How Hayden Christensen Reacted To Being Replaced As Darth Vader In Rogue One

When last we saw Hayden Christensen's face in the live-action "Star Wars" movies, it was having Darth Vader's mask lowered onto it. That was in "Revenge of the Sith" back in 2005. It's been a long road to "Obi-Wan Kenobi," the upcoming Disney+ series, in which Christensen is set to make his return as Vader. However, the character also appeared in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" in 2016, with James Earl Jones once again voicing him. Pro boxer Spencer Wilding embodied Vader during his early scenes in "Rogue One," while stuntman Daniel Naprous stepped in at the end for the sequence where Vader cuts through a hallway of Rebel fleet troopers with his red lightsaber.

So how did Christensen feel about being left out of "Rogue One?" Entertainment Weekly recently caught up with the actor, who shared his feelings on sitting out that particular movie as others carried on Vader's legacy. Christensen said:

"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."

It takes an Ewok village

Christensen's response, where he talks about Darth Vader predating him, makes it clear that he is conscious of his place in "Star Wars" history and respectful of the other actors who have brought the character to life over the years. While Jones and his basso profondo voice are most readily associated with Vader in the public imagination, portraying the character in live-action has always been at least a two-man job.

David Prowse ("A Clockwork Orange"), who passed away in late 2020, was the actor in the Vader suit in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, while Sebastian Shaw appeared as the face of Anakin Skywalker at the end of "Return of the Jedi." Then, of course, Jake Lloyd played the young Anakin, or "Ani," in "The Phantom Menace."

Christensen only stepped into the role of Anakin with "Attack of the Clones" in 2002, though he was later retconned into "Return of the Jedi" as a Force ghost. Now, 20 years later, he's gearing up to return as one of the three actors who will play Vader in "Obi-Wan Kenobi." The other two are stuntmen Dmitrious Bistrevsky and Tom O'Connell.

In short, it takes an Ewok village to bring Darth Vader to life. "Obi-Wan Kenobi" premieres on Disney+ on May 25, 2022.