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Hayden Christensen Explains His ‘Cathartic’ Return to Darth Vader for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

"This is a character that means so much to me," said Christensen, star of the "Star Wars" prequels that set the stage for the Disney+ series.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886270di)Hayden ChristensenStar Wars Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith - 2005Director: George LucasLucasfilm/20th Century FoxUSAFilm PortraitScifiStar wars: Episode III - La revanche des sith

“Star Wars Episode III Revenge Of The Sith”

Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Director Deborah Chow knew that there is no Obi-Wan Kenobi without Anakin Skywalker, no Jedi Master without Darth Vader. Thus, there could be no Ewan McGregor without Hayden Christensen.

Upcoming Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” debuting May 27, marks both McGregor and Christensen’s respective returns to the “Star Wars” franchise after the prequel trilogy. Set 10 years after the events of “Revenge of the Sith,” the series picks up with Obi-Wan (McGregor) hiding from the Dark Lord (Christensen) in Tatooine and observing a young Luke Skywalker who is the key to saving the galaxy.

Christensen said during a Disney+ press conference that his “imagination started to run wild” at the prospect of donning the Darth Vader suit once again.

“Then I got the call saying that Deborah Chow wanted to get together and talk about this ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ show that she’s doing with Ewan. I was just thrilled,” Christensen said. “This is a character that means so much to me, and to get to come back and do more with it was just a thrilling opportunity.”

Christensen continued that it was a “very emotional experience” filming “Obi-Wan Kenobi” after Anakin turned to the dark side. The actor also binged all of the modern “Star Wars” canon including animated series “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” to prepare for the role.

“Obviously, it brought up a lot of feelings of nostalgia but it was also very cathartic in a way too, just because this is a character that means so much to me and has really sort of stayed with me over the years,” Christensen said.

Director Chow agreed, adding, “He’s been living with this character for a very long time, so he brings a tremendous amount to it. It just felt very organic and it felt like we really needed Hayden back in this story, particularly in relation to Obi-Wan.”

Chow previously revealed that “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will focus on the “love story” between the two opposing forces represented by Obi-Wan and Vader, likening the darker storyline to franchise IP character studies like “Logan” and “Joker” while honoring the legacy of the original prequel trilogy.

“One of the things I was trying to do with this series was to have the legacy, and who is important in Obi-Wan’s life, and to also have some new characters,” Chow said. “So it’s going to be a mixture of the two. But I do think there are some surprises to come, I hope.”

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