Do you like sand? Because apparently Anakin Skywalker doesn’t like sand. The scene from Attack of the Clones in which we learn this little tidbit is often cited as one of the worst offenders in what the prequel critics see as one of George Lucas’ biggest weaknesses in the trilogy: the dialogue. But don’t count Hayden Christensen among the haters of the Star Wars creator’s writing. If you don’t like the dialogue in the prequels, Christensen says, you “don’t ‘get’ it.”
At least, that’s what Hayden Christensen told The Guardian now that he’s less than a week away from the world finally seeing his return to the role of Darth Vader in Disney+’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi. The actor who played Anakin Skywalker in two of the three prequel films says he had no issues with the dialogue, and thinks the criticisms come from a misunderstanding of Lucas’s world-building. “George Lucas creates such a unique world where everything is so specific,” Christensen said. “[F]rom the way these characters look and the way that they talk, and I feel like sometimes people lose sight of that and they expect them to speak the same way that we speak — and that’s not what we were going for.”
Critics of George Lucas’ prequels might point out that audiences had plenty of reasons to expect Hayden Christensen and the other prequel characters to speak more or less “the way that we speak.” After all, in the original trilogy, characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, etc. more or less speak as modern day people speak. Of course, Christensen and other prequel defenders may rightly point out that we not only meet those characters at a different point in history, but most of them come from backgrounds wildly different from Anakin’s. Luke is a farmboy and Han spends most of his time around the kinds of criminals who keep literal slaves and feed them to monsters when they talk back. Meanwhile, after he leaves Tattooine, Anakin is raised in the relative comfort of the Jedi and rubs elbows with chancellors and queens.
“I guess the impression that I got from George Lucas was that if they don’t like them, then they don’t ‘get’ it — and that was good enough for me,” Hayden Christensen said about the fans who didn’t enjoy the Star Wars prequels. As far as his return to the role, the actor seems like he couldn’t be happier. “It was a no-brainer,” Christensen said. “In a heartbeat. When I got the call, I was instantly elated … I was just so excited to get to come back after all these years.”
Whether you loved the Star Wars prequels or hated them, it is exciting to consider what might happen between Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor’s characters as Obi-Wan Kenobi unfolds. There’s no indication in their final clash in A New Hope that they’d ever confronted each other in the years since Attack of the Clones, but nor is there anything to indicate they hadn’t (though we’re guessing they weren’t pen pals or anything).