haircuts In Star Wars Mean More Than You Think

Over several films and shows, fans have had a chance to see Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor in the prequels, and Alec Guinness in the original films) go from a fresh recruit and trainee of the powerful Jedi Order, to a reclusive and immensely skilled hermit who truly learned to be at peace with the nature of The Force. Chronologically and within the universe of "Star Wars," the first time anybody gets to see the famous Jedi is in "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," but fans got their first look at the veteran general in "Star Wars: A New Hope," which was released in 1977 (via IMDb). This original version sees Obi-Wan viewed as a mysterious recluse that the natives of Tatooine try to avoid.

Eventually, Obi-Wan's path crosses that of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who is secretly the son of his former protege, Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen in the prequels, James Earl Jones in the original trilogy). This crossing of fates culminates in a battle between the aging Jedi and his old and former friend, with results in Obi-Wan's death, but through the power of The Force, is able to exist from that point on as a Force Ghost. Considering that fans have been given a glimpses into Obi-Wan's life at different points in time, fans have seen the character grow. However, a recent interview with current Obi-Wan actor McGregor sheds some light on a rather interesting facet of his overall look, specifically the character's hair, and what it means to the story as a whole.

McGregor said Obi-Wan's hair changes to fit the character

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly on Facebook, McGregor explained how Obi-Wan's haircut changes depending on his outlook on life, and where the character is mentally. The youngest version we get to see hails from "The Phantom Menace," and the character of Obi-Wan is still a padawan under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). McGregor explained that he wasn't sure if it was established that padawans have haircuts like that, but went on to say that they were going for a military or a monk type of aesthetic. Padawan haircuts are marked by the small braid on the back of the head, and short, cropped hair.

McGregor then went on to explain Obi-Wan's haircut in "Attack of Clones," and said that the working name the crew used to describe it was "the Jedi mullet." This version sees Obi-Wan's hair significantly longer than his "Phantom Menace" cut, while also donning some facial hair. He noted that the hair was meant to illustrate the growth of Obi-Wan, and how he was coming into his own, but the actor himself did not particularly enjoy the look of it, and said that it reminded him of the Bee Gees.

When it comes to "Revenge of the Sith," McGregor said that the production crew looked at Alec Guinness' Obi-Wan, and tried to combine the two looks together. This movie sees Obi-Wan's hair cut short, and it definitely looks like they were headed in the right direction with the natural progression of the character, and now with the upcoming "Obi-Wan" show on Disney+, we get to see Obi-Wan grow increasingly unkempt, mirroring the character's internal struggle. So, according to McGregor, Obi-Wan's hair itself tells a story.