‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Hayden Christensen Reveals How He Physically Transformed to Play Darth Vader

The Star Wars fandom has a complicated relationship with Hayden Christensen. The actor joined the “galaxy far, far away” as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. And soon after that, his performance became the subject of ridicule among many fans and critics. But in 2022, Christensen committed himself to transforming into Darth Vader for the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Hayden Christensen returned to ‘Star Wars’ after 17 years away

hayden christensen obi-wan kenobi
Hayden Christensen attends the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” photocall at Corinthia Hotel London on May 12, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Seventeen years had passed since Christensen’s last major Star Wars role. In 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the actor brought Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side to life, revealing the birth of Darth Vader. So Obi-Wan Kenobi already presented Christensen with a very different challenge. After all, he only briefly wore the iconic dark suit the last time he played Vader.

In the Disney+ series, Christensen reunites with co-star Ewan McGregor. And in addition to playing Vader at the peak of the Empire’s power, Christensen also appears as Anakin without his mask on more than one occasion. And fans – even those who seemingly snubbed their noses at his performance in the prequel trilogy – were won over by Christensen in Obi-Wan Kenobi

The actor gained a ton of weight to play Darth Vader this time

So many years later, Christensen made an effort to bring the kind of physicality a role like Darth Vader requires. His casting in Obi-Wan Kenobi bridges the gap between the emotionally erratic Anakin and the fearsome Sith Lord of the original trilogy. As Christensen recently revealed in an interview, he embraced the opportunity to reclaim the character and don the suit again.

“I think that process was very important for me. I needed to become that character again, physically,” Christensen told Fatherly. He admitted he took nine months to get in shape. “I just consumed as many calories as possible. I put on 25 or 30 pounds to fill out that [Darth Vader] suit.” Alas, he didn’t maintain his Vader physique after filming on Obi-Wan Kenobi wrapped.

Will Hayden Christensen return for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Season 2?

Fans and critics alike responded positively to Obi-Wan Kenobi. So now the big question on everyone’s minds is whether Disney+ will order a second season of the show. Of course, the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi reached a fairly self-contained conclusion. And it was never intended to be more than a limited series.

However, recent reports revealed that what was initially conceived as an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie was designed to be a full-on movie trilogy. Given the response to the Disney+ series, it’s very possible that the story ideas once earmarked for a big-screen sequel could be retrofitted for Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 2.

RELATED: ‘Star Wars’: Hayden Christensen Once Confessed Anakin Skywalker Felt ‘Too Handed’ to Him