Star Wars: what prompted George Lucas to add Hayden Christensen to Return of the Jedi

At the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke is visited by force specters from Yoda, Obi-Wan, and his father. Initially, it was Sebastien Shaw who appeared as Anakin. Before being finally replaced by Hayden Christensen. Discover the explanation given by George Lucas on this subject.

Hayden Christensen in Return of the Jedi

It is an iconic scene from the Star Wars saga. And which gives shivers to all fans of the license. While the forces of evil have been defeated, the rebels celebrate their victory on the planet of Endor. Three specters of Force then emerge, visibly happy with this outcome. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Anakin Skywalker thus appear in front of Luke. Originally, it was actor Sebastian Shaw who played Luke’s father in this cult sequence.

Earlier in the film, it was also him that we saw in the guise of Darth Vader, the Jedi having removed his father’s helmet. For the film’s re-release on DVD in 2004, Shaw was ultimately replaced in the final scene by Hayden Christensen, Anakin’s interpreter. The prelogy being almost completed, George Lucas notably made this decision for the sake of consistency. But he also cited a highly symbolic reason for this choice, strongly criticized at the time by some fans.

Read also >> Star Wars: Anakin Skywalker may never have been the Chosen One

Hayden Christensen in Return of the Jedi: Lucas’s Explanation

In a cross interview Christensen / Lucas broadcast on Moviefone, the filmmaker has indeed indicated that‘Anakin, he said, was dead, metaphorically speaking, after switching to the dark side of the Force. So when he redeemed himself by saving Luke from the clutches of Sidious, “His inner being returned to where we had left him”. And Lucas concludes: “Therefore, when you return to the good side of the Force, your old character survived, and not Darth Vader’s.”

The principal interested in any case very much appreciated this cameo, very happy to be able to appear in the initial trilogy. As a reminder, Hayden Christensen will don the costume of Darth Vader in the future Disney + series devoted to Obi-Wan Kenobi.


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