When Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is released this summer, EWAN McGREGOR will become the most famous actor in the world, bar none. The young Scot, ready to flash his light sabre as Obi-Wan Kenobi, spills some well- kept secrets to The List.

Words: Paul HegemanllFA & Alan Morrison

A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY (well, Perth to be exact), a boy went to the cinema with his big brother. He sat in the stalls and watched the film unfold, mouth agape, as light sabres clashed, aliens spoke, robots bleeped and Good triumphed over Evil . . . for a short time at least.

Two decades later, fate has played musical chairs. That same six-year-old has grown up and now he’s up on the big screen. But the world is still sitting in the stalls, waiting for the opening credits to roll and the familiar Star Wars fanfare to begin.

Ewan McGregor has come a long way since he appeared on his first-ever magazine cover issue 194 of The List, back in February 1993. Wearing a red checked shirt and blue jeans, he’s caught jumping in mid-air against a backdrop featuring a giant sheet of music. It’s a bit of a cheesy way to announce the Channel 4 transmission of Dennis Potter’s Lipstick On Your Collar, but this was the starting point for a career that took the young actor away from drama school and swiftly into international stardom. Now with Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and Brassed Off behind him, you’re more likely to find him on an Annie Leibowitz cover shoot for Vanity Fair.

It’s something of an understatement to say that Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, in which McGregor plays the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, is the most feverishly anticipated movie of all time. It will thrust the 27-year-old Scot into an almost unimaginable media spotlight. Magazine covers are one thing; a small plastic toy figure of your good self is another.

’I have to admit I’m dreading the huge storm of publicity the Star Wars movie will bring about,’ admits an unusually cautious McGregor, who took a while to commit to the project. ’I had to think about it for ages. I knew it would be enormous and I haven’t ever done anything like it before. I worried about if I would be able to combine it with the other work I was doing. Some of the actors from the first Star Wars never did anything else after that, and that gets you thinking.’

But McGregor had a unique source for advice on the whole Star Wars shebang his uncle, Denis Lawson, who played an X-Wing pilot in all three parts of the series. 'I

asked my uncle what he thought,’ McGregor explains. ’He >



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