‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Hayden Christensen Explains the Intense Makeup Sessions He Did for Darth Vader

Hayden Christensen is reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker/ Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, Star Wars fans are now seeing what Anakin looks like under the mask which means the actor has to put on a lot of makeup and prosthetics. Hayden Christensen explains what the makeup sessions looked like to get him ready for this new series. 

Hayden Christensen returns as Darth Vader in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

Darth Vader actor Hayden Christensen attends the photocall for Obi-Wan Kenobi in London
Hayden Christensen | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place in between the events of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV — A New Hope. Ewan McGregor returns as Obi-Wan along with Christensen as Anakin. The show follows Obi-Wan as he is pulled out of hiding on Tatooine and is forced to confront the demons from his past which includes his former padawan.

Christensen’s return is exciting for many and the show delivers many great moments with the actor. The duels between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader are excellent but there are also a few flashbacks that bring back Hayden Christensen in all his padawan glory. We even get a glimpse of what the actor looks like with the scarred and frightening face of Darth Vader. 

Christensen details the makeup process for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

Throughout the series, audiences get brief glimpses of what Anakin looks like outside of the suit. Whenever this is shown, it’s the actor under a lot of makeup and prosthetics. In an interview with Collider for Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hayden Christensen shares that the process to put on all the makeup for Darth Vader would take a “good four to five hours.”

“I mean, it’s a good four to five hours getting all of the prosthetics put on, and I got to work with a great team of makeup artists, led by a fellow called Shaun Smith, and they did some incredible work,” Christensen said. “It was a lot of time sitting, staying very still while they glue layers of prosthetics all over your body. But I really enjoy just the visual creation that took place every time. It so much sort of affects the way that you feel and you behave when you see yourself like that. So I enjoyed it.”

Star Wars fans know the disfigured husk that is Darth Vader under the suit. However, it’s given more impact when Christensen’s eyes and voice are hidden within, showing that there is still the good-hearted Jedi that is being enshrouded by the Dark Side. 

Is Christensen doing the voice of Darth Vader?

One question that many had for Christensen’s return is whether he would be doing the Vader voice or if they would be using the iconic voice of James Earl Jones. The voice is Jones’, but Christensen is aware that this was the best decision. 

“Yes, but we always knew that the voice had to be James Earl Jones’s voice,” he shared. “It’s such a critical part of this character. So I knew that was going to be the case.”

However, the finale did feature an amazing blend between Jones’ voice and Christensen’s voice that combines the two perfectly. Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+. 

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