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Hayden Christensen Reveals The Staggering Amount Of Time His Obi-Wan Kenobi Makeup Takes

The latest Disney+ "Star Wars" TV show "Obi-Wan Kenobi" takes place during the period of time following the conclusion of the prequel trilogy and conception of the Galactic Empire, but well before the start of the original "Star Wars" film. Specifically, it opens on Tatooine, where an aging Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) watches over a ten-year-old Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) to ensure that his latent potential with the Force remains untainted by the Dark Side. This measure, of course, is in order to prevent Luke from becoming like his father, who himself appears regularly throughout the series.

"Obi-Wan" director Deborah Chow revealed that Darth Vader's presence is important given his significance in Obi-Wan's life — though when the series opens, Obi-Wan is entirely unaware that his former pupil Anakin is alive, let alone a superpowered Sith named Darth Vader. Bringing Vader to life behind-the-scenes, it turns out, requires three actors: whereas stunt performers Dmitrious Bistrevsky and Tom O'Connell handle the character's imposing size and strength, original Anakin Skywalker actor Hayden Christensen is responsible for the character's humanity.

In a recent interview, Christensen discussed what it's like to portray one of cinema's most iconic supervillains, now in his most recognizable form. Among other tidbits about his approach to the character, Christensen happened to reveal just how much time it takes to apply his makeup prior to his unmasked Vader scenes in "Obi-Wan."

Becoming Darth Vader takes hours in the makeup chair

On June 13, at which point four out of the six episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" were available on Disney+, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Hayden Christensen about various aspects of his role on the series. Partway through their conversation, interviewer Ryan Parker asked Christensen how long the process of applying his Vader makeup takes.

"It's pretty extensive. It's a good four to five hours in the makeup chair," Christensen replied, before praising the team of makeup artists that works on the show. He also mentioned receiving input from Doug Chiang, the executive creative director of Lucasfilm, on how Darth Vader should look.

However, in spite of Vader requiring extensive makeup to differentiate this incarnation of the character from Anakin Skywalker, Christensen told Collider that he thinks of Vader simply as an older version of his prequel trilogy character. "My overriding thought has just been that it's Anakin underneath the mask," he said.

For what it's worth, plenty of "Star Wars" fans online have praised Christensen's performance. For example, a Tweet by user @anakintstark reading "hayden christensen coming back as darth vader was one of the best things that has ever happen in our present culture" received more than 4,000 likes. Christensen's approach to the character, then — including the hours he spends in the makeup chair — seems to be paying off.