Cast-Off Retro: 'Star Wars' Part 1 - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Cast-Off Retro: Star Wars p.1 - Obi-Wan

Over the last few weeks we've asked you the Newsarama readers to pick the actors you would like to to see play a couple of iconic upcoming comic book movie roles, <a href=>Wonder Woman</a> (fingers crossed), and <a href=>Captain America</a>.

We've had so much fun with those we thought we'd put a little twist on the concept, and ask you to participate in helping us -cast classic genre movies with contemporary actors … or in other words, what the casts of great sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies made in the past might look like if they were made (or remade) today.

And we're going to start with the undisputed king of classic genre movies, the original Star Wars Trilogy, and role-by-major-role ask you to help choose what actor would best play the part, beginning today with Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi, originally played in George Lucas' epic by distinguished British actor Sir Alec Guinness.

Since this is part one, let's briefly go over some ground rules how this spin-off of the concept will work.

- Newsarama will suggest five actors (including identifying our own choice for the role), and ask you to choose your favorite amongst the five.

- We're treating the original Star Wars Trilogy as if nothing ever came before it - meaning they'll be no attempt to "coordinate" with the more recent prequel Chapters I-III. For example, the choices for Obi-Wan aren’t at all related to who might best follow/match-up with Ewan McGregor in the role. For this fictional exercise, we're assuming the actor is originating the role as the original castmembers did.

- And on that note, and as you'll soon see, the choices will feature some diversity. Unless there is a factor written into the character that dictates their race or ethnicity (for example, Luke and Leia being of the race), the field has been left wide open.

So without further ado, here are a few brief words on our five choices for the role, and you can vote for your favorite just below...

<li> Sir Ian McKellen – So we're looking for an actor who can play a sage old wizard who aids a young neophyte adventurer on a quest to a massive fortress to defeat a powerful, evil overlord, and who seemingly sacrifices himself to save his friends, only to surprisingly return more powerful than ever.

Well, since that's already on Sir Ian's resume from that box-office smash epic film trilogy, he could slip into the part of Obi-Wan (a character no doubt greatly influenced by 's Gandolf to begin with) without a hitch.

And, oh yeah … as the 's Magneto, he's also gotten in some practice moving large objects with small gestures of his hands.

<li> Sir Sean Connery – The former James Bond has made a long, second career of playing the old warrior who serves as a mentor to a young whipper-snapper ("Rising Son", "The Rock", "Entrapment", "Dragonheart" to name just a few), so Obi-Wan is a part Connery could probably do in his sleep.

He could certainly make for a more commanding, hard-ass Obi-Wan than Alec Guinness, emphasizing the former Jedi Knight's status as a rough-and-tumble seasoned hero of galactic war.

<li> Sir Anthony Hopkins – Despite his signature role being a deranged, cannibalistic serial killer, Hopkins could bring a very Alec Guinness-like quiet, gentle dignity to the role – sort of the flipside of a Connery approach, emphasizing the character's peaceful Jedi philosophical side, over his man-of-action, warrior past.

In other words, Hopkins would more excel as Ben Kenobi, where as Connery for instance might make for better a Obi-Wan.

<li> Morgan Freeman (*) – Another actor who can comfortably slip into the sage mentor role (see Lucius Fox from and ) and who seems to be equally comfortable playing edgy than he does playing gentle, softspoken, and dignified.

At a reported 6'2½", Freeman (along with Connery) would make for a more imposing physical presence than some other actors, adding a little credibility to the climatic lightsaber duel with the 7 foot-ish Darth Vader, in a day and age moviegoers might expect a little more action than the original Guinness-Vader showdown offered.

<li> Patrick Stewart – The one-time Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise and headmaster of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters rounds out a field that all share some similar traits – classically-trained actors that can juxtapose being mature, gentle, guiding spirits against credibility as one-time action heroes that can still pick up a (light)saber when called upon.

And like his mate McKellen, as Professor Xavier Stewart is already practiced in performing subtle Jedi-like gestures, in this case those handy mind tricks.

So there you have it. Vote right below if you're so inclined, and stick around to discuss the little alternate universe we're creating with your fellow fans...

<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src=""></script><noscript> <a href ="" >Who would be your choice to play Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi in a contemporary version of the original Star Wars Trilogy?</a>  <br/> <span style="font-size:9px;"> (<a href ="">  surveys</a>)</span></noscript>

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