‘Star Wars’ Actor Experiencing Setbacks, Faces “Uphill Battle” After Emergency Surgery

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anakin and ahsoka

Credit: Lucasfilm

Matt Lanter, who plays Anakin Skywalker in the hugely popular animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 – 2020) has reportedly undergone emergency surgery.

anakin skywalker and barris offee duel
Credit: Lucasfilm

The news was reported by the actor’s wife, Angela Lanter, who shared the following on Instagram:

“This week has been the scariest of my life. My hubby has been through the ringer since Tuesday and ended up in emergency surgery on Thursday. Thankfully he’s started to turn the corner and is slowly getting on the road to recovery. Thank you all for your prayers, love and support. We are so thankful to the awesome nurses, they are the real heroes. We still have an uphill battle and will continue to be in the hospital for a while longer, so prayers are definitely still appreciated.”

Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano
Credit: Lucasfilm

His wife later shared an update of the current situation and what led to the actor’s emergency surgery:

“Last Tuesday, Matt started experiencing intense abdominal pain and was admitted to the hospital later that night. Thursday he was diagnosed with a closed loop intestinal obstruction (his small intestine twisted, causing a blockage) and was rushed into emergency surgery. He has experienced some setbacks after surgery but today he is feeling a little better.”

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Ashley Eckstein
Credit: Ashley Eckstein

Ashley Eckstein, who plays the fan-favorite Jedi Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels (2014 – 2018), has also expressed her well-wishes. The actress shared the following on her Instagram account, she wrote,

“You’re stuck with me Skyguy.” Our Clone Wars cast, we’re family. My Skyguy, @mattlanter is recovering after emergency surgery. He’s on his way to recovery, but I’ve felt so helpless, wishing I could do more to help him and his amazing wife @angelalanter

So I dedicate this #MentalHealthMonday post to Matt and I ask for your help. The most powerful thing we can do for him right is extend our kindness, well wishes and prayers for good health and a speedy recovery. Please join me in sending love, the Force and prayers for Matt and his family.”

Related: 7 Popular ‘Star Wars’ Villains Ranked Worst to Best

ahsoka tano with lightsabers
Credit: Lucasfilm

To those unfamiliar with The Clone Wars, the show spans the three years between Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005), focusing on the titular wars and all those involved.

From the Jedi to the Separatists, and everyone else caught up in the galaxy-wide wars, The Clone Wars hosts a huge gallery of Star Wars characters, but among its main set are Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor), and Padme Amidala (Catherine Taber).

Related: The 5 Best Episodes of ‘The Mandalorian’

clone wars official image featuring anakin, obi-wan, ahsoka
Credit: Lucasfilm

One of the main threads throughout the seven-season-long series is the story between Anakin and Ahsoka, Jedi Master and Padawan. After becoming Anakin’s apprentice in the animated movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), the two develop a strong bond throughout the show.

Together, they face countless enemies together, from evil Separatists such as Count Dooku (Corey Burton) and Sith Lords like Maul (Sam Witwer). But their greatest challenge comes in the form of Anakin’s fate, which ultimately sees him becoming Darth Vader.

Related: 6 Actresses Who Could Play a Younger Ahsoka in the Upcoming Series

Darth Vader The Clone Wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

Lanter’s portrayal of Anakin has gone down very well with Star Wars fans, however, despite The Clone Wars being mostly in line with the prequel trilogy, his version of the character is quite different to the live-action counterpart played by Hayden Christensen in the last two films.

While Christensen’s acting was heavily criticized around the time of the films’ release, he has since become more appreciated within the fanbase — so much so that he will be reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) series.

Related: Where is Ahsoka During All Three ‘Star Wars’ Trilogies? 

(l-r) ahsoka tano, anakin skywalker, and aayla secura in clone wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

Lanter is well-known in the Star Wars universe, and his talents have been utilized beyond just voicing Anakin Skywalker in the hit animated show. Not only did he reprise his role as Anakin/Darth Vader in Rebels, he also appeared in a brief role in The Mandalorian (2019).

Lanter isn’t the first actor to have portrayed Anakin Skywalker, though. Sebastian Shaw portrayed the oldest version of the character in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983), while Jake Lloyd played the youngest in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999).

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Bo-Katan Before ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3

the son and anakin skywalker clone wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

The actor with the most live-action screen time, however, is Hayden Christensen, who played the character in both Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. Christensen will be reprising his role in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka(TBA).

As for overall screen time, with The Clone Wars boasting seven seasons, Lanter holds that title. Whether or not he will return to Star Wars in some capacity, though, remains to be seen, but as far as best portrayals of the character go, he’s easily the favorite within the Star Wars fanbase.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Sabine Wren Before You Watch ‘Ahsoka’

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

You can enjoy Matt Lanter’s excellent portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars and Rebels, two of many Star Wars shows currently streaming on Disney+.

Which is your favorite portrayal of Anakin Skywalker? Let us know in the comments below.

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