It took nearly two decades but Hayden Christensen made a memorable return to Star Wars in Obi-Wan Kenobi which premiered last year on Disney+. The announcement of the show was met with surprise and excitement by fans of Hayden’s performance as Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader, but little did they know, there was more to come in Ahsoka.
Both series allowed Hayden to play different versions of Anakin and Vader at different points in the timeline while exploring Anakin’s tragic relationships with his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Padawan, Ahsoka Tano.
Here are Hayden Christensen’s Top 5 Best Moments in Star Wars TV:
5. Force -Ghost Anakin
The finale of Ahsoka is tinged with melancholy as it gives us our last look at the late Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll and leaves Ahsoka stranded on Peridea with her Padawan, Sabine Wren. However, the very final shot of the series is uplifting as fans get to see Hayden as Force ghost Anakin Skywalker, who was watching over Ahsoka all along. Maybe she was able to sense him but she wasn’t able to see him, but perhaps that’s being saved for Season 2. In the meantime, it was beyond satisfying to see a redeemed Anakin watching his Padawan with pride and seeming so at peace after everything he went through in life.
4. Obi-Wan Kenobi-Flashback Anakin
Twitter/X exploded after Kenobi Episode 5 showed a flashback of Obi-Wan and Padawan Anakin sparring at the Jedi Temple. Though the two actors didn’t look exactly like they did in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, their lightsaber skills were on par with their 2002 versions and it was delightful to see them recreating that onscreen chemistry. It may have been almost 20 years in the making, but Hayden looked just as sharp as he did nearly two decades ago. It’s a well-choreographed duel between two actors who are Star Wars legends.
3. World Between Worlds Anakin/Vader
This has to be Hayden’s best performance as Anakin Skywalker. Ahsoka falls into the ocean after losing her duel with Baylan Skoll and wakes up in what appears to be the World Between Worlds. When she wakes up she sees Anakin, but it’s impossible to tell if he’s there or if it’s all a dream. To make it all the more complicated, Anakin seems to oscillate between the light and dark side; between Anakin and Darth Vader. Hayden delivers a mesmerizing performance as he switches back and forth between the two personas with ease.
2. The Clone Wars Era General Skywalker/Vader
Episode 5 ‘Shadow Warrior’ only gets better when Ahsoka goes back to The Clone Wars as a 14-year-old child soldier, alongside her Master, General Anakin Skywalker. Fans’ years-long dream of seeing Hayden as Anakin in his Clone Wars armor came true and Hayden delivered a mature performance as a mentor to a very young Ahsoka. There’s also some great dueling between the duo, and Hayden does a brilliant job of switching between Anakin and Vader.
1. Obi-Wan Kenobi finale: Vader’s mask breaks
Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor’s much-awaited rematch delivered big time, including the re-creation of a Star Wars Rebels moment. Obi-Wan strikes Vader’s helmet, breaking it in half, revealing half of Vader’s disfigured face just like Ahsoka broke Vader’s helmet during their duel on Malachor. This time, the moment happens in live-action. Vader’s emotions go from rage to anger, to complete hopelessness, as Obi-Wan apologizes to him for everything Anakin has ever gone through; all of it.
If you weren’t crying due to Ewan’s gut-wrenching performance, Hayden probably got the job done. As Vader struggles to speak and tells Obi-Wan, “I’m not your failure, Obi-Wan. You didn’t kill Anakin Skywalker. I did,” most of us had to reach for a box of tissues. Hayden Christensen does his best to make the most of his limited face time in Kenobi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka are streaming on Disney+.