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Ewan McGregor Says He’s Been Sent Erotic Fan Art of Him and Hayden Christensen

Obi-Wan Kenobi looking through space binoculars in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series.

Fan art is a staple of the fandom experience. It’s a lovely artistic exploration of the properties and characters that we adore, often beyond what we’re given in the text. Sometimes, that fan art is representative of the ships we want to see in the world, and some of it is rather explicit in nature. While most actors and creators are very aware of fanart these days, and some enjoy engaging with it—yes, even the sexier sides of it—that’s a choice that should be theirs to make. You probably shouldn’t be sending it to them unsolicited in an envelope without any fore-warning of what is coming their way.

In a new interview for British GQ, Ewan McGregor, star of the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi, shared that he gets fan art sent to him from time to time that depicts homoerotic moments between his character and Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker. From the interview, it doesn’t seem like McGregor has any problem with it, which is nice to hear, but his disclosure sparked a larger conversation online about boundaries in fandom.

The subject arises during a part of the interview where they’re joking about McGregor’s work prior to his venture into Star Wars when he says that his Obi-Wan action figure could be “in leather flares and nothing else.” This led to him talking about the fan art that he’s been sent by some fans to sign—and how it was sometimes of an unexpected nature. “There’s a lot of homoerotic Obi-Wan/Hayden [Christensen] fan art that gets sent to me now and again. I don’t know how it finds me. It’s always a bit of an eye-opener. You open the envelope, you think you’re going to have to sign something, and you’re like, ‘Fucking hell!’”

This clearly isn’t a big problem for McGregor, nor has it warned him away from the part or from interacting with fans and still, apparently, opening unsolicited envelopes himself. People have been shipping Obi-Wan and Anakin for decades, so we imagine he’s used to this sort of thing by now. He’s ready and willing to keep playing Obi-Wan Kenobi and would come back for more seasons if asked. “I really hope we do another,” he said. “If I could do one of these every now and again – I’d just be happy about it.” 

Even though McGregor is good-natured about the erotic fan art sent to him, it doesn’t mean this is something we should be in the habit of doing.

Fan art is for us all but maybe don’t send it directly to the actors

I know it is a blurry line because stars like Taika Waititi have spoken about the sexy fan art that is out there about their characters. But the difference here is that enthusiasts like Waititi seem to seek it out or see it while online and choose to “like” or share the art. Some folks clearly get a kick from it and we love that for everyone involved. But that’s a frankly different experience than being sent it to sign or being presented with this kind of art at a con. Being sent erotic depictions of a character with your face—when you have not expressed interest in seeing it—should really be where we draw the line in our oversharing culture.

Again, McGregor doesn’t seem to have a problem with the art being made and fans enjoying themselves. He’s pointing out the shock of receiving that art in the mail, and this has become the topic of conversation online since the quote was released. Many are blaming all Obikin shippers, which is not what they should be doing. It’s just a conversation about boundaries and what is and isn’t okay to send to the actors bringing these characters to life. This is a conversation that has been going on since time immemorial, or at least since the early days of Kirk/Spock. No one deserves to be harassed over it, but it’s also good for there to be some pretty basic fannish boundaries we can all agree on until the creatives indicate otherwise.

Fan art is a tricky game when it comes to the celebrities in these properties. On the one hand, some love seeing the art created for their characters but on the other, sending suggestive art pieces to someone in the mail might be just pushing that boundary too far. Create the art you want, share it with friends and fans alike online, but maybe don’t send it to the actors or tag them without warning, especially if they aren’t searching out fan art themselves.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.