While it is no secret that I hold many, many, many, MANY reservations about the upcoming grand finale to the main saga of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, I still love to speculate and fantasize about “The Rise of Skywalker” actually being decent. Oh, what a world that would be. My love for ‘Star Wars’ is so great that no amount of logical issues with the most recent films can quell my interest in any of their projects. And so, I read a bit of news that is just ripe for discussion and irresponsible speculation.
It is being reported via @haydenfannews, and later confirmed by ScreenRant, that Disney has blocked Hayden Christensen from appearing in a panel with Prequel co-star Ian McDiarmid at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention. Christensen, of course, played the saga’s main hero-turned-tragic-villain, Anakin Skywalker in both “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”, working with McDiarmid who played Chancellor/Emperor Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious in “The Empire Strikes Back” (in the re-release), “Return of the Jedi”, “The Phantom Menace”, “Attack of the Clones”, and “Revenge of the Sith”. It has been recently confirmed by Disney that McDiarmid’s character will be returning in some capacity for “The Rise of Skywalker”.
Christensen has had a notoriously difficult history with the ‘Star Wars’ fandom, as his turn as Anakin Skywalker is widely criticized. In most instances that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but ‘Star Wars’ fans have a reputation of being awful human beings towards actors whose characters are not met with praise. Just ask Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, and Kelly Marie Tran about how bad things can get. Likewise, Christensen was forced into a pseudo-exile and only made his first public appearance at a ‘Star Wars’ event at Star Wars Celebration Orlando in 2015, a full decade after last appearing in the franchise. Seemingly though, fans have not only softened to him but have grown to embrace both him and his role in the franchise, despite the negativity that was once thrown his way.
With McDiarmid still playing an active role in the franchise and Christensen now being embraced by the fanbase, it would seem that Disney preventing their appearance together has to have some deeper motive. This has opened up the rabbit hole for speculation of Christensen’s involvement with “The Rise of Skywalker”, meaning Disney stopping the panel might indicate that they are trying to be extra protective of any potential spoilers.
Do I think that Christensen will be in the film? Duh. Of course, he is going to be in it! How could a movie titled “The Rise of Skywalker” that is serving as the finale to the Skywalker Saga, a story that was described by creator George Lucas as “The tragedy of THE RISE and fall OF Anakin SKYWALKER” not have Anakin Skywalker in it? They are already needlessly bringing back Lando and the Emperor despite neither of them being set up for a return in any of the previous films, so how could you not bring back the single most important character to the entire franchise who the film is also named after?
What do you guys think about this news/rumor? Do you think Hayden Christensen will make a triumphant return or is Disney just stirring the pot to get us talking? Do you like sand? And who else do you think might make a comeback for the finale? Ewan McGregor did just announce he was returning as Obi-Wan for a Disney+ show, so I bet it would be pretty easy to get him to come back for “The Rise of Skywalker” too. What about perennial powerhouses Lobot, Max Rebo, and Senator Orn Free Taa? How could the saga conclude without them showing up? What about the droid attack on the Wookies? Let’s discuss!