Hayden Christensen has fully embraced his return to the Star Wars Universe as the fallen Jedi Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Apparently though, to fill out the imposing Vader suit, Christensen had to put in some extra work. In a recent interview with Fatherly, Christensen said he had to 25 to 30 pounds to play the villainous Sith Lord, saying “I think that process was very important for me. I needed to become that character again, physically. I just consumed as many calories as possible.”
That’s definitely some Christian Bale-level of dedication to fitting the role physically. The results seem to have paid off. Though fan reactions to Obi-Wan Kenobi have been relatively mixed, everyone is pretty much in agreement that Vader is as impressive and imposing as ever. Hayden Christensen is now the man inside the Vader suit, providing the physical performance for the character while James Earl Jones continues to provide the voice. The late-great David Prowse previously provided the physical performance for Vader, so Christensen knew he had big Sith boots to fill.
Of course, Obi-Wan Kenobi didn’t bring Hayden Christensen back just to fill out the Vader suit. We also have had glimpses of him as Anakin Skywalker, most notably in the most recent episode where we saw a flashback training session between Obi-Wan and Anakin. The flashback showed off their difference in dueling styles, with Anakin always going for the aggressive approach and Obi-Wan ultimately winning the sparring match thanks to his patience and defense. This is nicely mirrored later when Vader easily outclasses the angry Third Sister (Moses Ingram) in a one-on-one duel. We also got some glimpses of Hayden Christensen as Anakin at the Jedi Temple during Order 66, when we get a flashback to the Third Sister witnessing the mass Jedi execution as a youngling.
Presumably, we might see Hayden Christensen playing Anakin a few more times in the final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi this Wednesday. Even if we don’t see him as his former Jedi-self, we’ll definitely be seeing more of his physical performance as Vader. All signs point to a final showdown between the Sith Lord and his former Master. Though Obi-Wan was able to narrowly escape from Vader’s clutches with Princess Leia, Vader still has a score to settle and seems confident that he’ll be crossing paths with Kenobi again very soon. We also get an ominous look at the young Luke Skywalker sleeping at the very end of the episode, suggesting there may be more at stake for Kenobi and Vader’s upcoming encounter than we thought.
You’ll be able to see Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor one last time as Vader and Kenobi in the upcoming season (and presumably series) finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi when it premieres on Disney+ this Wednesday. While it doesn’t seem like there will be more from the series, Hayden Christensen has expressed interest in portraying Vader again in a solo series for the character. As far as that goes, we’ll just have to wait and see what the powers that be at Disney decide to do next.