Hayden Christensen returned once more as Anakin Skywalker in Disney+’s “Ahsoka,” marking the second time fans have gotten him back in the “Star Wars” universe in two years. And it was undeniably one of his best appearances.
Granted, it wasn’t his best “Star Wars” appearance. We’re not saying it was bad by any means — just that, in the grand scheme of his presence in this franchise, there’s a lot to consider. So, we went ahead and considered it!
Will “Ahsoka” be the last time we see Christensen in this particular on-screen galaxy? It’s hard to say for sure. We hope not, but on the chance it is, we decided to rank the actor’s appearances across “Star Wars.” You can check it out below.
6. “Return of the Jedi”
When George Lucas replaced Sebastian Shaw’s force ghost of Anakin with Hayden Christensen in 2004, it drew some, uh, strong emotions. Original trilogy purists were outraged, but those who came up on the prequels were more open to it. It’s a small scene, but it technically counts as a Christensen appearance — and it’s a bad one.
5. “Rise of Skywalker”
If you’re mad at seeing “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” above “Return of the Jedi” — or even on here at all — that’s fine, we don’t fault you. The movie has its issues. But Hayden Christensen’s voice does pop up in it, and it was the first Anakin crumbs fans got in more than a decade. And it is Anakin’s voice, trying to help Rey. So it deserves at least a crumb of love.
4. “Attack of the Clones”
Anakin’s padawan haircut in “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” is unforgivable, and the dialogue he’s given in this movie may well be unforgivable too, but this marked Hayden Christensen’s debut in the “Star Wars” universe, and he put his whole heart into it. Angsty teen Anakin was hard to handle at times, but there’s a reason a whole subsect of fans fell in love with him here.
3. “Obi-Wan Kenobi”
17 years after “Revenge of the Sith,” most fans didn’t think we’d ever see Christensen back in the franchise. But, in 2022, Lucasfilm brought him back not only as Anakin Skywalker, but as Darth Vader too for “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
In the series, fans got a flashback to “Attack of the Clones”-era Anakin, and got to see him under the Vader mask as well. His emotionally charged meeting with Obi-Wan, which filters in and out of Christensen’s voice, was a gut punch to fans and a reminder that Christensen was always actually great in the role.
If “Ahsoka” is the last time we see Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, it was a beautiful way to go out. Though we would have loved to have seen Anakin in his middle-aged glory, as Christensen himself is now, the “Revenge of the Sith” version of him still hit home.
We got live-action Anakin and Ahsoka together, we got Anakin in his “Clone Wars” costume, and most importantly, we got to see that Christensen hasn’t lost a step when it comes to lightsaber battles. There’s very little else fans could’ve hoped for in his second return.
1. “Revenge of the Sith”
At the end of the day, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” remains Hayden Christensen’s shining moment in this franchise. His execution of Anakin’s inevitable fall to the dark side, fueled by his love for Natalie Portman’s Padmé is simply elite.
It took far too many years for him to get his due, but we’re glad it’s happening now.
Honorable Mention: FanExpo
Is this technically a “Star Wars” appearance? No, no it’s not. This is a video of Christensen reuniting with Vivian Lyra Blair — who played a young Princess Leia, Anakin’s daughter, in “Obi-Wan Kenobi” — at a FanExpo convention.
But, in our hearts, this is how Anakin would’ve greeted his daughter on screen, so it seems right to put it in here. Really, it brings balance to the force. Watch it below.
You can also watch TheWrap’s interview with Christensen, in which he talks how “proud” he is of the young actress here.
@fanexpohq my heart melted filming this #starwars #anakinskywalker #anakin #leia #princessleia #megaconorlando ♬ original sound – FAN EXPO