Decades ago, when George Lucas kicked off his development of the Prequel Trilogy to “Star Wars,” there was one key casting decision. The prequels were supposed to depict how original-trilogy hero Luke’s Jedi father Anakin Skywalker became the evil Darth Vader. Following Jake Lloyd’s solo outing as kid-Anakin in “The Phantom Menace,” Canadian actor Hayden Christensen carried the role for the rest of the prequels, showing his awkward romance with Natalie Portman’s Padme up to his Dark-Side fall. It was assumed Christensen has done his part there. Now it turns out he will be reprising the role, not just opposite Ewan McGregor in “Obi-Wan Kenobi” but on “Ahsoka” as well.
Entertainment Weekly has it that Hayden Christensen’s return to the mantle of Anakin Skywalker for the “Star Wars” series on Disney+ will be for more than one miniseries. It was first confirmed that he will be joining prequel-trilogy costar Ewan McGregor on “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” focusing on the latter’s “Star Wars” character. Over the weekend however, actress Rosario Dawson teased on a now-deleted Instagram post that Christensen would be joining her in “Ahsoka,” the series being produced after “Obi-Wan.” Dawson plays Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s once-Jedi Padawan introduced in the “Clone Wars” animated series back in 2008.
Given the timeline setting of the “Obi-Wan” spinoff series, there is already no doubt that Christensen will play his Anakin in his Sith persona of Darth Vader, the helmeted, masked, part-cyborg Sith Lord enforcer of Emperor Palpatine. Vader became iconic in George Lucas’ original trilogy thanks to his wheezing breathing and deep voice provided by veteran actor James Earl Jones. But “Ahsoka” apparently takes place contemporarily to “The Mandalorian,” where the character made her live-action debut as portrayed by Dawson. For Christensen to appear here, years after Anakin/Vader’s OT death, brings up some interesting speculation.
Nobody from Hayden Christensen, Lucasfilm and Disney have given any response to the now-expunged social media post from Rosario Dawson, who herself is keeping mum. All that is left are the facts, namely “Ahsoka” starting production sometime in early 2022. “Obi-Wan Kenobi” on the other hand has started filming this past May, with an expected streaming release on Disney+ also sometime next year. The latest upcoming “Star Wars” spinoff, “The Book of Boba Fett” starring Temuera Morrison, premieres late December.
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