Joel Edgerton is a star on the rise, starring opposite Christian Bale in this fall’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, but U.S. audiences first spotted the actor in the small-but-critical role of Owen Lars in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, sharing the final iconic shot of the prequels with baby Luke Skywalker.
With the possibility of an Obi-Wan standalone movie currently heating up in the rumor mill, we talked to Edgerton during press for police drama Felony about possibly reprising Uncle Owen in a spinoff movie alongside Ewan McGregor, and he seemed more than game, even discussing filling the gaps of the clear dramatic history between the two characters.
SuperHeroHype: Certainly the moment when a lot of people noticed you was when you did Star Wars. There’s been a lot of talk about a possible Obi-Wan spinoff. Has anybody contacted you about possibly reprising Uncle Owen?
Joel Edgerton: The first I heard about it was today. When did that happen?
SHH: A week or two ago it started to percolate.
Edgerton: So who would play Obi-Wan?
SHH: Ideally Ewan, most likely in the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
Edgerton: Well then I definitely have to be there, right? Or they’re gonna get someone else? Am I too old for that now?
SHH: You don’t seem too old for it!
Edgerton: I’ll tell you my one dream when it came to “Star Wars”… It was the only time in my life where a dream came true that I’ve never had. It was such a crazy kind of fantasy that came true, so crazy that I’d never even had the fantasy. “One day I’ll get to be in ‘Star Wars,’ that was not even a sentence that would ever pop out of my mouth, yet all of the sudden it was like, “Oh, they’re shooting more ‘Star Wars’ movies, and they’re doing it in Sydney and God you look a little like that guy.” It was the perfect storm, then that was me and I got to live that dream. Now, in the spirit of complaining when you have no right to complain, in the back of my mind I was envious of my brother because my brother was doubling Ewan. At the time my brother’s main gig was as a stunt guy, so he did all the more dangerous elements of the fighting for Ewan. So he was a Jedi. My brother and I were both working in “Star Wars,” and he was a Jedi and I was a moisture farmer. (laughs) I was just like “Awww! The only thing better than what I’m doing right now is if I had a bigger role in the thing, but also if I had a f**kin’ lightsaber!” You know what I mean?
SHH: It’s interesting, in the original ’77 movie Owen’s got a bit of chip on his shoulder about Obi-Wan. “That wizard’s just a crazy old man.”
Edgerton: Oh yeah!
SHH: Yet at the end of Episode III it seems like they’re cool. Clearly something happened between III and IV to sour those two…
Edgerton: Yeah, there’s great drama there and I should be involved. Actually, when it was first mentioned to me today I thought, “Ooh, that sounds cool.” I think what’s going on in London right now sounds cool, ’cause I reckon [J.J. Abrams] is a great keeper, he’s sorta proved himself to be a great shoemaker, the great reboot master. I think he’s excellent at story and he’s excellent at character and bringing new faces to the screen as well as old. I don’t believe if you were gonna reboot “Star Wars” or tell new stories was to fill it with ultra-famous people. I love the way he cast it, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, but then a bunch of people that you hardly even know.
SHH: Which used to be you!
Edgerton: Yeah, which used to be me! I find it funny how someone threw a photo in front of me to sign of me from then and I look at the photo and go, “Oh God, that was me!” That’s only 13 or 14 years ago.
SHH: We could totally pitch you and Obi-Wan hanging out at a dive on Tatoooine, you get into a bar brawl then go on a crazy Butch & Sundance-style adventure.
Edgerton: And I could actually be a good… as long as I get to do some good action sh*t, you know? I don’t want to just be a nerdy moisture farmer. Looking at Owen in “Episode IV” it looked like he’d been through some sh*t too, and as you say it looked like there was a bit of a fractiousness there. I like to think that he was employed on the battlefield, in the air… Okay, we’re gonna talk about this. This is a necessary addition to my film canon, it gives me another chance to do something more than just rub my hands on a rag and shake Anakin’s hand.
SHH: No, it’ll be awesome. Fingers crossed.
Edgerton: This is the world we live in, isn’t it? Tons of spin-offs, people reboot things very quickly. I was amazed how quickly they made a Wolverine movie, then, “Let’s do another origins Wolverine movie.” If people want to watch it, you don’t have to wait 20 years. So that’s something that’s really in the rumor mill?
SHH: Supposedly they did an online poll of fans for who their favorite character was, and Obi-Wan was #1.
Edgerton: Really? More than Han Solo? Han Solo would have had to have been #2 and Boba Fett would have to be #3. That’s cool man. You know I just did a movie with Ewan and Natalie, “Jane Got a Gun,” which was like a complete “Star Wars” reunion. I love Ewan, man, he’s one of the greats.
There have been no official confirmations about which characters will appear in the Star Wars spinoff films, only that they will be released between episodes of the upcoming sequel trilogy in 2016, 2018 and 2020. Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank will direct the first two. Felony opens in limited release on October 17. Look for our full interview with Joel Edgerton next week!