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The Epic Way Hayden Christensen Prepared For His Star Wars Return

The upcoming Disney+ limited series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is set to bring lead star Ewan McGregor and former Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) actor Hayden Christensen back into their respective "Star Wars" roles for the first time in nearly two decades. 

The two last shared the screen in 2005's "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith." At the end of that film, Anakin Skywalker assumes the role of Darth Vader, a tyrant under the control of Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) (Ian McDiarmid). Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi hands-off Skywalker's children to their new guardians and becomes a watchful protector posing as a hermit.

The new series will focus on Kenobi's journey in a post-Jedi galaxy as he watches over a young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. Though precise details on the Deborah Chow-directed "Star Wars" series are slim, we know that the Jedi master will be whisked off the sandy planet on a mission that involves the Empire's Inquisitors and his former apprentice-turned-foe, Darth Vader. 

Of course, stepping into the "Star Wars" universe after nearly 20 years can be a daunting task. Needless to say, many fans have been eagerly awaiting the reunion of Vader and Kenobi since the series was first announced. To prepare for his return as one of the greatest villains in cinematic history, Christensen immersed himself into the franchise's lore in a unique way.

Hayden Christensen watched the Star Wars animated series

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ewan McGregor revealed that he watched all the mainline "Star Wars" films to get back into the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hayden Christensen, on the other hand, went even further, revealing that he watched every "Star Wars" film and binge-watched "The Clone Wars" and "Rebels," two of the franchise's most popular animated series.

Christensen described the process of watching "The Clone Wars" and "Rebels" as interesting. "They did a lot with these characters in those shows," Christensen said. "And they did further explore the relationship. There was interesting stuff there to learn about. It was great fun getting to go back and re-immerse yourself in this world that just continues to grow and become more and more vast."

"The Clone Wars" notably delved deeper into Anakin's psyche, as it took place between "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith" — formative years that shaped the young Jedi master. "Rebels," a spiritual successor to "The Clone Wars," takes place a decade after "Revenge of the Sith," and features Darth Vader prowling throughout the galaxy, hunting down the last remaining Jedi.

Because Christensen only briefly played Darth Vader in the final prequel film, it's certainly exciting to see him do the necessary research to do the character justice when he returns. The first two episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" hit Disney+ on May 27.