‘The Mandalorian’: Rosario Dawson Shares Her Surprising History with Hayden Christensen: ‘It Just Felt Like the Force Was at Play’
The Mandalorian Season 2 hasn’t exactly been the standalone adventure the first season was. After all, the show reintroduced several fan-favorite characters. In particular, The Mandalorian brought in Rosario Dawson as former Jedi Ahsoka Tano. And just as Ahsoka was close with Anakin Skywalker, Dawson, it turns out, has a history with Hayden Christensen.
Rosario Dawnson has joined ‘Star Wars’ as the live-action Ahsoka Tano
In the season 2 episode “The Jedi,” the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) finally tracks down Ahsoka. The season 1 finale saw him tasked with delivering The Child to the Jedi. And at first, he believes Ahsoka might be able to complete his training. Yet, Dawson’s version of the character is a far cry from the “Snips” fans met when she debuted on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Ahsoka’s journey has followed her from Padawan learner to disenfranchised former Jedi. And as fans of Star Wars: Rebels know, she discovered the fate of her former master. Hayden Christensen, of course, played Anakin Skywalker in two installments of the prequel trilogy as he became Darth Vader. The Mandalorian hints at the scars this left on Ahsoka.
The actor shares a surprising connection to Hayden Christensen
Christensen and Dawson haven’t had the opportunity to bring Anakin and Ahsoka’s master-apprentice relationship to live action in The Mandalorian or elsewhere. But the two actors have crossed paths before. As Dawson explained in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, she and Christensen seemed to weirdly be on parallel tracks to the “galaxy far, far away.”
“When [my first movie, 1995’s Kids] came out, I decided at 16 that I wanted to continue pursuing acting. My dad’s mom said, “Well, if you’re going to do that, and you’re 16 years old, then you need to study acting,” and put me in Strasberg. And it happened to be that summer when Hayden Christensen was in. We had the same class. …
We ended up doing this movie together years later called Shattered Glass, and I always just thought it was really cool that I knew someone who was not just in Star Wars but played Anakin Skywalker. Ahsoka was his Padawan. So when the fan-casting came out, I just thought it was pretty wild that I visually connected to this character from being this teenager who met this actor who ended up being this great character. I don’t know. It just felt like the Force was at play.”
Christensen’s performance as Anakin proved divisive even among hardcore Star Wars fans. But the actor has maintained he had fun playing the character despite the criticism. Now that Ahsoka has made her way to The Mandalorian, perhaps Christensen might finally get the chance — as has long been rumored — to reprise the role in a Force ghost cameo.
Will Hayden Christensen and Rosario Dawson ever share a scene?
For years, the Star Wars saga toyed with the idea of bringing Christensen back in some capacity. But since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, the closest fans have gotten is a brief voice cameo in The Rise of Skywalker and some archive recordings on the animated series. However, now The Mandalorian presents the best opportunity yet to bring Anakin’s story full circle.
With Ahsoka haunted by her master’s fall, her story seems dependent on making peace with Anakin’s journey. And since later versions of Return of the Jedi included Christensen as the Force ghost version of Anakin, he could reach out to her for closure. Besides, The Mandalorian has yet to reveal whether Ahsoka knows of the role Vader played in defeating the Empire.