– Is Hayden Christensen coming back
for Star Wars: Episode 9?
With “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
less than two months out,
it is not hyperbole to say
that expectations are high
for the 9th and final chapter
in the Skywalker saga.
And it has many wondering if
it will stick the landing.
And it’s not just the sequel
trilogy that this is riding on,
but potentially the prequels as well.
– Hello there.
– Ever since director J.J. Abrams
said that the Rise of Skywalker
would tie together all of the trilogies,
diehard fans have been wondering
could this mean that
Episodes I through III
might finally get some big screen respect?
If you’ve been living under a rock
for the last 40 years of Star Wars,
Episodes I through III haven’t always
had the best reputation
with OG Star Wars fans,
especially right after their release.
– It’s embarrassing.
– However, this hatred has cooled
somewhat over the past few years,
and the films have seen a
resurgence, with audiences
embracing the films and
their more campy moments,
as well as having fun with prequel memes.
And with the children who grew up
with them as their Star Wars,
plus additional content
like the animated series,
The Clone Wars, providing greater context,
it’s fair to say that some
fans even like them more
than the original trilogy.
– I agree, bad idea.
– And while the sequel
trilogy has paid homage
to the original trilogy many times,
the prequels have, so
far, been largely ignored
other than a brief mention of a clone army
or when Luke explains the Fall of the Jedi
and the rise of Darth Sidious.
But Abrams’ comments as well as
the appearance of a B1 battle droid in the
Rise of Skywalker’s most recent trailer,
has fans hyped that they may see
more references to the prequels.
And beyond Palpatine’s return in the film,
one of the best ways to
pay homage to the past
would be for the return
of one Anakin Skywalker,
AKA Hayden Christensen.
– This is where the fun begins.
– And thanks to a few photos of the actor
hitting social media this week,
it appears fans might be
getting what they want.
So, let’s look at all the evidence
to see if Hayden might be returning
to the galaxy far, far
away for Episode IX.
On Tuesday, Christensen was snapped
by Disney Brand Ambassador @SasakiTime
and later shared by Star
Wars while taking a tour
of Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
He posed in front of the Millennium Falcon
and was later snapped inside the cockpit.
In a third photo, we see him gift
a crafted blue light saber to a young fan,
and while we have some reservations
about letting Anakin near younglings,
(light saber hums)
it’s still a touching photo.
Speaking of younglings,
he’s made hospital visits to young fans
with fellow Star Wars alum, Ian McDiarmid,
who plays Sheev Palpatine
and is set to return in Episode IX.
Hayden also appeared at this
year’s Star Wars Celebration,
where we learned the first information
about the Rise of Skywalker,
and he was set to appear
at a Star Wars panel
with McDiarmid at the FanX Convention,
which Disney canceled at the last second,
reportedly for fear of spoilers.
And while this could have been
fear of spoilers from McDiarmid,
this also set fan
speculation into overdrive.
So basically, what does this all mean?
Well, it seems that over
the past couple of years,
Hayden appears to be embracing the role
that he’s kind of stepped
away from after fan backlash.
But is all of this a pretext
for him showing up in Episode IX?
Let’s run down the possibilities.
First option, no.
This means nothing about the films.
This is just Hayden Christensen
connecting with fans
because the character is a part of him,
and his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker
has made him a part of the
greater Star Wars tapestry.
Second option, confirmed for Episode IX.
This is definitely set
up on the part of Disney
to get fans excited to see him again.
And with all of the
comments about Episode IX
bringing together all of the films,
plus the subtle hints we are
already seeing in the trailer,
it wouldn’t be a big stretch to see
Anakin Skywalker return for the film,
most likely as a Force Ghost alongside
Luke Skywalker and maybe even Obi-Wan.
Based on Kylo’s obsession
with Darth Vader,
maybe Anakin is the
one to turn him around.
Third option, confirmed
for the Obi-Wan spinoff.
Yes, Disney wants fans
to be hyped for Anakin,
but not for Episode IX.
With the announcement
of an Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+,
Hayden could don some Jedi
robes to film some flashbacks
for that series when it
goes into production.
Fourth option, publicity stunt.
This is all a bid to get
people to buy the new
Thrawn Trilogy of novels from Timothy Zahn
and visit Galaxy’s Edge
since in the books,
Anakin Skywalker travels to Batuu,
the planet that houses
the Black Spire Outpost at Galaxy’s Edge.
We have to admit that this one
might be a bit of a stretch.
Honestly, if we had to make a bet
based on all of these possibilities,
we think the most likely option
is that Anakin Skywalker will show up
as a Force Ghost in Episode IX.
I mean, come on, the whole thing
is being called The Skywalker Saga.
His name is literally in the title.
Of course, we’ll just have to wait and see
when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
hits theaters on December 20th.
But what do you folks think?
Do you think Anakin Skywalker
will be in Episode IX?
Is it possible he could be in
the Obi-Wan series instead?
And what other Force Ghosts could we see?
Mace Windu, Obi-Wan, Kit Fisto?
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(quirky electronic music)