Star Wars' Ewan McGregor Shares Story Revealing How The Crew Were As Pumped To See Hayden Christensen's Darth Vader As Fans Were

Darth Vader sitting on throne in Obi-Wan Kenobi series
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Following Jake Lloyd’s time as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Hayden Christensen was brought in to play the character as a young adult for the remaining two movies in the Prequel Trilogy, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. We only got to see Christensen don the Darth Vader armor briefly at the end of the latter Star Wars movie, but now Obi-Wan Kenobi has come along, allowing him to play an integral role as the Sith Lord in his cyborg form. And as Ewan McGregor explained, the crew of the latest Star Wars series were just as pumped to see Christensen back as Vader as the fans were.

Although Darth Vader’s voice is once again provided by James Earl Jones in Obi-Wan Kenobi (with aid from Respeecher), Hayden Christensen was brought back to physically portray the character, his first time doing so in nearly two decades. While chatting with ET, Ewan McGregor, who’s of course reprising Obi-Wan Kenobi, recalled the reaction on set when Christensen walked out on set for the first time wearing the Darth Vader suit:

Hundreds of people appeared [all over the set] and I was like, ‘Why are there so many people here today?’ Hayden walks out in the suit, and I was like, ‘Oh, of course, that’s why everyone is here. Everyone is here to see this moment.’

Hayden Christensen added that many of the crew members on Obi-Wan Kenobi were “proper Star Wars fans,” and as a result were “really excited to be there.” So it’s no wonder so many people turned out to see Christensen walk out onto the set in the Darth Vader suit. Ewan McGregor has plenty of people fond of his Obi-Wan Kenobi performance, to be sure, but when the opportunity comes along to see the Prequel Trilogy’s older Anakin Skywalker encased in that black armor, no Star Wars fan would pass that up. As far as the general public goes, Christensen’s involvement in Obi-Wan Kenobi was announced back in December 2020, and now people with a Disney+ subscription are finally able to see him back in action as Vader roughly 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, when he’s not as “fully formed.”

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Obi-Wan Kenobi are ahead!

Hayden Christensen first appeared in Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of the second episode, when Darth Vader was shown awakening in his bacta tank on Mustafar right after the title protagonist learned that his former apprentice was still alive. In this week’s episode, after getting back in the suit that helps keep him alive, he instructed Reva, one of his Inquistors, to find Obi-Wan, promising he’d make her the new Grand Inquisitor is she succeeded, and would  punish her if she failed him. Eventually she tracked the Jedi Master and young Leia Organa to Maputo, and upon arriving, Vader started murdering civilians to draw Obi-Wan out into the open.

From there, these two locked lightsaber blades for the first time in a decade, but because Obi-Wan Kenobi was rusty with using the Force, Darth Vader quickly overpowered him and went so far as to set him on fire. Luckily, Tala, an Imperial officer who helped out Obi-Wan and Leia earlier in the episode, came back to bail the Jedi out of his predicament. Vader may have won this round, but per concept art that’s been released, we know that these two will face off against each other again before the Obi-Wan Kenobi series is over.

New episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere Wednesdays on Disney+, and for the Hayden Christensen fans out there, he’s also lined up to reprise Anakin Skywalker in Ahsoka, which will debut sometime in 2023. Keep checking in with CinemaBlend for updates on other upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.