New Leak Ruins Hayden Christensen’s Return to ‘Star Wars’

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Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) as a Force ghost in 'Return of the Jedi'

Credit: Lucasfilm

Last week, audiences were whisked back to the galaxy far, far away in a two-episode, feature-length premiere of the latest Star Wars show, and now a new leak has ruined Hayden Christensen’s return as Anakin Skywalker in Ahsoka.

Ahsoka Tano fighting a Sith Inquisitor in the Disney+ series 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Back in 2019, Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian was released alongside the debut of The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service, Disney+. The Mandalorian, led by Pedro Pascal, started to mend the fissures that Disney, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and specifically director Rian Johnson created with the sequel trilogy.

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017) became one of the most divisive movies in the entire Star Wars saga, but where The Last Jedi played with the more mythical lore of the franchise, The Mandalorian was the polar opposite, opting to fully embrace a neo-Western, gritty vibe.

Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin without a helmet on
Credit: Lucasfilm

After the success of The Mandalorian, which spawned a second and third season, Disney and Lucasfilm decided to use these new stories and characters to delve deeper into the post-Galactic Empire world. The Mandalorian takes place in the era of the New Republic, that is, around five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983).

And while The Mandalorian did include new characters such as Pascal’s Din Djarin, the titular bounty hunter, and his ward The Child, AKA Grogu (“Baby Yoda”), Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon, and Gina Carano’s Cara Dune, the show also brought back some iconic characters from Star Wars past.

Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in 'The Mandalorian' S3
Credit: Lucasfilm

Notably, the second season of The Mandalorian included fan-favorites like Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). It, of course, even included the return of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). In establishing the New Republic Era, Star Wars decided to expand on this area of the timeline by building out the “Mando-Verse,” first with The Book of Boba Fett, starring Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen as Bobe Fett and Fennec Shand, respectively, and now with Ahsoka, and eventually Skeleton Crew.

Star Wars: Ahsoka has been a long time coming. Ever since Rosario Dawson appeared in The Mandalorian Season 2 episode, “Chapter 13: The Jedi,” fans have yearned for more Ahsoka Tano in live-action. A quick appearance in The Book of Boba Fett tempered the anticipation, but the eight-episode miniseries from Dave Filoni has still been one of the most awaited series for Star Wars fans ever.

Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) lifting her hood
Credit: Lucasfilm

Acting as a sort of Star Wars Rebels Season 5, Ahsoka brings Dawson back into the fold as Anakin Skywalker’s former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano (who was first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars), where she is joined by members of the Ghost crew: Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla, Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren, and Dave Filoni as Chopper. Ahsoka also features Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll, Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati, and Diana Lee Inosanto as Morgan Elsbeth. Lars Mikkelsen also reprises his role as Grand Admiral Thrawn, bringing the Rebels character into live-action for the first time.

One other name that is slated to appear in the new Star Wars series is prequel trilogy legend Hayden Christensen. Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker first appeared in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002), becoming the infamous Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005). Most recently, Christensen appeared in last year’s Obi-Wan Kenobi alongside Ewan McGregor’s Jedi Master.

Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Farewell! ‘Star Wars’ Leaving Skywalker Saga Behind, New Movies “In Movement All Along”

It is not known in what capacity Christensen will return, but due to his casting, it looks to be some kind of flashback or alternate timeline, considering Ahsoka is set years after Darth Vader’s death. Rumors point to the World Between Worlds, and a leak about a dead Obi-Wan Kenobi being included in a Mustafar scene definitely points to that being true.

Now, a new leak has ruined his return, and sees any anticipation of when Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker may appear diminish substantially.

According to Bespin Bulletin, Anakin Skywalker will appear in the fifth episode of the new Star Wars series, with Dave Filoni directing the 49-minute-long episode. Fans already knew that Filoni would be directing (he also directed the premiere episode, “Part One: Master and Apprentice,” and writing the episode, so the appearance of Anakin here would make sense.

Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) as a Force ghost in 'Return of the Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Follows Through on Promise, Pours Energy Into Righting Sequel Trilogy

At present, though, Lucasfilm has not confirmed when Christensen will appear, and it likely won’t be announced ahead of his arrival in the series.

Eventually, the New Republic Era shows will converge in a feature film directed by Dave Filoni. At this year’s Star Wars Celebration Europe, Kathleen Kennedy announced three new films: Dave Filoni’s New Republic movie, as well as James Mangold’s Dawn of the Jedi, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s New Jedi Order films.

Are you looking forward to Anakin Skywalker’s return to Star Wars? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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