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Meeting Hayden Christensen at NYCC After 17 Years? Worth It.

Rachel Leishman making Hayden Christensen kneel at NYCC

Being a fan of the prequels, as a Star Wars, fan means that, for years, we were made fun of for liking them. The thing about this franchise is that it is made to kids. So when kids are the target audience, the films work, and so the prequels did work for those they were intended to work with. All this to say that I have been a fan of the actors from the prequels since I first saw them in theaters as a kid, and I’ve been a very vocal supporter of Hayden Christensen since Attack of the Clones came out in 2002.

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I gave myself grace and said that since I was 13 I’ve been a fan of Christensen himself and not just the character of Anakin Skywalker. But with that love came years of grown men making fun of teenagers for liking these movies (because that’s how the Star Wars fandom works) but also giving Hayden Christensen himself a rough go of it for some of the George Lucas-given dialogue.

All of that led to years of Christensen not really doing conventions and none of us really getting to actually thank him for his work. Before the pandemic, he was starting to go to conventions, and I was supposed to meet him but the convention got canceled. Luckily, he came to New York Comic-Con this past weekend, and I finally got to meet the man who ushered in so much joy for me and my friends as kids.

I’ve done enough conventions; I figured this would be an easy experience and quick, but I’d have my picture and autograph. Instead, I got to share a moment with Hayden Christensen that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I did my autograph first, walking through after waiting a while, and when I got in, I said that this wait was well worth the 17 years I’ve been a fan of his. He laughed, and I told him I recently rewatched Shattered Glass and that I liked the movie Jumper, and that I still have inside jokes from the summer I spent watching Revenge of the Sith over and over again, and he signed my picture all while making sure to talk with me and give me the best experience as a fan.

Then I went for my photo and had already planned my shirt based on the fact that, to this day, I can recite the Anakin/Obi-Wan Kenobi scene from Revenge of the Sith all by myself. But I also wanted the high ground. Being 5’3″, I can’t exactly have the high ground next to Hayden Christensen, who is like six feet tall.

Because of COVID restrictions and the need to get people through the line as quickly as possible, I could not use a chair to make myself taller, but Hayden Christensen understood instantly what I wanted and kneeled.

This experience after waiting for so long just felt like the exact thing I needed. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and 13 year-old me, who ironed a picture of Hayden Christensen onto a shirt to go to the Teen Choice Awards in hopes of meeting him, would be so happy that she got to tell Hayden Christensen how much she loves his work.

(image: ReedPop/Rachel Leishman)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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