Hayden Christensen is not yet ready to let his 8-year-old daughter watch him in his Star Wars movies because of his dark turn.
Hayden Christensen hasn’t yet shown his young daughter his appearances as Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he’s not sure when will be the right time to let her see her dad as a villain. The actor recently discussed his role with Diego Luna of the Andor series for Variety’s Actors on Actors. Though it’s been years since he last appeared as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, he was able to return to the role in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Fans had long wanted to see Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, doing more than shouting, “Noooo!” and they got their wish in the first (and possibly only) season of the new series. For his part, Christensen was excited to return to the role, but reluctant to let his daughter, who is eight, see him play such a scary character. Fortunately, the Kenobi shoot included flashback scenes in which he played Anakin Skywalker, for which he felt more comfortable having her on set.
Hayden Christensen says that, while his daughter is aware he’s in Star Wars, she hasn’t seen any of it yet because she is still young, and there are certainly disturbing scenes in the films. In fact, it could be argued that the scenes featuring her father in Revenge of the Sith are some of the darkest and most upsetting in the franchise. Not only does he kill younglings en masse at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, but he is later heavily burned and hacked by Obi-Wan before being turned into the menacing Dark Lord.
These are not the sort of things most 8-year-olds want to see their dads doing, so Hayden Christensen’s reluctance is very understandable. It makes even more sense after hearing how his daughter responded to seeing him filming scenes for Obi-Wan Kenobi. While he was playing Anakin and not Vader, he still had a lightsaber fight with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan while his daughter was visiting.
In his interview, Hayden Christensen related that his daughter was very concerned for his safety during the battle, saying she was very concerned that he or McGregor would get hurt. It’s a sweet moment that demonstrates the sensitivity of his young daughter and reminds us that Star Wars, while largely considered family fare, has things in it that are definitely not for the younger ones. Yes, it’s a Disney property now and is sold to the youngest of younglings, but there is still discernment to be exercised on the part of parents.
For Hayden Christensen especially, it must be quite challenging to explain his role in the series and determine when to expose his child to things that might be even more disturbing since they feature her father committing horrifying acts of violence. Thankfully, viewers are spared at least the gory details of Anakin’s slaughter of young children, but even just seeing her dad descend into such dark emotional places as the character goes to could be very difficult for a child. So, we applaud Christensen’s caution and hope his youngling grows up to love the cinematic universe her dad is a part of.