Hayden Christensen Says Goodbye to ‘Star Wars’ in Emotional New Video

in Entertainment, Star Wars

Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) Force Ghost in 'Ahsoka'

Credit: Lucasfilm

It’s been a long journey for actor Hayden Christensen, who rose to new heights of international fame playing the Chosen One in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. Over the past two decades, Anakin Skywalker has popped up in various live-action and animated spinoffs, including the critically acclaimed Star Wars: The Clone Wars and last year’s Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries. But now, after his appearances in Ahsoka, it looks like it’s finally the end of the road for Christensen’s beloved character.

Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker in Ahsoka
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Book Series Gets Disney+ Adaptation, Viewers Beware

As ‘Star Wars’ Franchise Struggles, Disney Scores a Win With ‘Ahsoka’

Dave Filoni’s Ahsoka show, though not without its issues, will likely go down as one of the best live-action Star Wars series Lucasfilm has released since Disney acquired the company in 2012. It’s no secret that Lucasfilm has struggled with expanding its catalog of Disney+ originals in recent years, with The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi falling flat with viewers.

Although the Tony Gilroy-helmed Rogue One (2016) prequel series, Andor, was an unexpected win for Star Wars, many longtime fans lost faith in the franchise in the aftermath of the poorly-received Sequel Trilogy and other lackluster entries such as Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in 'Star Wars: Andor' (2022). Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Is Done With Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker

Enter Ahsoka, which could very well be Lucasfilm’s saving grace. The spinoff series, which follows Rosario Dawson’s titular Jedi warrior, concluded its eight-episode run on Disney’s streamer on October 3, marking the end of a lore-heavy, crowd-pleasing story that seemed almost like a “thank you” from Dave Filoni to fans of The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

More importantly — in a business sense, at least — the two-part Ahsoka premiere also reportedly garnered an impressive 14 million views, according to a rare press statement issued by Disney+.

Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) in 'Ahsoka' 1.06
Credit: Lucasfilm

What Is ‘Ahsoka’ About?

Ahsoka picks up roughly around the same time as The Mandalorian Season 3 and sees Ahsoka Tano teaming up with Rebels’ Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and New Republic General Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) to hunt down Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), whose appearances in the show mark each of their official live-action debuts.

Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) and Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Eman Esfandi’s missing Jedi Ezra Bridger rounds out the cast, in addition to the late, great Ray Stevenson, who plays mysterious Force-user Baylan Skoll, Ivanna Sakhno, who plays his power-hungry Padawan, Shin Hati, and Diana Lee Inosanto, who plays Thrawn’s henchmen, Nightsister Morgan Elsbeth.

The series features many tidbits and Easter Eggs to the animated Star Wars universe, particularly evident in “Part Five: Shadow Warrior.” Scoring at the top of most peoples’ episode rankings, the fifth chapter of Ahsoka sees a return to a familiar location from Rebels: The World Between Worlds.

Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) in 'Star Wars: Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Anakin Skywalker Makes ‘Star Wars’ Return in ‘Ahsoka’

Existing as a sort of liminal space within the Force, serving as a collection of doors and pathways between time and space, Ahsoka wakes up in the World Between Worlds following her duel with Baylan Skoll on the red-forested planet of Seatos. Once she stumbles to her feet, understandably confused, she’s met with a face she hasn’t seen in over ten years: that of her master, Anakin Skywalker.

After Ahsoka left the Jedi Order after being accused of a crime she didn’t commit in Season 5 of The Clone Wars, Anakin promises to pick up her training where they left off, completing her apprenticeship after all of these years with one final lesson: “Live…or die.”

Dark Side Anakin vs Ahsoka on Mandalore
Credit: Lucasfilm

Anakin brings his former Padawan back in time to the early days of the Clone Wars, where 13-year-old Ahsoka is played by Avengers: Infinity War (2017) breakout star Ariana Greenblatt. Here, Anakin teaches her about balance, and moving on from her violent past in the most Anakin way possible — by forcing her to blast droids and charge across battlefields with his usual “act first, think later” approach.

The episode then flashes back to the Seige of Mandalore — a pivotal arc in The Clone Wars that took place just before the events of Order 66. Ahsoka, disheartened by her defeat by Baylan and the fact that she abandoned Sabine, still refuses to acknowledge the point of Anakin’s lesson, and things escalate when Ahsoka is forced to go up against Anakin’s Dark Side manifestation, Darth Vader.

Anakin and Ahsoka fighting in 'Ahsoka' Episode 5
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ultimately, Ahsoka chooses to live, disarming Vader with a swift use of the Force, once and for all proving to her master that she’s ready to reconcile with her past and return to the real world, a wiser and more self-actualized Jedi Knight. Here, Anakin leaves his apprentice with some parting words while shifting back into his usual Light Side mode: “There’s hope for you yet.”

We see bits of Anakin in the final two episodes as well, with Ahsoka watching one of his old Clone Wars-era training videos in “Part Seven: Dreams and Madness,” and again at the very end of “Part Eight: The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord,” appearing in full Force Ghost glory as he looks knowingly at his former Padawan, just like he did in the 2004 DVD edition of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).

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

It’s the perfect, full-circle end to Anakin’s journey, which is widely regarded as being one of the best character arcs in cinematic history. So, now that Star Wars has officially tied up the loose ends of Anakin and Ahsoka’s story, is this goodbye for Hayden Christen’s Chosen One?

Is Hayden Christensen’s Time With Lucasfilm Coming to an End? New Video Sparks Rumors

Well, sadly, many believe it to be true. And a new video uploaded earlier today to the official Star Wars YouTube channel has many suspecting that Ahsoka was, indeed, the last time we’ll see Anakin onscreen — at least, in live-action.

sith anakin in revenge of the sith star wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

In the video, which was recorded before the show’s release on Disney+, Hayden Christensen opened up about his character’s “remarkable” full-circle journey and emphasized how excited he was to be a part of the Ahsoka project, saying he was “thrilled to get to come back and do more with the character.”

However, Christensen’s phrasing toward the end of the clip has some Star Wars fans fearing for the worst, speaking in the past tense when saying, “It’s meant a lot” and “It’s really been a special thing” when referring to his experience shooting the show.

Check out the full clip (via @StarWars on YouTube Shorts) below, and form your own opinion:

Still, prior to this interview’s release, many fans speculated that Christensen would indeed be stepping back from the sci-fi franchise due to the Ahsoka finale’s final shot, which to many, seemed like a “goodbye:”

yall better stop saying that’s the last time we’ll see hayden as anakin……..

In response to the new clip, however, fans flooded social media, with many refusing to believe that Ahsoka could be the last time we see Anakin Skywalker:

Hope it’s not the last we see of him as Anakin.

However, others made their peace, with this X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) user saying that Ahsoka “finally fulfilled Anakin’s character” arc, and that they would be “fine” if this was the last we saw of Christensen in Star Wars:

Despite what you think of this show, I feel like they finally full filled Anakin’s character, he’s finally at peace knowing his former padawan and his children are out there doing fine. If this was the last time we saw him, then I am fine with it.

It Could Be Time To Say Farewell to Anakin Skywalker

Now that Ahsoka and Obi-Wan Kenobi have successfully brought back the Chosen One for not one but two stellar appearances, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Christensen step back and take his final Star Wars bow while he’s ahead.

Plus, with Christensen only getting older (though that certainly hasn’t stopped Lucasfilm from pulling out all the stops to digitally de-age Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill), he can only keep up these Anakin Skywalker cameos for so long before he gets bored with reprising the role, or his age simply doesn’t make sense with the story.

Credit: Lucasfilm

There are only so many times a good movie or TV show can nostalgia-bait audiences into watching a sequel, spinoff, or prequel, and Star Wars is no exception. Audiences have often accused Disney of dragging out the “Skywalker Saga,” with some claiming that the company is relying on previously-established characters in favor of writing new ones.

So, while Christensen’s latest appearance in Ahsoka was a fitting and heartfelt trip down memory lane for Clone Wars fans, Filoni and Co. run the risk of kicking a dead horse, in a sense, if they keep bringing Anakin Skywalker back for more shows, diluting the sacrifice he made at the end of Return of the Jedi and ruining his near-perfect ending.

Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Ahsoka Tano (Ariana Greenblatt) in 'Ahsoka' 1.05
Credit: Lucasfilm

Still, the actor seems more than happy to keep coming back to Lucasfilm, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can be convinced to reprise his role for upcoming Star Wars entries like Dave Filoni’s “Mando-Verse” crossover movie, the yet-unconfirmed Ahsoka Season 2, or even Daisy Ridley’s Rey solo movie. Christensen hasn’t confirmed any news of his Star Wars departure yet, meaning Lucasfilm is possibly keeping the door open for his eventual return.

For now, only time will tell. But if Hayden Christensen’s Ahsoka appearances mark his final go-around in the galaxy far, far away, he’s certainly going out on a high note. Or, rather, the high ground, for once.

All episodes of Ahsoka are now streaming on Disney+.

Would you be content if Ahsoka marked Hayden Christensen’s final performance as Anakin Skywalker? Let us know in the comments below!

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