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Nobody knows quite what's going to happen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and that means speculation is running rampant. The newest rumor that landed over the weekend was that Star Wars prequels actor Hayden Christensen might be rejoining the franchise because he was seen in public alongside one of his old costars. And now the internet has exploded because Christensen wasn't seen alongside that same co-star.
Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid visited a Children's Hospital in the Salt Lake City, Utah area this past weekend ahead of a panel they were set to do at the FanX convention in town. However, at the last minute the panel was cancelled . The rumor going around is that Disney is the one that killed the panel, for fear of spoilers being released.
We know that Ian McDiarmid will be in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, so seeing him in public alongside the former Anakin Skywalker got people talking that this could be an indication the actor was returning to the franchise as well. While certainly the two actors appearing at a convention together doesn't mean anything on its face, the cancellation of said panel was certainly interesting, and it has fans speculating.
It seems to be confirmed that Disney was the source of the cancellation, that was apparently announced along with the cancellation. but the reason for doing so is far less clear. Fear of leaks regarding the movie is certainly a possibility, but that possibility exists regardless of whether or not Hayden Christensen is in the movie. McDiarmid's own role is still shrouded in a lot of mystery and is almost certainly central to the story, so anything that gets accidentally revealed from him would be a big spoiler.
At the same time, as one fan pointed out, the cancellation itself likely got more people taking about all this than the panel probably would have.
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would wonder if the cancellation was part of a campaign to start this rumor in the first place. This appearance had to have been on Disney's radar, and if the studio didn't want Ian McDiarmid appearing, it could have been cancelled weeks ago. Disney isn't new to this game. Whatever the reason for the cancellation, the fact that it would get people talking was certainly known.
Is it possible that Hayden Christensen could show up in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as Anakin Skywalker's Force Ghost? Sure, anything is possible. We got Yoda in the last movie and the Emperor is back one way or another in this one. Seeing Anakin Skywalker return wouldn't be entirely out of left field.
At the same time, I doubt the cancellation had much, if anything to do with that. If the goal was to keep the actor's appearance quiet, that was the wrong way to go about it, unless Disney really only decided at the last minute that it couldn't trust two pros to keep their mouths shut.