5 Actors Who Were Almost Cast as the Jedi Master


The Star Wars movie franchise is a wondrous place with plenty of unique characters to admire and despise. Among these characters are a variety of Jedi whom fans admire for their wisdom and courage, including Master Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan is one of the most beloved characters in the whole Star Wars franchise. Proven by the highly anticipated release of the new Disney + series Obi-Wan Kenobiset to air in May 2022 with Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Obi-Wan and Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader. With everyone on the edge of their seats awaiting the return of Obi-Wan to the screen, we must remember that Obi-Wan could have turned out very differently.

While all would agree that McGregor was perfectly cast as the younger Obi-Wan, as was the elder version of Obi-Wan portrayed by Alec McGuiness, there are plenty of other actors that were heavily considered for the role of the Jedi Master – some of whom were rejected for ridiculous reasons. In the end, the choices were made for a reason, but, for better or worse, these actors were almost cast as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Related: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Best Fight Scenes in the Franchise, Ranked

5 Hugh Jackman


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20th Century Fox

Before his performance as Logan / Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, Hugh Jackman was pretty much unknown, spending most of his time on-stage with only a few small roles in film and TV. Jackman appeared in the original X-Men, the film that kick-started the franchise. Before his appearance in X-MenJackman was under consideration for the part of Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. This would have made for a very different iteration of Obi-Wan that may not have fulfilled the legacy that Alec McGuiness left with the older Obi-Wan in the original Star Wars trilogy. On top of this, if Jackman were to have been cast as Obi-Wan, then we may not have been blessed with Jackman’s flawless performance as Logan in the X-Men franchise.


4 Kenneth Branagh


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Columbia Pictures

Sir Kenneth Branagh is a classically trained actor with a number of accolades under his belt, known for his roles in film adaptations of classic Shakespearean plays including Othello, Hamletand Henry V. Similar to Alec Guiness ‘background, Kenneth Branagh’s consideration for the role of Obi-Wan would have brought a certain level of class to Lucas’ corny dialogue, precisely what Guinness managed to do in the original trilogy. Had Branagh been cast as Obi-Wan, the prequels would have had more of a classical Shakespearean tone to it, rather than McGregor’s more modern take on a young Obi-Wan. Branagh’s career has blossomed over the past two decades, earning him a knighthood for all his contributions to the arts.

3 Joseph Fiennes


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Hulu

Known for his roles in Shakespeare in Love, Enemy at the Gatesand Elizabeth, Joseph Fiennes, brother of Ralph Fiennes, makes the list as yet another actor who could have played Obi-Wan. However, the reason he did not get the part is a little more ridiculous than others. After his audition for the part of Obi-Wan in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Lucas’ daughter said “I do not like this guy. He’s weird. ” Low and behold, Fiennes did not get the part, but he did go on to star in a number of films and TV series, making a name for himself for his role as Commander Fred Waterford in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Related: Obi-Wan Kenobi: Did the Jedi Master Ever Have a Love Interest?

2 Tim Roth


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A Band Apart

After his roles in the Quentin Tarantino films Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Tim Roth was also thrown into the ring as a young Obi-Wan. A member of a group of prominent British actors referred to as the “Brit Pack,” Roth is a decent choice. With his natural British accent and his charm, Roth would have been an interesting choice to play the Jedi Master. Roth has gone on to star in a number of films including Selma and has joined the MCU as Abomination, featured in Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings and is set to reprise his role in She-Hulkthe Disney + series.

1 Toshiro Mifune


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Toho

The most inspiring choice of all on this list is that of Toshiro Mifune as Obi-Wan in the original series in place of Alec McGuiness. Mifune is known for his performance in Seven Samuraithe original story on which The Magnificent Seven is based. The role of Obi-Wan was originally offered to Mifune before McGuiness as he starred in Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortressthe biggest influence on George Lucas’ original 1977 Star Wars movie. To Lucas, this was an obvious choice, but he was thrown for a loop when Mifune turned down the role as he was concerned that it would cheapen the Samurai reputation.



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