Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The revenge of the Sith

While the Star Wars prequels have a somewhat dubious reputation, on the whole, Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker gets solid marks. Quotes regarding the characteristics of sand notwithstanding. Of course, while we saw Anakin's turn to the dark side, we never really got to see him be Darth Vader but in a new piece of fan art, we see what Hayden Christensen would like if he was given the look we saw of the elder Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi.

The art comes from phase_runner on Instagram and it's more than a little heartbreaking, as it shows Vader being haunted by the memory of Padme. He looks very similar to the way we see the aged Anakin at the end of the original trilogy, but it's clearly Hayden Christensen. It's almost shocking George Lucas never changed things to look like this himself. Check it out.

It's not entirely clear where Darth Vader is in this image, but he appears to be in the enclosed chamber that we see him inside early in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. We actually see the helmet being lowered on to Vader's head there, so we know that he sits inside it without the helmet. It changes that scene pretty drastically when you think that he was in there quietly thinking of Padme and having his heart broken all over again. It's the eyes that are so amazing. They look quite real and you can really see the sadness behind them.

Since the prequels didn't exist when the original trilogy was made, we never see this side of Vader until it's time for him to turn at the end of The Return of the Jedi. While it made sense at the time, there was no way to know we'd ever get the prequels, in retrospect it makes it feel like there's a piece missing. If you're familiar with who Anakin Skywalker is you would probably love to see a moment like this in the original trilogy.

The story of Darth Vader has continued in books and comics and those have largely gone deeper into what's going on inside the mind of Darth Vader. In Timothy Zahn's Thrawn: Alliances we see that Vader, even within his own mind, tries to view Anakin Skywalker as a separate person from himself. He has limited success in this regard. Some of us around CinemaBlend think that a movie or movies surrounding Darth Vader wouldn't be out of place, it doesn't seem likely that such things will happen, and even if we do see Darth Vader again, it likely won't be Hayden Christensen in the role.

Still, at this point, since we have no idea what's in store for the future of Star Wars on the big screen, literally anything is possible.

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