‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: A Darth Vader Actor Breaks Down Who Is in the Suit When — ‘Hayden Carries the Heaviest Burden of All’
Hayden Christensen excited Star Wars fans when it was announced he was returning to play Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+. At times in the miniseries, both Dmitrious Bistrevsky and Tom O’Connell appear as Darth Vader onscreen as well. On Instagram, Bistrevsky clarified that Christensen “carries the heaviest burden of all” when it comes to playing Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for the first season of Obi-Wan Kenobi.]
Hayden Christensen returned to play Darth Vader in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’
Christensen previously portrayed Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. He briefly appeared as Darth Vader in the trilogy’s final film, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
In Obi-Wan Kenobi, Christensen, Bistrevsky, and O’Connell each play Darth Vader when the character is suited up onscreen.
On Instagram, Bistrevsky explained which actor fans can assume is onscreen as Darth Vader depending on the type of scene.
“Hayden and I both act in the Darth Vader scenes, we bring the character and the emotions (and the pain, suffering, anger) I’m 6’7 so when you see a full body shot it looks better having an actor, vs a CGI creation,” Bistrevsky wrote in an Instagram comment. “Tom specializes in the fighting. The fights are Tom. Full body with Helmet On is me, Hayden carries the heaviest burden of all, the pain and betrayal of his best friend and once mentor.”
Hayden Christensen ‘bulked’ up to play Darth Vader
While answering fans’ questions on Instagram, Bistrevsky was adamant that Christensen is a major part of what fans see onscreen.
“Hayden wore the suit, I wore the suit, Tom wore the suit. We all worked together to create the best character we possibly can. We are a team. Without Hayden there would be no story for me to tell. He is my friend, he showed up so hard for this project. He bulked, Hayden was so swole when he arrived to set that both Tom and I quivered in our muscle suits,” wrote Bistrevsky.
‘Star Wars’ using multiple actors for the character is common
Star Wars fans should not be surprised the role of Darth Vader takes multiple people in Obi-Wan Kenobi, as this has always been the case.
David Prowse physically portrayed Darth Vader, and Bob Anderson was the character’s stunt double in the original trilogy. Multiple physical actors were used for the iconic villain in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
In addition to multiple actors being used for the physical character, a different actor, James Earl Jones, provided the voice for Darth Vader in the prequels, the original trilogy, Rogue One, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“People get so hung up on who was what, when the most important thing is the collective effort of bringing this legendary character to life. Some scenes required switch back and forth between multiple people. It took a village. And we delivered the best we had for your enjoyment,” Bistrevsky told fans on Instagram.
The season finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ on June 22.