Hayden Christensen says he understands Anakin’s feelings towards sand

attack of the clones anakin sand
via Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s Hayden Christensen doesn’t have an issue with Anakin Skywalker’s hatred of sand. In Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Padme (Natalie Portman) and Anakin are having a romantic time at Naboo’s Lake Country when Skywalker says, “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating—and it gets everywhere.” Kind of a mood-killer.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Christensen explains where Anakin was coming from, and why it shouldn’t be that big of an issue.

“You know, I think it’s funny people have taken such an interest in that line. Some of the dialogue is … different from what you’re maybe expecting. But, I never had any issue with that line. I understood Anakin’s feelings toward sand, but maybe it was a bit of an odd time to bring it up, as he’s flirting with this girl who he has so much affection for. But, you know, he’s Anakin.”

Although the line could read as almost comical in such a romantic setting, it also makes sense given the context of Anakin’s thoughts. Padme had just shared what it was like for her as a girl in Varyinko, where she’d lie in the sand after swimming, and it was a joyous occasion for her.

Anakin, on the other hand, is from the desert planet of Tattoine. All he really knew was sand. It wasn’t some luxurious vacation spot he’d spend summers at, and then get to leave for a change of scenery. He was enslaved on that planet, and sand was basically all he knew as a child.

Christensen did concede that the timing wasn’t probably the best, but as he said , “it’s Anakin we’re talking about”. He’s not known for social graces or the smoothness that comes with romantic engagements. That skill wasn’t part of his training and, Jedi aren’t even supposed to fall in love, so it’s hard to blame him for his awkwardness.

In Obi-Wan Kenobi, Christensen plays Darth Vader, who’s far removed from this early version of Anakin as possible, so he probably doesn’t even care about sand anymore.