While the Star Wars prequels get an easier time of it these days (likely due to how divisive the sequels were), there was a time when they frequently earned the wrath of fans. Disappointed with how the movies turned out, the Star Wars community was not shy with their criticisms, and that clearly hit actor Hayden Christensen hard based on comments made to EW (via SFFGazette.com).
Playing Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, it was down to the then relative newcomer to take the Jedi Padawan and transform him into Darth Vader. "When the films came out and the critics were very critical, of course that was a difficult thing - because you care so much about this thing that you've invested so much of yourself into," Christensen recalls.
Describing the experience as "challenging," he adds that it led to him walking away from the Star Wars franchise and Hollywood. Buying a farm in the Canadian countryside, Christensen says he "really took a liking to that whole environment and lifestyle and got a bunch of animals and was looking after sheep and pigs and chickens for a little while."
Now, Christensen is set to reprise the role of Anakin and Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but with the Sith Lord making his presence felt in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is this the first time he was asked to suit up again? Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy says he was never considered because "that was just such a specific action sequence," while the actor adds, "I wasn't a part of any of those conversations about Rogue One. But I loved what they did with it. The character predates me, and it's always been a collective effort in a lot of ways. I thought it was brilliant."
As for why this Disney+ series pulled him back into this Galaxy Far, Far Away, Christensen credits Obi-Wan Kenobi director Deborah Chow. "[She] came up and we spent the day chatting," he remembers. "She told me a little bit about the project and her vision for it, and I just thought that it sounded wonderful. I was very excited to come back."
With that, the stage has been set for a long-overdue Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader rematch...