8. Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
The role of Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy was surely a challenge to cast, and many fans were disappointed in Hayden Christensen’s performance of the character in Attack of the Clones. However, as time has progressed, fans learned to see Christensen as the definitive Anakin Skywalker of the story George Lucas was trying to tell. In Attack of the Clones, Christensen portrayed Anakin as an angsty teenager with an insatiable drive and way too much confidence. He was daring and yet full of compassion and a hunger for justice in the galaxy. It was often hard to believe that this fun and passionate character would one day become the cold and menacing Darth Vader.
Christensen’s strength in playing Anakin, however, was in displaying the haunting Anakin experiences because of the death of his mother. He’s driven by a rage he knows he should deny, and when the same fears plague him at the possibility of losing Padmé, we see a man haunted by the possibility of loss in Christensen’s performance. Audiences couldn’t help but feel for him and somehow understand just a little why he turned so easily to the Dark Side. Christensen’s standout performance is a tragic one as he battles his beloved friend and mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. He’s strong and arrogant, and yet his arrogance blinds him to his weaknesses.