Hayden Christensen reveals he watched a specific scene from Star Wars: Rebels multiple times in preparation for the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale. After 17 years, Christensen recently made his highly anticipated return as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader alongside Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Disney+ limited series. Picking up 10 years after Order 66, the fall of the Galactic Republic, and a devastating duel with best friend, “Ben” Kenobi is a shell of his former self on Tatooine. However, his mission to protect the secret Skywalker children draws him away from the desert planet when the Inquisitor Reva captures Leia, ultimately resulting in two encounters with his former Padawan.
After failing to put up much of a fight in episode 3, the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale sees its titular character meet Darth Vader with a renewed sense of purpose. The standout moment of the fight comes at the very end, as Obi-Wan slashes Vader’s mask, revealing his friend’s face beneath. Upon seeing (and hearing) the man rather than the machine, Obi-Wan breaks into tears saying, “I’m sorry, Anakin.” For fans of the animated series Rebels, the scene bears a striking resemblance to one in the season 2 finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice,” in which Anakin’s former Padawan Ahsoka Tano also damages Vader’s mask in combat. As it turns out, Christensen was very much aware of this.
In an interview with Collider, Christensen talks about preparing for his role in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6. When asked about that Rebels parallel, the actor says he watched “Twilight of the Apprentice” “several times” ahead of filming Obi-Wan Kenobi’s rematch of the century. According to Christensen, that sort of research was crucial to getting him back in the world of Star Wars. Read what else he had to say about filming Vader and Obi-Wan’s rematch below:
It was a very emotional scene to shoot, and obviously a very important one. It was something that I think everyone was very aware of just, like, stepping out on set that day. There was a very different feeling. For both Ewan and I, it was a rather emotional experience, and I think that comes across onscreen.
Leading up to the premiere of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Christensen had previously revealed in interviews that he dove deep into Star Wars canon, watching The Clone Wars and Rebels in preparation. After seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi’s finale, fans have a little insight into part of his process. The research paid off, as the climactic fight is much more than cheap imitation, thanks to its performers. The scene is bolstered by McGregor’s soulful portrayal and the haunting subtly of Christensen – especially impressive considering only half his face is in it.
The emotional moments between former master and student are one of, if not the, best scenes in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rebels. Even if Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2 ever happens, it’s unlikely Vader and Obi-Wan will meet again in live-action and further disrupt Star Wars canon. However, Christensen is expected to appear in the upcoming Ahsoka series alongside Rosario Dawson. Given that the show is set after Return of the Jedi, it’s likely Anakin will appear to Ahsoka in either flashbacks or as a Force ghost. Until then, every episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi is streaming on Disney+.