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Star Wars Fans Blast Ahsoka For Repeating The Mandalorian's Worst Mistake

Hayden Christensen surprised "Star Wars" fans who tuned in for the 4th installment of "Ahsoka" on Disney+ by appearing in the final moments of the episode as Anakin Skywalker. The series recreated his look from "Star Wars: Episode III —Revenge of the Sith," but unfortunately, it also recreated his face using de-aging technology, giving the Internet an opportunity to mock the consistent use of such CGI in "Star Wars" media.

"The Mandalorian" Season 2 famously ended with the return of Luke Skywalker, who temporarily adopts the youngling Grogu for Jedi training and returns in "The Book of Boba Fett." But rather than hiring a Mark Hamill lookalike for the role, Lucasfilm de-aged the real deal by superimposing Hamill's younger face on stand-in actors Max Lloyd-Jones and Graham Hamilton, respectively, resulting in a plastic-looking horror from the depths of the uncanny valley.

Now, they've done the same to Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker for "Ahsoka," an odd choice given that the gap in years since he starred in the prequel trilogy is far shorter than the one since Hamill starred in the original trilogy. While Hamill's appearance has changed dramatically, Christensen is still extremely recognizable. Fans are left questioning why anyone felt the need to age him down.

Fans are done being nice, and some are now openly mocking Disney-era "Star Wars" for continuing to employ the controversial technology, which many argue is ugly. As Twitter user @fellawhomstdve sarcastically put it, "when we sat down to make AHSOKA, we had one important question in mind: what would Hayden Christensen look like as a pale, poreless, computer-generated demon[?]"

Is de-aging Anakin necessary? Fans weigh in

The frequency with which studios, especially Disney, have recently employed de-aging tech to recreate the glory days of their biggest stars overshadows just how new the process is. One of the first films to use the process was 2006's "X-Men: First Stand," which de-aged Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart for a flashback sequence. At the time, it was a novel idea, since productions had historically chosen to cast lookalikes for such parts. (It is perhaps not coincidental that de-aging technology means studios don't need to pay for another actor.) But although other Disney franchises have utilized the process, with the MCU having done so most often, "Star Wars" has reaped criticism for how dreadfully unnatural its Benjamin Buttonings are.

"There was no reason to deage [Christensen]," wrote Reddit user u/IUseControllerOnPC. "Him looking a little older wouldn't have mattered from a story perspective..." While some have speculated that the strange setting where Ahsoka meets her former master may be the World Between Worlds, it's unclear what that would mean for Anakin's timeline. In any case, Christensen is still quite recognizable to "Star Wars" fans, who would not likely have been confused had he shown up as his current, middle-aged self.

Meanwhile, as some pointed out, giving Christensen a virtual facelift for "Ahsoka" is yet more perplexing given that the same wasn't done for flashback sequences featuring him on 2022's "Obi-Wan Kenobi." Said @this0ldh0use on Twitter, "De-aging him is extra funny because he's already shown up in an actual flashback not de-aged, and 'the force works in mysterious ways' would've been a fine explanation for him appearing older as a ghost. Embarrassing stuff."