The "Star Wars" fandom is thrilled about Hayden Christensen's Darth Vader reprisal, and although that role made him a star, it also made him reconsider his acting career.
After portraying Anakin Skywalker, Hayden Christensen's life changed. He indeed became one of the most famous actors globally, but it just didn't feel right.
It's been 17 years since Christensen appeared in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith." Now, he is part of the group of actors who had a promising career and disappeared from Hollywood.
Hayden Christensen portraying Anakin Skywalker in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy [left]. Christensen on October 29, 2019, in Anaheim, California. | Source: Getty Images
Christensen's career was already making headlines before being cast as Anakin for the first of the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy films in 2002. His outstanding performance in 2001's "Life as a House" even got him nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG award.
When director George Lucas handpicked him out of 1,500 candidates (including Leonardo DiCaprio) to lead the "Star Wars" prequels, Christensen was 19 years old.
Hayden Christensen on April 16, 2014, in Beijing, China. | Source: Getty Images
Christensen's performance was so iconic that he went from a promising actor to a worldwide celebrity. Unfortunately, he was not ready for sudden fame. He explained:
"I felt like I had this great thing in 'Star Wars' that provided all these opportunities and gave me a career, but it all kind of felt a little too handed to me."
Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson on September 8, 2009, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Hayden Christensen's movies after "Episode III" are scarce, and that's because he pretty much retired from the entertainment industry to dedicate most of his time to his Ontario farm.
Christensen was equally excited the first time he saw McGregor as his "Star Wars" character.
The actor didn't want to live his life feeling like he was "just riding a wave." While farming was just a hobby, it eventually became a way of living. He even revealed he wanted a fully operational farm with different crops and livestock.
Hayden Christensen on May 16, 2005, in London. | Source: Getty Images
Christensen knew that turning his back on Hollywood would negatively affect his career, but he was okay with it. He said that if he could "claw [his] way back in" after so many years, he would finally feel like he earned it.
Now, Christensen is returning to Hollywood big time. In late 2020, the Walt Disney Company announced that the actor would be part of a future "Star Wars" project: the Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Ewan McGregor is also returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he confessed that seeing Christensen portray Anakin again after so many years was "spine-tingling." They kept in touch over the years but had not seen each other for a long time.
Christensen was equally excited the first time he saw McGregor as his "Star Wars" character. He even admitted that the moment was so special that he would remember it for a "very, very long time."
Hayden Christensen said wearing the Darth Vader suit again was a great honor. He also described it as a surreal and unique opportunity, but one that felt like a natural continuation of his journey with the character. "Obi-Wan Kenobi" will premiere on May 27, and we cannot wait!