Actor Hayden Christensen is best known for his role portraying Anakin Skywalker into his transition to Darth Vader in the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy.
In the upcoming Disney+ live-action series, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” – again played by Ewan McGregor – Christensen has stepped back into Darth Vader’s legendary costume. He sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about what it was like heading back to a galaxy far, far away.
Hayden Christensen Reveals His ‘Very Special Moment’ On The ‘Kenobi’ Set
The “Star Wars” alum knows all too well that Lucasfilm (which was acquired by Disney in 2012) does not like it when actors reveal the magic that goes into bringing the “Star Wars” universe to life.
“I don’t know what I can share in terms of behind-the-scenes type stuff because I don’t think they want me saying too much,” he said with a smile. “But I can tell you the first time that I saw Ewan as Obi-Wan again, that was a very special moment for me and one that I’ll remember for a very, very long time.”
He called the 17-year break “surreal” and a “unique opportunity” that he and McGregor were extremely grateful for.
“One of the things I loved so much about working on Star Wars projects is just that shared excitement,” he recalled. “That everyone’s really excited to be there. You feel that energy, and that’s a really special thing.”
“The whole experience was very surreal,” he added. “Just the nature of coming back after all this time. It’s such a unique opportunity — one that both Ewan and I were very grateful for.”
Hayden Christensen Said Getting Back Into The Suit Was ‘Amazing’
Even though it’s been almost two decades, he said that it still felt like “coming back” to his character when asked how he felt about his long absence from a galaxy far, far away.
“It was mostly a lot of excitement because I had spent enough time with this character and felt like I knew him, and coming back to it felt very natural in a lot of ways,” Christensen explained. “And I was just really excited to get to come in and play Darth Vader at this point in the timeline because it did feel like a natural continuation of your journey with the character. And that was very meaningful for me.”
When asked what it was like getting back into the Darth Vader suit, he replied, “Well, without getting into too much detail, it was amazing. It’s a great honor to get to put that suit on.”
Director Deborah Chow even recalled visiting Christensen’s farm up in Canada to discuss Darth Vader’s big return.
“It was really nice because we sort of met up in Canada,” Chow explained. “And obviously with people like Ewan and Hayden, they’ve been these characters for so long and they obviously did them in the prequels and they’ve lived with this character in their lives for so long that they just know the character so well, which makes it so helpful in terms of the creative.”
Deborah Chow Said It Was ‘Moving’ To See Hayden Christensen Return As Darth Vader
In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chow, who has previously directed an episode of “The Mandalorian” on the other Disney+ “Star Wars” series, said that it was “moving” to see Hayden back on set as Darth Vader.
“The first time I saw him in costume and the full thing going, he’s towering over me,” she recalled. “He’s like literally almost twice my size, it felt like. It’s really intense to have such an iconic character, and then to be directing him and to be doing new scenes with him. So I do remember poor Ewan on that day, he’s like, ‘What am I, chopped liver by comparison right now?’”
“But I know that for Vader, it’s something that it’s almost part of our consciousness because we’ve all had it in our lives for so long that to actually see him on set, it’s pretty sort of significant,” she added. “It’s kind of moving.”
When asked what his character will be like, Chow said that he was sort of stuck in the middle between the two trilogies.
“For us, it’s very similar [to Obi-Wan] in the sense that he’s in between these two trilogies,” she explained. “So he isn’t the ‘A New Hope’ Vader quite yet, you know what I mean? So we are with the character sort of in the middle of this period. It is still Vader obviously, but it’s a Vader that isn’t quite as fully formed as ‘A New Hope’.”
Fans will just have to see for themselves where Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi are at on their respective journeys when “Obi-Wan Kenobi” finally debuts on Disney+ on May 25, 2022.