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Joel Edgerton Credits ‘Star Wars’ for His Career

Joel Edgerton as Uncle Owen looking concerned in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'

The Star Wars prequels hold a special place in the hearts of many millennials. They were our very own Star Wars movies, the ones we first saw in theaters as kids. Naturally, many of those casting choices remain near and dear to us. One of those is Joel Edgerton’s (Loving, The Gift) role as young Owen Lars, aka Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen. And while audiences were introduced to Edgerton in the prequels, they also played a pivotal role in the actor’s career.

Edgerton himself attributes his career to Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. “I owe so much in my career to George [Lucas, Star Wars’ creator] giving me that job: it opened all the doors to Hollywood,” Edgerton told NME. “It allowed everyone in L.A. to kind of welcome me and go, ‘Oh, he’s in Star Wars. Let’s give him an audition for other things’. So I put aside any of my reticence [about returning to the role in Obi-Wan Kenobi] and I saw it as a way to complete a circle of some kind.”

Edgerton discussed how he brought more context to Uncle Owen and added layers to his character. “I’ve always joked that Uncle Owen is the most boring character in Star Wars history because he’s a moisture farmer and he doesn’t get to wield a lightsaber. And I’m always cheeky about the way I talk about Uncle Owen!” Edgerton added “Everybody thinks that Uncle Owen is a grumbly, cantankerous ‘say no’ dude. I was like, ‘This is my opportunity to put a bit more context on that, and have people maybe like him a little bit more’. And I think we did that.”

The love for Uncle Owen

While I was not the biggest Uncle Owen fan back during the original trilogy, I felt the same way about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett. In fact, there are a few characters from the original trilogy I just didn’t get until they appeared in the prequel movies and The Book of Boba Fett. Seeing Edgerton’s take on Uncle Owen brought new light to the character, especially when we saw him again in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

There was a switch from the lighter Owen in the prequels to the Owen who had been raising Luke as his own on Tatooine. We saw the protectiveness he felt when Obi-Wan tried to talk to him, and it made sense leading up to the Owen we know from the original trilogy. It’s just cool to see someone who has had such a successful career outside of Star Wars look back to George Lucas and Star Wars as the reason people know them. So I guess thank you George Lucas, for helping people know Joel Edgerton. And if you want to see Edgerton take on more iconic roles, I highly recommend his turn as Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

(featured image: The Walt Disney Company)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 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.