Getting ready to be in a movie or TV show is a lot of hard work. Every performer has their own way of preparing for a role, no matter the size. Whether it’s ramping things up by learning ASL, or introducing new methods for a trilogy flick, all stars need to be ready to go once filming gets underway.
Recently, Hayden Christensen made his triumphant return to Star Wars, and he was fantastic on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Christensen underwent preparation for his return, which including help from an unlikely source.
Let’s see how the actor prepared for his Darth Vader return!
Hayden Christensen Played Anakin Skywalker In The Prequels
1999 marked the debut on The Phantom Menace, the first film in the Star Wars prequel saga. Jake Lloyd played a young Anakin, but for the next two films, the franchise needed someone to take the reins. Enter Hayden Christensen, an unknown actor who was ready to venture to a galaxy far, far away.
“I was in high school, like, a year before [I got cast as Anakin Skywalker] doing school plays. I was living in Vancouver at the time, and it was a long audition process. I got the call [that I booked the role and] I was shocked and in disbelief. … It’s an honor to get to wear [the costume] but definitely the best part is seeing people’s reactions when they see Vader,” the actor said.
For both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Hayden played Anakin Skywalker, and we saw his eventual transformation into Darth Vader. Christensen really found his groove in that third film, and he’s one half of arguably the greatest lightsaber duel in film history.
For years, the actor churned out other projects, but eventually, he stole headlines when it was announced that he was coming back to Star Wars.
He Returned For ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’
This year, Obi-Wan Kenobi hit Disney+, and the series served as a bridge between Episode III and IV. Little was known about Obi-Wan’s time between films, but this series focused on an adventure that brought back familiar faces, and introduced some new ones.
Hayden Christensen was back in the Darth Vader suit for the series, and it was like no time had passed at all. He even had the chance to go back in time and dust off his Anakin Skywalker, something that greatly improved the show.
“It was a no-brainer. In a heartbeat. When I got the call, I was instantly elated … I was just so excited to get to come back after all these years,” the actor said about returning.
The series just wrapped up, and the finale was a satisfying conclusion for many. The scene of Obi-Wan and Vader locking horns again was brilliantly capped off by a conversation between the former partners. During that scene, Hayden’s face and voice were entangled with the iconic mask and James Earl Jones’ delivery, making for a Star Wars moment people can’t stop buzzing about.
it was incredible to get Hayden Christensen back in the franchise, and he used an unusual method to prep for his return.
How He Prepared For His Return
So, how did Hayden Christensen prepare for his Star Wars comeback? Turns out, he had some help from a Padawan of his own.
“We have a couple lightsabers kicking around the house. She was my first lightsaber training partner when I came back to the Obi-Wan show,’ Christensen told Jimmy Fallon.
That’s right, Christensen’s daughter was his initial lightsaber training partner! Talk about keeping it in the family.
Now, tangling with Darth Vader is a daunting task for anyone, but Christensene’s daughter was fully aware of who her father played in hte franchise before squaring up with him
“She knows Daddy’s Darth Vader, [but] she’s never seen Daddy as Darth Vader. I’m still waiting a little bit, you know, until that happens. I might show her the prequels soon, but still, there’s some scenes we might have to fast forward through,” the actor revealed.
Eventually, Christensen was able to get into the swing of things on production, which also meant crossing sabers with his old prequel running mate, Ewan McGregor. All of this preparation went into bringing Darth Vader back to life on Obi-Wan Kenobi, something that many fans loved seeing.
Hayden Christensen’s return to the franchises was greatly aided by his daughter. Maybe one day she will have the chance to enter the Star Wars universe to carve out her own legacy.
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