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."