Hayden Christensen’s return to Star Wars was one of the most hyped things about Obi-Wan Kenobi – at long last the prequel trilogy’s Anakin Skywalker would get a chance to fully embody Darth Vader. Well, we’re now four episodes in and have seen quite a bit of Vader but not much of Christensen.
James Earl Jones is providing Vader’s voice (apparently with a boost from ReSpeecher software) and, according to the credits, Dmitrious Bistrevsky is the “Performance Artist” for all full-body Vader shots, with Tom O’Connell doing stunts. This likely means all we’ve seen of Christensen is the brief shots from within the bacta tank, potentially some shots of Vader from the torso up, and one long-distance hallucination in episode two.
Fans aren’t happy:
Others just can’t see the point if he’s neither voicing the character nor in the armor:
So why all the hype for this short performance:
This poster wishes we could see more of Christensen’s emotions:
And perhaps some flashbacks would have been nice:
But we have actually seen him, albeit very very briefly:
But we still have two episodes to go and we’re sure that Obi-Wan Kenobi will give Christensen a moment in the spotlight. Engineering a scene between him and Obi-Wan where he’s out of his armor may be difficult though, as the injuries he suffered on Mustafar make it hard for him to survive outside it for long.
Then again, we know from Return of the Jedi that Obi-Wan knows Vader is “more machine than man”, so perhaps we’ll soon see him taking a look at what’s left of Anakin Skywalker. Here’s hoping they do, because if after all this hype Christensen’s performance is just him wriggling around underwater it’s an enormous wasted opportunity.
Obi-Wan Kenobi airs Wednesdays on Disney Plus.