When Hayden Christensen Got Cast As Anakin Skywalker, He Celebrated Like A Star Wars Fanboy

In some ways, Hollywood roles are like kids' Halloween costumes: there are certain roles everyone either ends up doing or desperately wants to do if given the opportunity, like a cowboy, a pirate, or a medieval knight. Then there's playing a "Star Wars" character, more specifically a Jedi with a cool lightsaber. It's the type of role that would make any actor feel like a kid again no matter their age, and it's hard not to sympathize. After all, you get to do cool stunts, play with a lightsaber — a real one — and wear those cool outfits. 

Unfortunately, the process after making the movie is less than perfect, with every single main actor in a "Star Wars" movie since 1999 being bullied to hell for simply existing, and driven to either disappear from the internet or even despise the franchise they once loved. But for a brief time, these actors get to fulfill childhood dreams, and they celebrate their casting accordingly. Don't believe me? Just ask Hayden Christensen.

'We had a whole lightsaber battle'

During an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" to promote his triumphant return to as Vader in "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Christensen talked about being cast as Anakin Skywalker for 2002's "Attack of the Clones." Though the film was malignly received and Christensen in particular got a lot of hate for the role, he was still a young actor getting to play a dream part. So when the call came in that he had been cast as the young Skywalker, Christensen celebrated accordingly.

"I got the phone call while I was still in bed actually," Christensen recalls. "I remember coming out of the room, just an ear-to-ear grin on my face."

At the time, Christensen was living in an apartment in Vancouver with a friend, so rather than actually telling him the news about his casting, Christensen did what any red-blooded "Star Wars" fan would do: he "lit up an imaginary lightsaber." Then his roommate followed suit, put on John Williams' "Duel of the Fates," and ignited his own imaginary laser sword.

"We had a whole lightsaber battle as we were laughing and jumping all over the couch in the apartment," Christensen said. He added that his enthusiasm continued through filming, as he (like Laura Dern) could not stop "making the lightsaber sound effects when I was doing my lightsaber scenes."

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" is currently streaming on Disney+.