Most people have very definite feelings about the different Star Wars installments. Hayden Christensen played Anakin Skywalker in the franchise prequels 1-3. Those prequels were not well received, overall. Some actors, like Ewan McGregor and Samuel L Jackson, were forgiven for their involvement. Others, like Hayden, were not. I don’t know if it was deserved but he was side-by-side with Jar Jar Binks for persona non-grata in Stars Wars fandom for years. Fortunately, time heals most wounds and when Hayden showed up at the Star Wars Celebration panel in 2017, he was met with huge applause. And then he signed a jar of sand and sealed his reinstatement as a good guy. And it paid off. First, it was announced that he would return as Anakin in McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi project. And now, it’s just been announced that he will reprise the role again in Ahsoka, the Rosario Dawson led spinoff coming out of The Mandalorian on Disney+.
Hayden Christensen is sticking around on the Dark Side for a little longer.
The Golden Globe nominee, 40, is reprising his role as Darth Vader (a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker) in the Star Wars franchise once again, having joined the upcoming Disney+ series spinoff Ahsoka, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Ahsoka stars Rosario Dawson as the eponymous surviving Jedi Knight and will begin filming in early 2022. She previously originated the live-action role in season 2 of The Mandalorian.
Taking place five years after the events of 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, in which Darth Vader dies, it’s currently unclear how Christensen will factor into the series. Since Ahsoka was once Anakin’s Padawan apprentice, it’s possible that he’ll return in the form of a Force ghost.
If there are going to be spinoffs from spinoffs I’m going to need a flow chart to keep up with this world. I find it odd that they’re announcing Hayden’s involvement if he’s going to be a ghost or manifestation. That’s usually the kind of thing they keep secret for the film. I guess if he’s already in the Obi-Wan thing, the wow factor is worn off? I am way too far out of the loop to figure out how Anakin will factor into the new series. It’s obviously a breadcrumb that some uber fans will pick up on. Disney knows what it’s doing when it puts out these announcements.
The reason Hayden was shunned by the Star Wars community was in part because they did not like the story of Anakin, but mainly because they didn’t like Hayden’s performance specifically. Which, I get, but they really crapped on him as if he’d committed a crime. Granted, he did not conduct his personal life well, but I’m not sure he deserved quite the reaction he got for turning in a dud performance as Anakin. From what little I did see, Natalie Portman wasn’t doing her best work either. So I was pleased to see fans welcome Hayden back into the fold. But fans never forget, and their loyalty should never be tested. They did not respond well when Hayden’s Obi-Wan return was announced. I don’t think adding more Anakin revivals to his docket is advised. It would be great if he could redeem his whole run as Anakin, but I doubt that’s happening. Ultimately, the problem is also Anakin himself. Who cares about Anakin? Darth is the side of that personality we’re all waiting for anyway.
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