5 little-known facts about Hayden Christensen

Hayden Christensen (Photo by Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images)
Hayden Christensen (Photo by Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images) /
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palpatine, anakin skywalker
Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

5. He credits Ian McDiarmid for his performance in Episode III

When Hayden Christensen was brought back for 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, he was not the only prequel actor to return. Both Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu appear in the film — but as voices only. When Rey lies on the ground across from the Emperor, their voices lead the chorus of Jedi’s empowering her to finish the fight against the Sith.

It was with that same Emperor, played by Ian McDiarmid, that Hayden Christensen recalls sharing his favorite scenes in the climactic Revenge of the Sith.

At Star Wars Celebration 2017, a panel lead by Wicket the Ewok actor Warwick Davis featured producer George Lucas alongside Christensen and McDiarmid. At the panel, the two discussed what it was like working together in Revenge of the Sith, and how they worked together to put Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side to film. Christensen said:

"Working with Ian was a treat and a privilege. Everyone knows he’s such an amazing actor, but he’s also an incredibly generous actor. [He] really took me under his wing and was just very caring and giving. I owe a lot of what I was able to accomplish in Episode III to being able to work with Ian."

The two share multiple scenes together in the film, as McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine slowly lures Anakin to the Dark Side. The panel is a great display of the chemistry between the two actors and the gratitude between the two for being able to create such powerful scenes is evident.

Without being able to work with each other the way they did, Episode III would be far from the same deeply emotional film it is today.

It just goes to show what two Sith Lords can accomplish when they work together.

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