Confirmed: ‘Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen NOT Back as Darth Vader

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Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker

Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars welcomes the return of legend Hayden Christensen in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but every Star Wars fan will be shocked to learn that Christensen isn’t entirely under the Darth Vader suit.

Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Darth Vader’s gruesome walk through the town of Mapuzo in the third episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series highlighted a significant shift in the live-action portrayal of the Sith Lord.

Vader is a cold killer, and many fans were set to believe that it was actor Hayden Christensen in full-body shots instilling fear and death throughout the galaxy.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Fans will be shocked to learn that Hayden Christensen is NOT under the Darth Vader mask for any full-body shots of the Sith Lord, including his deadly walk through Mapozo:

#ObiWanKenobi performance artist Dmitrious Bistrevsky has confirmed that Hayden Christensen is not in the #DarthVader suit for full body shots: “Hayden carries the heaviest burden of all, the pain and betrayal of his best friend…”

Suntmant Dmitrious Bistrevsky shared on Instagram:

“Darth Vader is played by three people, we all worked together to create the best Darth Vader in cinematic history. It’s me, it’s Hayden, it’s Tom [O’Connell]. We are a symbiosis. We all contributed our strengths to create the best representation of the character.”

Darth Vader force choking Director Krennic
Credit: Lucasfilm

Bistrevsky states that he and Hayden Christensen are involved in any scenes with Darth Vader acting while stuntman Tom O’Connell wields Vader’s red lightsaber in the rematch between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader:

“Hayden and I both act in the Darth Vader scenes, we bring the character and emotions (and the pain, suffering, anger) I’m 6’7 so when you see a full body shot it looks better having an actor, than a CGI creation. Tom specializes in the fighting. The fights are Tom. Full body with Helmet On is me, Hayden carries the heaviest burden of all, the pain and betrayal of his best friend and once mentor.”

George Lucas Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Nonetheless, Dmitrious Bistrevsky confirms that Hayden Christensen did bulk up for the role of Darth Vader:

“Hayden wore the suit, I wore the suit, Tom wore the suit. We all worked together to create the best character we possibly can. We are a team. Without Hayden there would be no story for me to tell. He is my friend, he showed up so hard for this project. He bulked, Hayden was so swole when he arrived to set that both Tom and I quivered in our muscle suits.”

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (left) and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It’s taken a village to bring Darth Vader back to life in Kenobi, one that seems to barely involve Christensen:

“Yes I did, I learned all my lines like everyone else. But we found out early on that when I spoke with anger it shook the helmet. So we had a voice actor on set, my friend Dorian, he would voice act the scene, and I would act to his intensity while adding my own character choices. We danced together to create the performance alongside my movement coach/consultant Olga Sokolova. Her and I have a secret hand language so she would be giving me notes in real time as well. It was a great big dance, it shouldn’t have worked, but it worked out beautifully.”

Hayden Christensen brought his entirety to the reprisal of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. Still, it’s shocking that Christensen doesn’t don the suit for some of the most integral scenes featuring the masked tyrant in Kenobi so far.

Hayden Christensen training as Darth Vader
Credit: Lucasfilm / Vanity Fair

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Nonetheless, Hayden Christensen did undergo rigorous training to physically outperform his last portrayal of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), as Vanity Fair shared a now-iconic image of Christensen pairing with a dark, menacing cape.

While this could entail live-action Order 66 flashback sequences as Anakin Skywalker storms the Jedi Temple, it’s clear that Christensen wanted to come back better than ever before.

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

With Bistrevsky’s comments, Hayden Christensen is only under the Darth Vader suit for close-up shots and static moments of the character.

Everything else is in the hands of trained stunt professionals.

More about Obi-Wan Kenobi

The story begins ten years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his most significant defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Kenobi’, ‘Andor’ Casting Leak Seemingly Confirms Satine Kryze

“The rematch of the century” teased by Kathleen Kennedy, director Deborah Chow, and Lucasfilm will be supported by Moses Ingram (Inquisitor Reva), Joel Edgerton (Uncle Owen), Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars), Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The world of George Lucas is expanding beyond Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), Darth Maul (Ray Parker), Anakin Skywalker (Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch/Temura Morrison), Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff)Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, and The Clone Wars.

Within the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm is moving past Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) or the controversial Rian Johnson Star Wars film The Last Jedi (2018) as we dive into the Old Republic or explore new realities of the Star Wars universe with each new TV show or the upcoming Star Wars game like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 or Star Wars Eclipse.

Should Hayden Christensen always be under the Darth Vader suit? Comment below!

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