Hayden Christensen Talks ‘More Brutal’ Darth Vader In ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, Reveals He Hasn’t Met James Earl Jones Yet

Hayden Christensen Talks ‘More Brutal’ Darth Vader In ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, Reveals He Hasn’t Met James Earl Jones Yet

Hayden Christensen dresses up as Darth Vader for the first time since 2005's Obi-Wan Kenobi.  (Photo: Disney+)

Hayden Christensen dresses up as Darth Vader for the first time since 2005 in Obi wan Kenobi. (Photo: Disney+)

For two decades now, Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones have shared ownership of one of cinema’s most recognizable villains. And that partnership continues in the blockbuster Disney + Star Wars Series Obi wan Kenobiwhich finds Christensen wearing Darth Vader’s cooling suit for the first time since 2005 Revenge of the Sith, which depicted Anakin Skywalker’s final metamorphosis into the seminal great evil. But when the Jedi soldier turned Sith Lord speaks, it is Jones’ voice emanating through the mouthpiece affixed to that Samurai-influenced mask – reinforcing Star Wars status quo dating back to George Lucas’ original 1977 space opera.

Despite their long professional connection, Christensen reveals that he and Jones never crossed paths in real life. “It seems a little bizarre that I haven’t met him yet,” the actor says of his partner Vader, now 91. “I’d love to, of course, but our paths never crossed.”

In fact, Christensen admits that he often hears Jones’ voice in his head when he speaks Vader’s lines on set. (Jones’ line readings are added during post-production.) “I’m doing my own version of this,” he explains. “I’m kind of pulling aspects of the delivery and some of the intonation. This is happening in the back of my head.” And if they do, Christensen knows exactly what he would like to learn from Jones. “I want to know what it was like for him when they created Vader – what was he thinking when he was doing all the dialogue for A new hope. Her voice is so iconic and an integral part of the character.”

Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) interrogates Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) in Star Wars: A New Hope.  (Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd./Courtesy Everett Collection)

Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) interrogates Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) in Star Wars: A New Hope. (Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd./Courtesy Everett Collection)

In that pivotal film, of course, bodybuilder David Prowse wore the fearsome Sith Lord ensemble and spoke all the dialogue before Lucas added Jones’ distinctive voice ahead of the film’s release. And over the decades, other actors have filled the role, including Spencer Wilding and Daniel Naprous, who shared Vader’s roles in 2016. a roguewhen Christensen was still on his extended time out of Star Wars franchise in the sequel to the prequel trilogy.

Asked if it was difficult for him to watch someone play the well-received role of Gareth Edwards. Star Wars history – and whether it contributed to your decision to return to Obi wan Kenobi – the actor says he always saw Vader as a “collective effort” and not the property of a single artist. “I loved what they did a rogue“, he adds. “There were a lot of people who contributed to Darth Vader, and this movie really works, and things with Vader are so powerful. I’m happy to come back and take another whack at it.”

And the Vader we see in Obi wan Kenobi is the powerful presence fans saw at the climax of a rogue, as he stalked through the halls of a starship, slashing Rebel soldiers left and right with his red lightsaber. Christensen was able to lean on that brutality in the pivotal third episode of the Disney+ series, where Anakin confronts his old mentor, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), and makes the Jedi look his age. It’s a lopsided fight scene straight from Rocky III with Vader as a dominant Clubber and Kenobi as a drunk Rocky.

“I think Vader is a little off guard to see how disconnected Obi-Wan is from the Force,” says Christensen. “He’s always been an intimidating presence, but on this show he’s an even more brutal version of the character. It’s been a lot of fun for me to play that.”

But the actor also says he never loses sight of the fact that under the Sith Lord’s mask lurks a lost Jedi. “This Vader is chronologically the closest to Ankin we’ve ever seen before,” notes Christensen of Obi wan Kenobistory of , which takes place ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. “So all your anger and pain and all these kinds of negative emotions are fueling your Dark Side abilities.”

“He’s been in a very angry place in his life,” Christensen continues. “I think a lot of this show is about people dealing with their past, and the same is true of Vader and his search for Obi-Wan. trying to kill the Anakin inside him. So there’s some good stuff there.”

Aside from reuniting with McGregor, Christensen says the best part of getting back to Star Wars After an extended absence, the franchise’s creators are given some time to make the costume more comfortable from the start. Revenge of the Sith was. “The suit has really improved now – it’s easier to move around,” he says, laughing. “But it’s still a beast, and just trying to make it to the set can present its own challenges. Just swinging a lightsaber is a whole different game!”

Obi wan Kenobi is currently streaming on Disney+.

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