We know already that Alec Guinness had something of a strained relationship with Star Wars. He got one of the franchise’s plum roles as wise, old Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, but it’s fair to say that the British thespian wasn’t in love with being in one of the best science fiction movies ever made.
As one of the best Star Wars characters, Alec Guinness brought gravitas to the first of the Star Wars movies, right up until Obi-Wan’s noble sacrifice to the lightsaber of Darth Vader. It turns out it was something of a sacrifice by Guinness too.
The actor wrote in his diary that he was frustrated about Lucas’ indecision about whether or not to kill Obi-Wan at the end of the movie. And Guinness was having such a miserable time with the script that he pushed Lucas in a particular direction.
Guinness told interviewer Fintan O’Toole (via Space.com) that he lobbied hard for Obi-Wan Kenobi to be killed off, but it was more due to selfishness than his deep respect for the artistic integrity of the story in the new movies to come.
“What I didn’t tell Lucas was that I just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I’d had enough of the mumbo jumbo,” he said.
Guinness had actually fixed some of the Star Wars dialogue already, but he still found himself frustrated by having to talk about Star Wars droids and Star Wars aliens all the time. Jedi life isn’t for everyone.
Despite his antipathy towards the galaxy far, far away, Guinness still played a vital role in the history of Star Wars and its best movies. He might not have liked it, but he helped fire the imagination of generations of viewers – whether he knew his Death Star from his Sith Lord or not. And let’s face it, he definitely didn’t.
Now go read why George Lucas was right about Star Wars. And for that one, we’re sorry Alec.