Image via Lucasfilm
George Lucas is infamous for constantly changing minor details in the first two Star Wars trilogies. In fact, you could go on writing a whole novella about the things that changed with each consecutive release of the original trilogy. And don’t even get us started on the whole “who shot first?” controversy.
One scene that Lucas apparently took particular issue with involves the final moments of Return of the Jedi. The Empire is collapsing, Palpatine is (seemingly) dead, and Darth Vader has found redemption. Now is the time for our heroes to gather around a fire on the forest moon of Endor and celebrate their triumphant victory.
Except, the original score that John Williams devised for that scene, the iconic “Yub Nub” song, apparently didn’t have enough gravitas to carry the scene forward. And thus, it was changed. But why stop there when you have a free pass to literally determine what Star Wars should be? So, Lucas went through that scene again and decided that instead of the older Anakin Skywalker (portrayed by Sebastian Shaw) making an appearance as a Force Ghost alongside Yoda and Obi-Wan, we should give the honor to Hayden Christensen’s younger version because that’s who fans recognize from the prequels.
Pretty reasonable, right? The only catch is that many fans found the decision nonsensical, especially since Obi-Wan and Yoda still retained their older apparatus. Well, besides convenience, one Star Wars fan recently put forth an interesting proposition. What if Anakin appeared as his younger self so that Luke could see him as the man he was before turning into Darth Vader?
The proposition definitely makes sense from a canonical standpoint. When Anakin turned to the dark side, he buried Anakin entirely. He even made it a point to constantly remind everyone, whether it be Ahsoka or Obi-Wan, that Anakin Skywalker is dead, and Vader is “all that remains.” That is until Luke came along and redeemed him in Return of the Jedi, once again allowing his spirit to proudly embody Anakin.
All right, that still doesn’t make Hayden’s creepy stare any more bearable, but as explanations go, that’s definitely the best one we’ve heard about this particular scene to date.