WhenDisney announced a new slate of Star Wars films and television series, few got fans as amped as Kenobi. While the prequels are the source of division among one of the most passionate fan-bases on earth, few rank the prequels higher than the originals, and to many, the sequel trilogy, too.
However, with the announcement that Hayden Christensen will revise his role as Darth Vader, many fans are curious about what this will entail.
When it comes to the Star Wars prequel trilogy, the fans have a complicated relationship with George Lucas’s return to the galaxy far away. On the one hand, there are aspects, such as Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi, that people love. On the other end, the story’s version of Anakin Skywalker, played by Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen, is the source of ire and mockery.
While Vader is an almighty warrior throughout the first series, Anakin goes from a sweet ten-year-old child who only wants to free his mom from servitude and become a Jedi to an angsty teenage version, who is angry at Kenobi due to his treatment.
In the second and third films, Christensen was asked to show the lead-up to one of the most iconic characters in movie history, and many believed he dropped the ball.
The blame can go all around, however. Some believe that Lucas is to blame. After all, Christensen and Lloyd were not the only actors to suffer under the prequels’ shoddy dialogue.
Others blame the actors themselves. Whatever the case may be, Anakin’s treatment in the prequel trilogy was never what the people expected after learning about Lucas’s prequel series.
However, with this announcement, there are equal parts intrigue and horror to many of the passionate fans on Reddit. However, the number one question about his role is whether or not he’ll even show his face.
Will he show his face?
While Christensen played the man who became Darth Vader, he barely played the role after Anakin transitioned to the masked character. With James Earl Jones’s voice and body doubles, he’s more synonymous with Anakin than Vader. However, for a film franchise that is always trying to retcon things that came afterward, the series could go many ways.
Reddit user u/mutually_awkward sees this as an opportunity to see Anakin’s recovery from his fiery fate the last time he fought his master. This would let him show his face while also getting a bump in reputation.
I could see this being the story on how Obi-Wan learned Anakin survived Mustafar.
And if they want to spread it a little farther and give Hayden more to do, it can also be about how Tarkin learned Vader was Anakin. (Per Reddit)
The prospect of Christensen getting a shot at redemption also excites fans like u/wesskywalker.
This truly is the best news I’ve received all of 2020. Hayden deserves this. I can’t wait to see him, that 2 second snippet in The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t nearly enough (Per Reddit)
U/Reddvox is not as excited, however. Aside from the trepidation about Christensen’s chops, he sees Anakin as a different entity than the man behind the mask. While Christensen could be behind the mask, he’d likely have the signature bass voice of James Earl Jones or a sound-alike, and shots of him without mask could be given minimal screentime.
Does this make sense with ANH? I mean, I doubt the two will never meet in this series…so the moment on DS1 will just be like “oh, you again?”…
Alright, I will wait until we know more…but does Hayden also do the voice???? Hope not…I mean, Hayden “returns” as Vader does not make sense anyway…he never was Darth Vader longer than …. NOOOOOOOOOOOO … and that wasn’t even him, or not? (Per Reddit)
As creators build the new chapter in the ever-growing saga, they’ll have to find ways to appease these concerns and praises if they want to ride The Mandalorian’s wave of success.
When is this coming out?
Kenobi is expected to tell the iconic character’s story during the years between Episodes III and IV. According to Disney, it will take place around the same time as Solo, which could also give Disney an in to include Darth Maul, who was presumed dead Until he was revived both on television and in Solo’s finale. Other than that, it’s all speculation.
Fans of Star Wars will have some time to speculate, however. It begins filming in March with a 2022 target date for its premiere. Whether this includes a glorified Hayden Christensen cameo or a lucrative role, it’s going to keep the fan-base talking for many years onward.