Star Wars Fans Celebrated Hayden Christensen’s 41st Birthday Ahead Of Return As Darth Vader

hayden christensen as anakin skywalker in revenge of the sith
(Image credit: LucasFilm)

After more than a decade away from the Star Wars franchise, Hayden Christensen is finally headed back to the galaxy far, far away through Obi-Wan Kenobi (which will be available with a Disney+ subscription). Fans have been excited ever since Lucasfilm announced that Christensen would reprise the role of Darth Vader and, with the show’s premiere inching closer, his return feels all the more real. It’ll be a glorious moment but, ahead of that, the actor marked another momentous occasion. Christensen celebrated his 41st birthday this week, and fans showed him some serious love.

Hayden Christensen’s big day was on Tuesday, April 19, and it wasn’t surprising to see that the Internet was loving it. Star Wars devotees marked the occasion with gifs, memes and videos featuring Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker. One Twitter user sweetly paid tribute to him with a “fun” post: 

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The Shattered Glass star played the role of Anakin Skywalker during the Prequel Trilogy, starting with 2002’s Attack of the Clones. At the time, many fans expressed lukewarm thoughts about his portrayal of the powerful Jedi, though the actor did manage to endear himself to a number of fans during that period. Another well-wisher from Twitter made note of his journey as Skywalker while celebrating:

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It’s been a joy to see just how much people have warmed up to his performance as Skywalker. While some still have their critiques, many can’t seem to picture anyone else playing the role of the fallen warrior. This appeared to be the sentiment shared by one fan: 

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Within the sci-fi franchise, Anakin Skywalker is thought to be “The Chosen One,” the person who would bring balance to the Force. And to many lovers of the franchise, that title extends to the person playing him:

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Hayden Christensen’s return to Star Wars is special for a few reasons. Not only does it allow fans the opportunity to see his take on Darth Vader once more, it also allows the star himself to join forces with co-star Ewan McGregor again. The on-set reunion is said to have been an “emotional” one and, apparently, it surprised Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy. It’s a full circle moment, and I’d imagine Christensen is relishing every minute of it. 

And Obi-Wan Kenobi won’t be the final time the actor suits up for a project set in the George Lucas-birthed universe. He’s also set to reprise his role as Anakin on Ahsoka, which is headed by Mandalorian alum Rosario Dawson. After his casting was reported, the actress took to social media to send an A+ message to her “SkyGuy.” 

Hayden Christensen should be up for both tasks, especially considering the great way that he prepared for his return. These projects and the love from across the interwebs are proof that the Christensen renaissance has arrived. I’m hoping he had a lovely day and that the Force (and some birthday cake) were with him.

Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives on Disney+ with a two-episode premiere on Friday, May 27. In the meantime, you can check out Hayden Christensen’s past performances as Skywalker by checking out the prequels, which are on the streamer.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.