Why Star Wars Fans No Longer Hate Hayden Christensen’s Anakin
It’s been proven time and again that Star Wars fans tend to be overly vocal about things they hate in the new movies or the saga as a whole.
In fact, to say that the divisive reception is limited to Disney’s Sequel Trilogy would be something of an understatement, as previous films have also come under fire for no reason other than challenging the spectrum of what can be accepted into the lore of a galaxy far, far away and the lives of its colorful inhabitants.
Though it would appear that after neglecting and heavily criticizing the Prequel Trilogy for years, fans are revisiting the old films and developing a sense of appreciation for Lucas’ original vision for the Republic Galactic era. As such, many elements that were previously subject to backlash are currently being reevaluated, namely the performance of Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen as the young and grown-up Anakin Skywalker, respectively.
Granted, there were many things that went wrong with the Prequel Trilogy, with Lucas even admitting that he may have gone too far in a few places, preferring spectacle over a narrative that, from time to time, struggles to even make sense. But one trend of the criticism, in particular, has never been too fair.
Of course, we’re referring to the treatment that Lloyd, Christensen, and Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks) received for appearing in these movies, prompting one to contemplate suicide and another to get serious medical help after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Needless to say, some Star Wars fans can get a little carried away in pursuit of excellence, as determined by their own subjective views when it comes to these films. But over time, many have changed their opinions and redirected their hatred towards Disney’s new Sequel Trilogy, forgiving Christensen in the process and accepting him as their Anakin Skywalker.
Whether it’s because of the fact that Christensen hasn’t roped in a lot of major roles after his appearance in Revenge of the Sith, or Lucasfilm’s approach after Disney’s acquisition of the franchise, people have developed a newfound respect for the actor, with some even claiming they were disappointed when Anakin didn’t make an appearance in The Rise of Skywalker.
While it’s true that his performance in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith was, at the very best, middling, there were many other lackluster elements involved that overall determined the fate of those movies. Even the very best actors of our generation can’t work with a weak script, which has been noted as one of Lucas’ notable shortcomings in the Prequel Trilogy.
In any case, Star Wars seems to have done away with Skywalkers for good, but at least fans can take heart knowing that Christensen came back one last time, even if it was in the capacity of a voice actor, to encourage Rey in the climactic sequence of the last movie.