Speaking to Empire Magazine in a major new interview, Hayden Christensen has reflected on his role as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels, “It’s been a remarkable experience. And just a very heartwarming one.”
“The journey that I’ve been on with Star Wars over the last 20 plus years… it’s been a wild ride, and where we’re at now is really meaningful to me.” While the backlash against the prequels was difficult to take, he’s pleased to see how beloved all three films are today. “I think that those movies have held up well over time,” he says. “It feels like vindication for the work that we did. Everyone that worked on those movies thought that we were part of something special. We all wanted to do our very best work, and we cared a lot about it. And so to see the response from the fans now, it’s very cool.”
That response includes excitement from younger fans – who are always thrilled to meet the man who… well, murdered all the Jedi younglings in Revenge Of The Sith. “There was a lot of talk about us doing that scene, and I love that George did it. It was a bold move. And it’s shocking,” the actor says. “Kids seem to forget about that scene when they meet me! There’s not any fear or intimidation. They’re just excited to meet Anakin.”
Having ridden out the stormy reception to the prequels – and returned to the Star Wars galaxy in recent years for appearances in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka – Christensen reflected on the advice that he would give to his younger self before stepping into Attack Of The Clones. “Even though I was a bit overwhelmed, I was also a confident young man, and I wanted to make my mark. But I guess if I were to have some advice for me during that general time in my life, it would be: ‘Patience’,” he decides. “Because my journey with the character and with Star Wars has at times been a bumpy one… but I’m in a good place with it now. And so that’s why I say patience.” In 2024, there’s undoubtedly balance to the Force.
Read the full interview with Christensen in Empire Magazine’s April issue that celebrates the 25th anniversary of The Phantom Menace and goes on sale on Thursday, February 15th. The issue also features interviews with Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Brian Blessed, and more about starring in the films. Become an Empire member to access the digital edition in full on launch day, or pre-order a print copy online now here.
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