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Here’s How Hayden Christensen Felt About Coming Back as Darth Vader in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

Hayden Christensen still looking like a snack

Star Wars fans were gifted with a look into the upcoming slate of Disney+ shows with a new Vanity Fair cover for June. And with it comes a whole sea of emotions for those of us who have loved this franchise. From Kathleen Kennedy talking about reviving the series after George Lucas sold it to Disney to Obi-Wan Kenobi star Ewan McGregor talking about returning as Obi-Wan, it’s been a lot.

But it’s been fascinating to see how Hayden Christensen felt about returning as Darth Vader this time around. Christensen is returning to the world of Star Wars in the Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series, but as he points out, he’s coming back as a new man. “This is a character that has come to define my life in so many ways,” he said. “I was originally hired to play a very specific portion of this person’s life. Most of my work was with Anakin. And now I get to come back and explore the character of Darth Vader.”

But it wasn’t so easy as just returning to the role, even if he’d be Vader most of the time. Christensen shared that he talked a lot with filmmaker Deborah Chow (who is directing the series) about Vader’s journey and where we see him in the series. “A lot of my conversations with Deborah were about wanting to convey this feeling of strength, but also coupled with imprisonment,” Christensen said. “There is this power and vulnerability, and I think that’s an interesting space to explore.”

Why bring Vader back?

For Deborah Chow, bringing Vader back was important to the story of Kenobi. As we learned in the prequels, the two loved each other. They were “brothers,” as Kenobi screamed to a burning Anakin on Mustafar. “For me, across the prequels, through the original trilogy, there’s a love-story dynamic with these two that goes through the whole thing,” Chow said. “I felt like it was quite hard to not [include] the person who left Kenobi in such anguish in the series.”

But she also went on to talk about just how important that relationship was to the prequels and why it was necessary to have it represented again in Obi-Wan Kenobi. “I don’t know how you could not,” she said. “I don’t think he ever will not care about him. What’s special about that relationship is that they loved each other.”

All of that makes sense not only for the series but for the characters specifically. You could easily bring back Obi-Wan Kenobi and have him focused on Luke without exploring his own pain of what happened. It’s been ten years, after all. But instead, they’re bringing us the sad version of the character I wanted to see and exploring that pain, and it’s beautiful to know that Chow and company wanted to explore that anguish that clearly still exists between Anakin and Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan Kenobi hits Disney+ on May 27, and getting to see Hayden Christensen back in Star Wars is going to be a treat for us all.

(featured image: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.