Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Fans Are Thankful Obi-Wan Kenobi Avoided This Major Change To Hayden Christensen

Contains minor spoilers for "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Episode 5

Among a number of other high-profile cast members, the original Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" features Hayden Christensen for the first time in a live action "Star Wars" project since "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" in 2005. Christensen, notably, got to be Darth Vader in his iconic getup for the first time, after portraying the altogether human Anakin Skywalker, pre-Vader transformation, in each of his prior appearances.

Bringing Vader to life was no small feat. In fact, the "Obi-Wan" staff paired Christensen with a specialist to help him nail the character's physicality, such that it would appear consistent with past Vader performances by other actors from throughout "Star Wars" history.

Christensen appears as Anakin in "Obi-Wan" too, albeit briefly, in a flashback woven into Episode 5. After this scene aired for the first time, some viewers online praised the fact that Christensen's big return to his former character lacks one major change that has become something of an industry standard for such occasions.

Obi-Wan fans were glad to see Hayden Christensen without noticeable de-aging

After "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Episode 5 premiered on June 15, user Junior_Key4244 started a thread on the "Obi-Wan" subreddit asking if any of its other members appreciated the fact that Hayden Christensen appeared in his Episode 5 flashback with minimal-to-no de-aging, in spite of it taking place concurrently with past "Star Wars" scenes in which the actor is at least a decade-and-a-half younger. The post was upvoted more than 500 times, suggesting that plenty of viewers do, in fact, feel this way.

One commenter replied, "I was just so happy to see him that I ignored his aging." They then praised whatever methods Christensen used to retain a youthful enough appearance that his present-day look didn't distract them from the flashback.

User hop0316, meanwhile, wrote, "I think it looked fine, deaging is great in theory but when not done perfectly is a lot more distracting than a few extra lines on someone's face."

Another user even floated the possibility that Christensen's appearance was a creative choice, intended to reflect how Vader might imagine his past self to look, rather than an accurate reflection of Anakin at the time that scene would have occurred.

Viewers discussing this scene in the Reddit thread, then, largely agreed that Christensen's perhaps incongruous appearance was preferable to the sorts of digital alterations that are becoming increasingly common in blockbuster films.

Hayden Christensen enjoyed becoming Anakin again

In a video interview with CinemaBlend published around the time "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Episode 5 premiered, Hayden Christensen shared that he was decidedly happy to get to appear as Anakin in a "Star Wars" project for the first time in over a decade. "It was so cool to get to put the Anakin costume back on again," he said.

Christensen then revealed that he filmed his first Anakin scene — in which Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) hallucinates the presence of his former apprentice on the planet Mapuzo — during his first day on-set.

In a later video interview with The Movie Podcast, Christensen discussed the Episode 5 flashback in more detail. "It was a surreal experience doing that scene," he said. "Just being back in those costumes again, and just getting to see Obi-Wan and Anakin back in the good old days. It was the closest I'll ever get to time travel."

Although Christensen didn't bring up the prospect of de-aging, his big Anakin scene seems to have meant a lot to him in a broader sense, just as it did to the many viewers excited about the return of a classic prequel character unaltered by potentially intrusive CGI.