Hayden Christensen is returning to Star Wars in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and this time he’s ready to face off against the Dark Side.
If you asked someone in the early 2000s what they thought of Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker, they’d probably tell you he sucked. However, his work in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith has been reappraised over the past few years, and though the dialogue is still criticized, the reception to Christensen’s performance is more on the positive side.
Thus, when it was announced he would return to play the young Darth Vader in Disney+’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, fans rejoiced at the prospect of seeing him again. Even better, he’s been hard at work refamiliarizing himself with the onscreen Star Wars universe to prepare, binging the animated series as well as rewatching the films.
How Hayden Christensen Prepared For Kenobi
In an interview with EW with Ewan McGregor promoting Kenobi, Christensen said,
“I went back and rewatched all the films… And I also got into the animated shows, The Clone Wars and Rebels. It was interesting. They did a lot with these characters in those shows. And they did further explore the relationship. There was interesting stuff there to learn about. It was great fun getting to go back and re-immerse yourself in this world that just continues to grow and become more and more vast”.
Though it got off to a rough start, Star Wars: The Clone Wars both revitalized interest in the Star Wars franchise and expanded on some of the most criticized elements of the prequel films: The world-building and characterization for Anakin Skywalker.
Taking place in-between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, The Clone Wars series finally allows us to warm up to Anakin, see hints of his dark side, and, most importantly, sell us on his friendship with Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi by actually showing it instead of just having them talk about it. Anakin’s characterization in the series comes off like a better-executed version of what the prequels were going for while still being in line with what the films offered us, so all in all, it was a win for everyone.
I imagine Christensen is happy to see his performances received far more positively now and I look forward to seeing what he brings in the series.
But what is Ewan McGregor doing to prepare for the role that arguably made him a mainstream star?
In that same interview, McGregor stated,
“I watched them from start to finish. All nine movies. Just to get back in that world. It was interesting to watch our films because I hadn’t seen them since they came out. It was cool to see and interesting to watch them and enjoy them without all of the noise that was around when they came out.”
McGregor’s performance as Obi-Wan Kenobi was often called one of the saving graces of the prequel series. Bringing his own charisma to the part while still carrying the regal presence of Alec Guinness, McGregor has embraced the love afforded to him by fans and had a successful career without a light saber in hand too. It’s interesting how he states it’s cool to watch the films without all the noise around them on release.
While each Star Wars film following the first was treated as a monumental event, we have to remember that their true legacy will be determined by how well they are enjoyed by future generations. Without the knowledge of their production and online drama that’s followed the many of the more recent entries, it will be interesting to see how Star Wars fares on the big and small screens in the future. For now, though, we’ll wait in anticipation for Obi-Wan Kenobi to finally arrive on Disney+ May 27, 2022.
What are your thoughts on Hayden Christensen’s dedication to the Star Wars series? Are you excited to see him return to the role of Anakin Skywalker in Obi-Wan Kenobi? Who’s your favorite Star Wars character? Let us know in the comments below and on our Twitter, and May The Force Be With You All.