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Hayden Christensen Describes Darth Vader & Anakin Skywalker Dynamic

Hayden Christensen describes the tumultuous relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi series villain Darth Vader and his fallen hero Anakin Skywalker.

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Obi-Wan Kenobi

Hayden Christensen describes the relationship between his Obi-Wan Kenobi series villain Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker. Christensen reprised each of his two roles for the first time since the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith alongside Ewan McGregor’s Jedi for the latest Star Wars Disney+ series. The story follows Obi-Wan as he struggles to connect with his true self again in the wake of a daring mission to rescue Leia Organa, all while avoiding the clutches of Vader’s ruthless team of Force-sensitive Inquisitors.

Ever since the infamous villain’s first appearance in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, it has been clear that Vader and Anakin are very different from each other. The moment Anakin first fell to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith following the death of Mace Windu, he was deemed Lord Vader by Emperor Palpatine himself, and thus his transformation was nearly complete. Anakin finally took on his more famous name once he nearly lost his life to his burns on Mustafar — where he insists Anakin was killed once and for all — and was fit with his iconic suit. Ever since, Darth Vader has gone on to claim that he killed the “weak” Anakin to become the strong force he is in the Star Wars galaxy.

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Related: Star Wars Just Made Vader’s Dark Side Connection Even More Horrifying

Now, Christensen has further described this relationship between Vader and Anakin. In discussing his role in Obi-Wan Kenobi with THR, the actor reveals that Anakin is a “throughline and an undercurrent” to Vader. He goes on to say that though Vader has constantly been trying to “kill off that side of him,” pieces of Anakin remain within him, which not only helps to bridge the gap between Revenge of the Sith and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but also provides a realistic and consistent character arc:

“Yes, I always see Anakin as a throughline and an undercurrent to this character. Vader is trying his best to kill off that side of him, but there always has to be a little bit of Anakin in there. And that presents itself, and that’s a part of the fun. I’m always thinking about the Anakin aspect of this character.”

Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 4

Ever since Obi-Wan Kenobi press first began, Christensen has emphasized his constant connection to Anakin, which greatly informs his performance as Vader. With this series taking place just 10 years after Revenge of the Sith, it’s clear that Vader still hasn’t been able to silence the pieces of Anakin Skywalker within him, which viewers have already seen in Obi-Wan Kenobi episodes 2, 3, and 4. Anakin is still able to feel his connection to his old Master, despite how the latter has tried to keep himself disconnected from the Force. The pair seemingly share a heavy grief and pain for the things they’ve done to each other, though Vader has clearly tried to quiet these thoughts with the way he makes Obi-Wan suffer following their duel on Mustafar.


Heading into the final two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, it’s expected that audiences will continue to get glimpses at this relationship between Vader and Anakin, especially through Obi-Wan’s eyes. Flashbacks to the infamous Clone Wars are anticipated, though not confirmed, which that would only bring more of Anakin into the series. Another duel between Obi-Wan and Vader is inevitable, which could also draw out more of Anakin, should Obi-Wan try to connect with him and find any good that remains. Frequent Padmé references made by Obi-Wan prove that he is haunted by her death, and may attempt to reach Anakin by mentioning her name. Only Obi-Wan Kenobi episodes 5 and 6 will tell how this relationship between Vader and Anakin will unfold, but as Christensen teases, one is still not without the other in this series.


Next: Why Mustafar Is Darth Vader’s System

Source: THR

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