Liam Neeson Gives Insight on Star Wars Saga Evolution and Behind-the-Scenes Anecdotes
A Funny Behind-the-Scenes Moment: Lightsaber Sound Effects
Famous actor Liam Neeson recently appeared and shared his thoughts on the evolution of the Star Wars saga. During his time filming The Phantom Menace, where he portrayed Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jin, he also entertained us with some amusing anecdotes. One particularly humorous moment involved the sound effects of lightsabers. Liam Neeson and his colleague Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, actually imitated the weapon sounds themselves during filming. This came naturally to them as soon as they held the props. It’s indeed tempting to imagine ourselves doing the same!
However, George Lucas, the director, was not pleased with this approach. Liam Neeson recalls Lucas saying, “Uh it’s good, guys we stop, we can add that later.” It seems that Lucas had to manage his actors as if they were children. In response, Qui-Gon retorted, “Yeah, we know,” before mimicking the sound of a retracting lightsaber. One can’t help but wonder if it would have been great for Lucas to include that in the final edit!
A Familiar Habit Kept by Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor, who also appeared in Episode 3 and will soon star in the Kenobi series, admitted that he couldn’t resist making lightsaber noises while filming. He believes that everyone who doesn’t do it out loud still does it internally. After all, it’s understandable that actors would want to add sound to their actions. During filming, they don’t get to see the final product or what the audience will experience. This was especially true for the first three episodes of the saga, where everything was shot against a green screen with only a prop stick in their hands. The sound effects served as a way for the actors to immerse themselves in their characters and enhance the overall experience. McGregor refers to himself as a big kid living out his dream of becoming a Jedi, and even admits to playfully pretending to use the Force to open automatic doors.