Sunday May 15, 2022

Hayden Christensen says that he had to bulk up to fill out the Darth Vader suit in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series. Christensen first played Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels, who turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The actor donned the famous suit for two scenes in the prequel finale and is now set to wear it again for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place ten years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, which finds Ewan McGregor back in the titular role, hiding from The Empire on Tatooine while keeping a watchful eye over Vader’s son, Luke Skywalker. In addition to McGregor and Christensen, the show also stars Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Moses Ingram, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, Sung Kang, Maya Erskine, Kumail Nanjiani, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Benny Safdie. Deborah Chow serves as showrunner and director for the series, which is set to debut on May 27.

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In a new interview with Total Film (via CBR), Christensen says that he had to bulk up to fit into the Darth Vader suit again. “The physical preparation was intense,” said the actor. “I had to put on a decent amount of weight and size to fill up the suit.” Christensen goes on to explain that the physical preparation wasn’t just to fill out the suit, but also for the fight sequences in the series, which the actor says are more in line with the style of the prequels. “We’re more in line with the prequels than we are with how the fights are in the original trilogy. These characters have aged, but not that much yet.” 

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In terms of how powerful Christensen’s Vader will be, the actor said that this will be “100 percent a fully realized Vader,” and that “This is, in a lot of ways, Vader in his prime.” Darth Vader most recently appeared in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which featured the Sith Lord in two scenes, including an end battle that many see as the highlight of the film. Stuntman Daniel Naprous played Vader in the Rogue One, but he was voiced by James Earl Jones, who has provided the voice for the character in all his live-action appearances. It’s unclear if Jones will do so again for Obi-Wan Kenobi, as it has yet to be announced how the series will tackle Vader’s signature voice.

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In addition to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Christensen is set to reprise the role of Anakin Skywalker in the Ashoka series with Rosario Dawson as well, which will likely be in a flashback or possibly as a Force ghost. It’s unclear if he’ll appear as Vader in that series, but ultimately Christensen is back in the business of Star Wars, which is a welcome treat for fans, particularly prequel fans. The prequels got a bad rap when they were released (although were commercially successful), but the younger generation that grew up with them, and Christensen, have a stronger appreciation for the trilogy. This will make Christensen’s return all the better, while redeeming the more negative criticisms that have followed the actor and the prequels for the last few decades when Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on May 27.

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Source: Total Film (via CBR)

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