“I think Obi-Wan Kenobi would have appreciated this Combi”

Unforgettable Jedi in “Star Wars”, the Scottish actor brings his lightsaber to a new television series… backed by a resurrected automobile myth. In this exclusive interview, the Hollywood star reveals his passion for mechanics and… for the Beetle.

Departure from Paris. What’s new is this new six-episode TV series called “Obi-Wan Kenobi” where you play the lead role?
Ewan McGregor. Yes, we finished filming last year and the first episode airs May 25th on Disney+. I’m very excited about this series. I enjoyed working with producer Deborah Chow, as the script is excellent. Even though you can never predict anything, I honestly think “Star Wars” fans will love it.

Can you tell us a little more?
You won’t know anything! [Il rit.] More seriously, the action takes place between episodes 3 and 4 of “Star Wars”, when the Jedi were exterminated. Obi-Wan Kenobi feels terribly guilty. He lost his friends, and his student, Anakin Skywalker, turned to the dark side of the force. You will see, the plot is fascinating.

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The identification. Buzz tastes like the original version, but this van is modern

The new Volkswagen ID. Buzz is the series’ partner vehicle. Honestly, do you think a Jedi would have driven an electric Combi?
There are, strictly speaking, no cars in “Star Wars”. They’re more like ships or spiders without wheels, but I think Obi-Wan Kenobi would have liked this Combi.

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A more modest version (170 hp, 52 kWh battery) and a more efficient version (4×4, 300 hp, 77 kWh) will appear later.

© Ingo Barensche

Have you seen it up close?
Yes, in Los Angeles for a commercial operation, and I visited the factory in Hanover where it is made. I took the opportunity to visit the old Combi’s restoration workshop and even had the opportunity to try out the new ID.5 GTX on a private track. The instructor beside me encouraged me to accelerate hard and we took off at the top of a speed bump. It was my first time flying by car…

Do you think the ID. Is Buzz the worthy heir to the original Combi?
When I drive my old Combi, I’m always impressed by how close the windshield is. In this sense, the ID. The Buzz has the flavor of the original version, but this van is modern. It is a cheerful, bright and comfortable car, very spacious too, as the absence of a thermal engine and transmission tunnel allowed a real gain in space. Also, she has a cute style. Its bright exterior colors and colorful material inserts on the interior bring joy.

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What comes after this ad

Heir to the iconic Combi, the German manufacturer's new minibus is distinguished by its attractive style and… by its 100% electric motor.

Heir to the iconic Combi, the German manufacturer’s new minibus is distinguished by its attractive style and… by its 100% electric motor.

© Ingo Barensche

Did you appreciate the silent operation compared to yours…
Oh yeah ! And again, mine isn’t too noisy because the engine is located in the back and it’s well furnished. But I admit that the ID. Tinnitus is very quiet. It’s a real success. Like the old one, this van can be used in different configurations, both for work and for everyday life. For me, who have five children, it’s the ideal wagon. I will certainly have one in California when it becomes available.

You don’t just like cars. Are motorcycles important to you too?
Despite driving cars more often, especially when I’m with my kids, I love motorcycles and I also collect them.

Passionate about mechanics, the actor wanted to visit the Volkswagen heritage restoration workshop.

Passionate about mechanics, the actor wanted to visit the Volkswagen heritage restoration workshop.

© Ingo Barensche

What cars do you collect?
I can’t ride in an ordinary car. So I have this need to collect. I am a true Volkswagen fan. I own four Beetles, including one from 1954 that I converted to electric. When I walk down the street, people don’t understand how a car from that era can make so little noise. I also have a 1967 Westfalia Camper van. This is my second one. The first one, I sold to buy a small Italian plane when I got my pilot’s license. I also have an old Volkswagen van, a 1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II, which I love, a 1937 Wolseley, a defunct British brand, which I bought after filming, and two rats.rods, completely crazy and super dangerous cars, designed based on on cars from the 1930s.

What is your oldest car-related memory?
Every summer, with my parents and my brother, we went on holiday to a camp in Carnac, Brittany. We went there in a Volkswagen Beetle, of course. And we took the ferry from Portsmouth to Roscoff. As the drive from Scotland was interminable, my parents turned the backseats into a bed so we could sleep upside down, my brother and I. I still find myself looking at the stars through the roof of the car. It was the most exciting time of the year for us. It was an adventure… I have amazing memories of that. You understand why the Beetle is my favorite car.

In front of her Ladybug collection.  He owns four, one of which he converted to electric.

In front of her Ladybug collection. He owns four, one of which he converted to electric.

© Ingo Barensche

What did your parents ride?
In the 1970s, the family drove a Volkswagen Beetle as you understand it. And then, in the early 1980s, my dad became a Ford fan. He first bought a Cortina, the popular model in the range, under the Granada, which was more reserved for businessmen. After several Curtains, we got a Sierra. My parents were teachers and didn’t have much money to spend on a car.

I think we’re definitely going to go electric. All major manufacturers make this choice.

What was your first car?
A ladybug, of course! When I was 14, I washed dishes in a hotel kitchen every weekend and a few nights during the week to earn some money. After two years I was able to save £500 which I bought this car with, probably the only one I was able to buy at this price. It was a 1978 model, which was quite curious as production had stopped in 1975 in Germany. I later found out that it was a version from South Africa, where it was still being produced, that had landed in Scotland.

How do you see the future of the automobile?
I think we’re definitely going to go electric. All major manufacturers make this choice. Volkswagen in particular has announced that their entire range will be electric, and I say bravo to them for that. I think we have to stop burning oil. Electric seems to be the way to go. And they are very pleasant cars to drive. At the same time, we must not stop developing other solutions. It would be great to develop a non-polluting fuel for classic cars.

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