Hayden Christensen finally came back to celebrate his Star Wars heritage last week, when he took the stage at the Star Wars Celebration event in Florida. Hayden, who played Anakin Skywalker in the controversial Star Wars prequels, was last seen at a Star Wars conference 15 years ago, in 2002. But when he entered the stage last Thursday, he was greeted with an emotional standing ovation – and went on to reveal some behind the scenes secrets, including one lightsaber habit he holds to this day. In a separate interview held later, Hayden also addressed a question that has been on fans’ minds for years – what are his true feelings regarding sand?
Hayden Christensen, who is now 35-years-old, began his Star Wars adventure when he was only 19-years-old. Back in 2000, Hayden appeared in the second of the Star Wars prequel movies, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, as Anakin Skywalker – Luke’s father, who would eventually become the dreaded Darth Vader. Hayden went on to appear in the third prequel movie, Revenge of The Sith but did not make an appearance in the new Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
The Star Wars prequels, directed by George Lucas, were met with a lot of negative criticism, with some blaming the writing and others blaming Hayden Christensen’s acting as well. Generally considered worse than the original Star Wars saga, the prequels might have left a bad taste in Hayden’s mouth, which might have been the reason for him avoiding the Star Wars Celebration events ever since 2002 – until now.
Last Thursday, Hayden Christensen took part in a panel with George Lucas and Ian McDiarmid, the 72-year-old actor who played Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars series. According to Hayden, working with Ian was a real treat, and despite his character being such an evil person, the real-life actor is “incredibly generous.”
“He really took me under his wing, he was really caring and giving, and I owe a lot to what I was able to accomplish in Episode III to being able to work with Ian.”
During Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of The Sith Hayden took part in some epic lightsaber battles. However, he now reveals that George had to discipline him during the shoot, due to an ongoing habit Hayden’s had since he was a child.
“I had sort of been conditioned, from a very young age, to make the sound effect when I’m swinging a lightsaber. I remember, on a couple of occasions, you [George Lucas] would come over after we had filmed a fight scene, and in a very encouraging way, you’d say, ‘Hayden, that looks really great, but I can see your mouth moving. You don’t have to do that, we add the sound effects in afterward.”
Hayden Christensen And His Feelings Towards Sand
One of the most infamous scenes in the Star Wars prequel trilogy came in Attack of the Clones, when Anakin (Hayden) sits down with his beloved Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) and the two talk about… sand.
“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like you…”
The scene was ridiculed for years, with many pointing it out as an example of bad writing. It also inspired numerous Twitter and Reddit memes over the years. But in another interview taken place during the Star Wars Celebration event in Florida, Hayden Christensen was finally asked, “What are your thoughts on sand?” to the sound of roaring laughter from the live audience.
Hayden, who had to endure all those sand jokes over the years, did not flinch and was willing to reveal his true feelings about sand.
“It’s not very smooth. It doesn’t really stay in one place. I’m not such a big fan of it myself. Although, if it leads to the water, I can tolerate it. But Anakin came from a desert planet, so I understood his contempt for it.”
Whatever your thoughts on the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Hayden Christensen had an important part in the Star Wars mythology and history, and it’s good to see him embrace the role again. While some have speculated we might get to see him again in one form or another in one of the upcoming Star Wars sequels, nothing official has been announced to date, so we will just have to wait and see.
[Featured Image by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images]