Here’s How Hayden Christensen Scared the Younglings in ‘Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith’ Before Anakin Skywalker Killed Them
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith is iconic for several reasons, with the biggest being the downfall of the Republic, the Jedi Order, and Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the Dark side all happening at the same time.
And one major aspect of Anakin’s fall is his killing of the Jedi younglings in the Jedi temple. Order 66 is the Jedi Purge and essential to Darth Sidious ridding the galaxy of the most prominent Jedi, and a majority of them as well. In doing so, a major hotspot for them was the temple, and Anakin went there to kill all that were there. Of course, he didn’t get Grogu, and Cal Kestis escaped, but for the most part, all that were there perished.
The scene is truly one of the darkest in the movie, and the turning point in convincing Senator Padmé Amidala that Anakin turned when she wouldn’t believe Obi-Wan Kenobi at first. And one moment during the scene with the children is so tiny but sticks out. Turns out that Hayden Christensen scared the main child actor a tiny bit to get the best result.
Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the Dark side is tragic to look back on in ‘Revenge of the Sith’
Anakin Skywalker was just a child when he and his mother were introduced in The Phantom Menace. He was a slave from Tatooine and he was helpful and had a wide-eyed curiosity about Qui-Gon Jinn, his lifestyle, and Padmé (who he didn’t know was the queen at the time).
Through the prequels, fans see him go from that kid to a rebellious and careless teen, to a powerful young man who still has a lot to learn. However, he’s faced with a lot of emotions that he’s told to repress, but he doesn’t have the personality nor the desire to do so. Especially because he’s already giving into his love and passion for Padmé.
So when it comes to his loss, fear, and hate, it’s hard for him to let them go. Attachment is too easy for him to cling to, and when it comes to the possibility that he’ll lose the love of his life and maybe his future children, he grasps at any hope he can find. And that lies in the Chancellor’s promises of the Sith. And the rest is Sith history, unfortunately.
So, again, in order for Darth Vader to fulfill his duties of ridding the Jedi temple on Coruscant of every living Jedi, he has to also kill the kids. And that’s where the now-famous “Master Skywalker, there are too many of them, what are we going to do?” scene comes in.
Younglings hiding in a meeting room pop out from behind the chairs as soon as Skywalker comes in, thinking they’ll be saved, and then the little Jedi says that to Anakin. Then the audience sees Anakin’s face do a very dark scowl, and the camera pans back to the kid’s face. He then does a very startled step back as Anakin ignites his lightsaber.
The actor who played the first youngling Anakin presumably killed shared what Hayden Christensen did to scare him
It’s all very menacing and the audience knows that he kills the children then and there. That startled hop back was very genuine in the movie, and it turns out it was a genuine startled response too.
In a recent Reddit AMA from Ross Beadman who played Jedi youngling Sors Bandeam, who spoke in that scene, gave a lot of behind-the-scenes trivia of that moment. And one user asked specifically about that stumble.
“What was with the little tumble back you did?” they wrote. “It looks like a sort of accidental twitch that they liked so they went with the take but i’m wondering how much of that was what George [Lucas] asked for.”
“From what I remember Hayden shouted ‘boo!’” Beadman replied. “And that startled me to add to my fear in the scene”
So even though Beadman was a convincing little Jedi youngling, his acting didn’t produce that genuine response on his own. Christensen gave him a little nudge by scaring him off-camera. Which kind of makes that scene a bit sweeter and funnier as well, in retrospect.
“I really think the startle sells the whole scene,” another person replied, which is very true.
Beadman went on to answer another person that the only reason he was the only child extra that had a line in the scene was due to the fact that he was the one who raised his hand the fastest.
“The filming was quite nerve-racking as it took me 4 takes to get it right,” he wrote. “I only got the part too because I put my hand up first when the casting director asked us ‘who knows the line then?’”
Beadman’s parents told him he survived, but it wasn’t until kids at school told him that Anakin did, in fact, kill him in Order 66
Beadman is now a freelance video producer and graphic designer, and he sells authentic autographs tied to his small role in Revenge of the Sith online. Among other questions that he answered, he also talked about how he got a tour of the studios in golf carts and saw other characters in costume like Master Shaak Ti. He said the “highlight” was when he met Ewan McGregor.
“I spoke to him for 10 minutes and he was a super friendly guy. I had champagne with him lol,” he joked.
He also said that, despite Christensen’s menacing look in the scene and the overall vibes that the audience got, during filming he didn’t know he was going to get killed off until after the premiere of the movie.
“Even [after the premiere] my parents told me that I survived to spare my feelings,” he wrote, “but my friends at school told me that I died after the film was released. I got over it after a few months.”
Well, if you got killed by The Chosen One in a Star Wars film, maybe you’d want it to be a surprise too.