Hayden Christensen, who’s returning as Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, believes the Star Wars sequels “honored” the iconic villain.
The year was 1998. A young Anakin Skywalker stands in front of his shadow, carved by the sun and glimpsing into the darkness of his future. Even in a pre-social media world, this poster for The Phantom Menace was a sensation of its own, generating pop culture hype hitherto undreamt of.
The next two decades told a different story: Episode I received mixed reactions from fans and critics alike; Attack of the Clones, in which Christensen debuted as Anakin, was dreadful; and Revenge of the Sith, widely considered the best of the three, still didn’t set the world alight.
Christensen is au fait with the hatred, derision, and division that eventually dominated the sequel trilogy; history repeated itself with Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran. However, he doesn’t see the problem: to him, they’re all good.
Hayden Christensen “really enjoyed” the Star Wars sequels
When asked what he thought about the newer films, he said: “I really enjoyed the sequel trilogy. I think it was great the way that they honored this character. I really enjoyed sort of everything they’ve been up to with and it was fun for me to just go back to being a fan, and watch these stories like everybody else.”
While 2015’s The Force Awakens was a smash-hit, The Last Jedi ignited fury among some Star Wars fans, to the point you still risk their wrath today. The Rise of Skywalker, the grand conclusion to the Skywalker Saga, was an embarrassing lesson in course correction. “Somehow, Palpatine returned.”
Hayden Christensen thanks fans for welcoming him back to Star Wars
Ahead of his return as Darth Vader, Christensen has spoken about dealing with the initial reception to his performance as Anakin and how it has evolved over the years.
Appearing alongside Ewan McGregor, who’s also reprising his role of Obi-Wan, he said Revenge of the Sith was a “phenomenal film.”
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During a roundtable, he also said: “I feel like I’m coming back now because of the fan base and because there is all of this incredible support now and love for the character.
“And that’s just incredibly heartwarming. I can’t tell you how much it means to me every time I meet a fan and they express, sort of, their passion for Star Wars and their appreciation for this character.”