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Hayden Christensen Binged Rebels and Clone Wars to Get Back Into Vader's Mindset

The Star Wars prequel-era actor is set to return in Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka series.

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An animated Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side.
Screenshot: YouTube

Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen is obviously sworn to secrecy about how his character will factor into next month’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he is at liberty to discuss the research he did to prepare for his return to the galaxy far, far away. “I went back and rewatched all the films,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly about reprising the role of Anakin Skywalker as he fully steps into Darth Vader. “And I also got into the animated shows, The Clone Wars and Rebels.”

The animated shows from the mind of Dave Filoni really fill in Anakin’s arc in ways we wish we could have seen in live-action—and now that Christensen’s returning for Obi-Wan Kenobi and (eventually) Ahsoka, we may get to see them after all. “It was interesting,” he said of binging the animated series. “They did a lot with these characters in those shows ... There was interesting stuff there to learn about. It was great fun getting to go back and re-immerse yourself in this world that just continues to grow and become more and more vast.”


As mentioned, Christensen will also be appearing in the Rosario Dawson vehicle Ahsoka, so really getting to know that aspect of Anakin as a Jedi Master training a Padawan should illuminate his approach in that series with more historical context—as well as serve what’s next for the portrayal of Vader. (Give us some “Twilight of the Apprentice” flashbacks!) While we won’t get more Darth Maul—which we’re glad for, honestly—re-imagining the context of the years before Star Wars: A New Hope in building what leads to Vader and Kenobi’s final duel on the Death Star is going to be interesting.

Obi-Wan Kenobi drops on Disney+ starting May 27.

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