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Bid for Star Wars statue of Ewan McGregor at peak of Ben Nevis tossed into Great Pit of Carkoon

Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi/A cairn at the top of Ben Nevis.
Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi/A cairn at the top of Ben Nevis.

A conservation charity has crushed a bizarre bid by Star Wars fans to have a statue of actor Ewan McGregor installed at the top of Ben Nevis.

What started life as an April Fools Day joke has spawned a global campaign with backing from more than 20,000 people.

An online petition demands that Perthshire-based conservation charity John Muir Trust consider a life-size sculpture of the Crieff-born actor as his Star Wars character Obi Wan Kenobi.

Connor Heggie, who set up the campaign, said it would help Scotland’s crisis-hit tourist economy by encouraging an influx of science fiction fans to the mountain.

The petition uses one of McGregor’s most famous lines in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, when his character tells former pupil and soon-to-be Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker: “I have the higher ground”.

The phrase has generated countless social media memes and even a parody song that has been watched nearly 5 million times.

However, the Pitlochry-based John Muir Trust, which manages tourism impact at the world famous peak, told The Courier the statue could never go ahead.

Spokesman Kevin Lelland, a keen Star Wars fan himself, said: “I’m afraid we’d need to knock this idea down with a lightsaber.

“We’ve got sympathy with the concept that people and nature are hitched to the universe, and that’s why we try to keep Scotland’s most iconic mountain in as natural a state as possible.”

An estimated 100,000 people ascend the mountain each year.

Mr Heggie, from Newcastle, said he wanted to honour the “phenomenal” actor.

“Regardless of what people think of the prequel trilogy, most people will say that Obi Wan was done brilliantly. He made Obi Wan the popular character he is today.

“And I think he deserves something for it.”

He said a statue of Obi Wan Kenobi would be particularly fitting on a mountain known as Ben. “He would literally have the high ground, watching over all of Scotland. It’s poetic in a way.”

The north face of Ben Nevis.

Mr Heggie wants a statue made from “copper, stone, bronze, brass, marble or iron” with a plaque that welcomes climbers with the phrase: “Hello there” – another fan favourite line from Star Wars.

“It would also have its benefits too, as the mountain would increase in popularity. Estimated ascents would increase. You would have Star Wars fans from around the world coming to Scotland to climb Ben Nevis to reach the ‘high ground’.

“I think it would be the perfect way to honour Ewan McGregor, a statue of his most iconic character on Scotland’s highest ground.”

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