Hayden Christensen disagrees with Star Wars prequel criticism

Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen has defended his performance as Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy.

Christensen first played Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, with his second performance in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.

Both these performances were high criticised at the time, but are now widely regarded as some of the best Star Wars movies.

The 42-year-old actor has grown in popularity with Star Wars fan over the years, but this wasn’t always the case.

In an interview with Empire Magazine Christensen said: “Because Star Wars has had the cultural impact that it has, these characters almost become public domain, where people feel a sense of ownership over them.

“The character was criticised, my performance was criticised, and that part sucked.”

"That sort of criticism, I think, comes from a certain failure of their own suspension of disbelief,” he added.

“The opening scroll starts with, 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away', that’s setting the stage that anything is possible. These people don’t need to sound and behave the way that we might expect."

Hayden Christensen (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Hayden Christensen (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Christensen referenced the criticism of Anakin's dialogue throughout the movies, which he thinks were misinformed.

He reflected on his 20-year journey in the Star Wars franchise as “remarkable” and “heartwarming”, and that he appreciates the reception he now gets from fans.

Christensen returned as Anakin/Darth Vader in some more recent Star Wars television series, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka.

Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi' (Disney Plus)
Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi' (Disney Plus)

Returning to the franchise “was a bucket-list item I didn’t even know I had,” he added.

Elsewhere in the interview, Christensen revealed he didn’t think he would land the role of Anakin, when he heard Leonardo DiCaprio was also in the running.

“I had heard that they’d met with Leonardo and a bunch of other actors.

“That just confirmed my thought that the role would go to another actor. Through the entire auditioning process I had told myself, from day one, that I wasn’t going to get the part. It just wasn’t a possibility.

“And I think that probably helped me a lot, because it just freed me up in a lot of ways. And so it really came as a surprise to me when I got the part.”