What Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Matt Lanter Is Excited To See From Hayden Christensen In Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi Series

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

When we last saw Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, the corrupted and mutilated Jedi Knight was being outfitted with his Darth Vader armor so that he could continue serving as Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious’ apprentice. Nearly two decades later, Christensen is stepping back into Anakin/Vader’s boots for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which is set 10 years after the final entry in the Prequel Trilogy. Matt Lanter, who voiced Anakin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, is among the fans who are looking forward to seeing Christensen’s return, and he’s particularly interested in how Christensen’s performance this time around will draw from those two animated series.

During my interview with Matt Lanter about having voiced Ted Kord in the DC Showcase animated short Blue Beetle, I asked what he thought about Hayden Christensen having watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels as part of his preparation process, and also what he was looking forward to seeing in the next live-action Star Wars TV show that, just like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, will be accessible with a Disney+ subscription. Here’s what Lanter had to say:

I know that he had seen The Clone Wars prior, I don’t know about the whole series. I had a chat with him at the Star Wars Celebration in 2019, and I’m pretty sure he’d seen some of that back then because he mentioned to me how great it was, what we were doing and giving life in between the films and really just helping expand the saga as a whole. But yeah, that’s great! I’d heard that previously, actually someone sent me that article that he had watched Clone Wars and Rebels, and I think that’s great. Just as a fan of Star Wars, I think that’s great because there’s such a wealth of knowledge, and seven seasons of character development we got with that character. So yeah, as a fan I’m excited. Actor to actor, that’s obviously super smart because there’s a lot to learn from that, and it’s Star Wars canon, The Clone Wars is. I’m excited to see if that has any influence in the new show. I have no idea what it’s about, I have no idea what the story is, but yeah, that’ll be really cool to see if we can see any of that influence in his upcoming performance. Overall, I’m just excited to see the show as a fan.

Not to be confused with the Star Wars: Clone Wars microseries that aired in between the releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Clone Wars launched  in August 2008 with a theatrically-released backdoor pilot movie, and the TV series itself debuted the following October. Matt Lanter voiced Anakin for the entirety of The Clone Wars’ run (including the seventh and final season that premiered on Disney+ six years after the show originally ended).  And while James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels’ opening two-parter and throughout Season 2, we also heard Lanter as Anakin during two episodes of that sophomore season.

Because Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels fleshed out Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader so much (particularly through having him train Ahsoka Tano as the war raged on in the former series), it’s understandable why Matt Lanter is pleased that Hayden Christensen turned to those shows for inspiration in the lead-up to working on Obi-Wan Kenobi. As Lanter mentioned, he was already aware that Christensen had already seen at least some of The Clone Wars, but it’s still a big deal when the guy who played Anakin on film for two movies goes back to check out the entirety of your TV voicework as the same character. Beyond that, Lanter is looking forward to seeing if any specific aspects of The Clone Wars end up influencing Obi-Wan Kenobi. As far as Rebels’ influence goes, we already know Rupert Friend and Sung Kang are respectively playing The Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother, two antagonists from that series, so that base is already well covered.  

The first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi debut May 27 on Disney+, with additional episodes following every Wednesday afterwards. Keep your eyes peeled on CinemaBlend for more news about Star Wars movies and TV shows, and check out Matt Lanter’s performance as Blue Beetle when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the DC Showcase — Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation on Blu-ray and 4K May 3.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.