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J.J. Abrams talks about those voices [REDACTED] heard in The Force Awakens

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Obviously, this story involves a thing that happens in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to know about anything that happens in it, you should leave. Also, you should probably just go see the movie or get off the internet entirely. If you read anything after this line, you only have yourself to blame.

So, as the rest of us already know (or don’t mind finding out), there’s a scene in The Force Awakens where some unseen force calls Rey into the basement of Maz Kanata’s cantina-like castle. She finds a mysterious box, and when she opens it she sees—last chance to avoid spoilers—Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber. She briefly touches it and then experiences a series of visions that will all probably be explained in later Star Wars movies, including Kylo Ren hanging out with his bros, Luke placing his robotic hand on R2-D2, and Rey herself as a kid being left on the planet Jakku.


On top of these short teases, she also hears some voices that the audience should recognize as Yoda, Luke, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and J.J. Abrams recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about the story behind those voices. As it turns out, Ewan McGregor and Frank Oz both reprised their roles as Obi-Wan and Yoda for the scene, and though Oz’s lines were ultimately replaced with pre-existing dialogue form the older movies, Abrams seems especially happy with McGregor’s performance. He says the former young Obi-Wan was “awesome” and “incredibly sweet and handsome,” and once he was done recording he “rode off on his motorcycle.” As far as Abrams is concerned, this makes him “literally the coolest voice actor ever.”

And yet, McGregor wasn’t the only actor who returned to play Obi-Wan for the scene. Apparently, even Alec Guinness—who died in 2000—made a one-word cameo. As Abrams told Entertainment Weekly, he was editing the sequence when one of the film’s producers presented him with a recording of Guinness as Obi-Wan saying “Rey.” He got it by doing some computer magic to some audio of Guinness saying “afraid,” and Abrams says “the lilt in his voice” is exactly how he would have asked Guinness to say the line, adding that it’s “so crazy perfect.”


Assuming you didn’t catch that the first time around, now you have an excuse to see The Force Awakens again. You’re welcome.