The first two episodes of Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series are almost here and, unsurprisingly, Ewan McGregor is busy promoting the highly anticipated Star Wars show. Of course, as your average fan is going to know, the new series will be far from the first time McGregor plays the character. He took over for the late Alec Guinness starting with 1999’s The Phantom Menace, and continued to play Luke Skywalker’s future guardian and mentor for the subsequent two films. This week, McGregor revealed something surprising about 2002’s Attack of the Clones. According to the Obi-Wan Kenobi star, every single line of dialogue in Attack of the Clones needed to be re-recorded after all the scenes were performed.
As reported by Slash Film, at an Obi-Wan Kenobi press conference this morning, Ewan McGregor explained that while the digital cameras used to shoot Attack of the Clones were “cutting edge technology” for the time, compared to today’s cameras, they were “dinosaurs.” The short version is that the cameras caused an issue which necessitated that all the dialogue to be added via ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) in post production. However, Ewan McGregor’s slightly longer explanation is:
“They had huge umbilical cords coming out the back of the cameras, and you couldn’t change the lenses. Or, they could change the lenses but it would take like, half an hour. So everything was just shot on a zoom lens. The umbilicals led to this big tent in the corner of the stage that literally hummed. It was so noisy. And when in post-production, they realized at the end that the noise they made was exactly the frequency of the human voice. So we had to ADR every single line of Episode 2. None of the original dialogue made it through because of that, because the cameras were like, so new. None of the bugs had been worked out yet. So compared to what we’re doing now, it’s like night and day.”
In case you don’t know, ADR is typically used in films and you may have even noticed it without knowing. If there’s a spot in a movie that made you scratch your head a little bit because the dialogue and the actor’s mouth don’t seem to synch exactly right — that’s probably ADR. But even though it’s used all the time in just about every screen production, the idea of it being used on every single line of dialogue is practically unheard of. It’s enough to make you want to go back and see if you can spot Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen’s lines not quite matching up with their mouths.
Of course, according to a lot of critics of the prequels, George Lucas and co. missed a golden opportunity. One of the most often trashed aspect of the prequels is the dialogue, and perhaps the most hated lines in the prequels — Anakin’s “I don’t like sand” bit — were in Attack of the Clones. Hayden Christensen recently spoke out, defending the films’ dialogue, but hey — maybe George just could have replaced everything. Maybe even turn it into a completely different movie! He could’ve Bad Lip Readinged his own flick. Have them sing about seagulls and stuff.