Hayden Christensen: why did actor return to Star Wars for Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV series with Ewan McGregor?
Hayden Christensen is reprising his role as Darth Vader for Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi
and live on Freeview channel 276
The new TV show premieres on Disney+ in line with Star Wars Celebration 2022 with the first two episodes being released the same day.
The two title actors who appeared in the original prequel trilogy, said fans were the reason they returned to the Star Wars universe for the first time in 17 years, after critics rated the films unfavourably.
What is the show about?
Director Deborah Chow, who also made Star Wars miniseries The Mandalorian, created the show to pick up after the downfall of Anakin Skywalker (Christensen), also known as Darth Vader.
The Disney+ miniseries follows the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) as he faces the consequences of his greatest defeat - the corruption of his one-time friend and apprentice.
Throughout the six episodes, Kenobi watches over young Luke Skywalker while evading the empire’s Jedi hunters during his exile on the planet Tattooine.
Alongside Christensen and McGregor, the show stars Rupert Friend, Joel Edgerton and Moses Ingram.
Who are Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor?
Canadian actor and producer Hayden Christensen began his career at age 12 and rose to critical acclaim following his role in Life as a House, for which he was nominated for Golden Globe and SAG Awards.
Apart from playing Anakin Skywalker, Christensen is known for movies such as Jumper, Shattered Glass and American Heist, as well as modelling Louis Vuitton.
The 41-year-old has a daughter called Briar Rose with ex-girlfriend Rachel Bilson (The O.C).
Reuniting with Christensen for the Star Wars release is Scottish actor McGregor who has starred in multiple film and musical roles including Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge and the latest Harley Quinn movie.
McGregor, who divides his time between London and Los Angeles, is heavily involved in charity work with UNICEF UK and the GO Campaign with some of the work documented in his 2008 television series and biography the Long Way Down with Charley Booman.
Among his many accolades, Ewan McGregor has been appointed an OBE title in 2013 New Years Honours List as well as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, by the French Government in 2010.
Why did Hayden Christensen return to Star Wars?
Excluding the final part to the prequel trilogy, “The Revenge of the Sith,” the prequel films received mixed reviews from the critics. McGregor and Christensen spoke to Insider during the readthrough for the upcoming series about why they have returned despite the original reactions.
“The movie critics decided not very much to like our movies, so it’s taken a long time for the kids, for who we made those films for really, for their voices to be heard,” McGregor said.
“And to realise that for that generation, our movies were the ‘Star Wars’ movies in the same way the Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamil and Harrison Ford movies were mine.
“So it’s a really nice feeling for me that that’s the case, that I have a sense now that there’s this warmth for those films. It absolutely is part of the reason I wanted to come back and play him [Obi-Wan Kenobi] again.”
Hayden Christensen added: “I feel like I’m coming back now because of the fan base and because there is all of this incredible support now and love for this character…it’s just incredibly heartwarming.
“I can’t tell you how much it means to me every time I meet a fan and they express, sort of, their passion for Star Wars and their appreciation for my character.”