After over 16 years since his last appearance in a Star Wars role, Hayden Christensen is returning not just for the Obi-Wan Disney+ TV series, but also on Star Wars: Ahsoka. And no one is happier to learn about this news than the actress playing the Jedi herself, Rosario Dawson.
Check out the details we have so far on Hayden Christensen’s role on the fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano and what we can expect based on their history from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Ahsoka Tano series on Disney+
According to the details revealed so far, Star Wars: Ahsoka will follow the adventures of Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) as she seeks to find the lost Jedi Ezra Bridger (from Star Wars: Rebels). Ahsoka herself comes from a prior Star Wars animated series, in this case Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was directly connected to the prequel film series, being the apprentice and ally of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (played in the films by Hayden Christensen).
In the past, Star Wars tie-ins or spinoffs were rarely acknowledged as part of the canon. But with the popularity of interconnected franchises, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe, that has completely changed. In Star Wars’ case, this truly began with the mega-popular Disney+ exclusive series, The Mandalorian. With the creator of the fan-favorite Jedi Ahsoka Tano being Dave Filoni (one half of the creative force behind The Mandalorian, along with Jon Favreau), it’s no surprise that the popular character would get her own spinoff.
On that note, it was in The Mandalorian episode Chapter 13: The Jedi (Season 2, Episode 5) that the live action Ahsoka Tano made her debut. Played by Dawson, it followed the titular Mandalorian’s encounter with the Jedi Ahsoka, after the former was hired by The Magistrate on the planet Corvus. Ahsoka had been seeking information of the whereabouts of Grand Admiral Thrawn with whom Ezra was last seen joining at the end of Star Wars: Rebels.
At the conclusion of the episode, the events set up the basic plot of the Ahsoka series. Although the quest for Ezra and Grand Admiral Thrawn will be the main plot thread, it appears there will be at least another major plot thread that will be weaved involving Ahsoka’s mentor and friend, Anakin Skywalker.
Hayden Christensen on Obi-Wan and Ahsoka series
Earlier in December 2020, it was confirmed that Hayden Christensen would be returning after a long hiatus to the Star Wars universe. At the time, the casting was for the actor to reprise his role as Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan series on Disney+ which will be headlined by Ewan McGregor. But apparently, it will not be his only Star Wars project.
Sources have broken the news that Christensen will also be appearing in Star Wars: Ahsoka. The reports went up on social media on Friday, October 22, stating that Hayden Christensen is returning to Star Wars for the Ahsoka series. However, the reports are light on the details as to whether Christensen would be appearing as Anakin Skywalker or as Darth Vader (or both). Given that the timeline of Ahsoka is set at least 5 years after Return of the Jedi, it is possible Christensen would either be in flashbacks or as a Force Ghost.
What is clear is that Christensen has finished shooting his scenes for Obi-Wan, which concluded filming in September last year, and in that series, the actor’s role is specifically mentioned as Darth Vader. On the other hand, Disney and Lucasfilm have kept details from the Obi-Wan series from leaking, almost as well as it kept the appearance of Jedi Grandmaster Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) at the climax of The Mandalorian Season 2.
Rosario Dawson reacts to the casting news
As the news of Christensen’s casting for Ahsoka spread on social media, Rosario Dawson herself reacted to the exciting development. The actress posted on her Instagram, sharing her welcome message to the actor joining the show:
Skyguy, ...They know!!! See you soon, Snips.
The message Dawson posted references the nicknames their characters have for one another during the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series.
See you soon,
— Star Wars - The Direct (@StarWars_Direct) October 22, 2021
Interestingly, Dawson later deleted the Instagram post. This is likely due to the fact that the official announcement has not come from Lucasfilm or Disney as of this time. Although Hayden’s official casting coming from the studio itself is a formality at this point, it is understandable that the actress would try to avoid getting on the company’s bad side.
That official announcement should be coming up soon, however. Disney is holding an event this November 2021 dedicated to promoting Disney+. The event called, appropriately enough, Disney+ Day, will be a celebration of the inception of the second largest streaming service in the world (next to Netflix) and how well it has performed with both its existing library of films and shows, as well as the new original content exclusive to the platform.
Although the full slate of presentations that will be part of Disney+ Day has yet to surface, the event will probably have new announcements and promotional material for upcoming projects. That would be the perfect time for the official confirmation that Hayden Christensen will be appearing in the Ahsoka Tano series for the Star Wars arm of the streaming giant.
More Hayden in the future?
With Disney focusing more on the period of Star Wars after the fall of the Galactic Empire, we could potentially see more of Hayden Christensen reprising his roles as both Anakin and Darth Vader. Depending on how well he returns to the roles since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, we could possibly see the evolution and further exploration of Anakin’s role as The Chosen One of the Jedi prophecy.
That will certainly make older Star Wars fans happy, as many of them have felt that key element in the lore has been watered down, especially with how the sequel trilogy (Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Rise of Skywalker) inevitably resolved. Are you happy with more Hayden Christensen as Anakin/Darth Vader on the horizon? And what could this mean for the other Star Wars spinoffs such as The Book of Boba Fett, Rangers of the New Republic, The Acolyte, Andor, Lando, and the rest?
Star Wars: Ahsoka begins production in early 2022, to be released on the Disney+ streaming service at a later date.