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Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen Breaks Silence On Rogue One’s Brutal Darth Vader Scene

Darth Vader igniting red lightsaber in Rogue One
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Although the majority of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s starring characters were brand new to a galaxy far, far away, there were a handful of familiar faces who had notable roles in the 2016 movie. Among them was Darth Vader, who was first seen berating Ben Mendelsohn’s Orson Krennic on Mustafar, and later memorably massacred a group of Rebel troops in an effort to seize back the stolen Death Star plans. More than half a decade later, Hayden Christensen, who brought Anakin Skywalker to life in two of the Star Wars movies, has broken his silence on Vader’s brutal Rogue One scene.

Rather than approach Hayden Christensen to suit back up as Darth Vader for Rogue One, like he did at the end of Revenge of the Sith, the Star Wars movie’s team instead had Spencer Wilding physically play Vader for the Krennic meeting, and Daniel Naprous donned the black armor for when the time came for the Sith Lord to cut down some Rebel scum. Here’s what Christensen had to say about that latter moment to EW:

I wasn't a part of any of those conversations about Rogue One. But I loved what they did with it. The character predates me, and it's always been a collective effort in a lot of ways. I thought it was brilliant.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy explained that Hayden Christensen wasn’t considered for Rogue One because "that was just such a specific action sequence,” and it sounds like he’s understanding about this. Keep in mind that along with Christensen having mostly scaled back on acting following his time in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the big Darth Vader sequence was the last thing shot during Rogue One’s reshoots period; it was even kept secret from the main cast. So even if the crew had wanted to bring Christensen back that might have been difficult to make happen given how last minute this all came together. 

Fortunately for Hayden Christensen, after more than a decade and a half away from the Star Wars universe, he’s reprising Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader on two fronts. First, he’ll appear in Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which is set 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Along with this show seeing Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan and Christensen’s Darth Vader cross paths for the first time since their epic duel on Mustafar, there’s also a chance we could get Clone Wars-era flashbacks of the two, though that’s by no means official.

Hayden Christensen is also on deck for the Ahsoka series starring Rosario Dawson. In this instance though, it’s unclear if we’ll be seeing Anakin Skywalker through flashbacks to the Clone Wars, or if he’ll appear in Force Ghost form since this show is set half a decade after Return of the Jedi. Either way, the future is bright for fans of Christensen’s Star Wars character, who was previously played by Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace and was voiced by Matt Lanter in The Clone Wars animated series.

Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on May 25, while Ahsoka doesn’t have a release date set yet. If you’re interested in re-watching Rogue One or any of the other Star Wars movies, they can be streamed with a Disney+ subscription.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

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