We’ll accept our reward for most bizarre Star Wars headline of the year now thanks. Yes, you did read that right. Rumours have emerged that Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader actor Hayden Christensen (if you haven’t seen the Star Wars saga we are not sorry for any spoilers and you can hand back in your nerd permit) will be returning for a role in Star Wars Episode VIII directed by Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow.
According to Making Star Wars, who themselves make a very good point of stating these are merely rumours that their sources have provided to them so you can take this with a massive pinch of Force-salt, the actor who played Anakin Skywalker in the Prequel Trilogy and thus went on to become Darth Vader will be shipping out to USA for training in preparation for a role in Star Wars Episode VIII.
Rumours and speculation over the new Star Wars Trilogy have been rampant to say the least, especially given JJ Abrams tendency to love keeping details about his movies a secret. Remember what happened with Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek: Into Darkness? The less we know, the more people start to speculate, and perhaps this is another case of the same. However, if it were to be true, we can see it being quite a controversial decision.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or what we have seen so far, has been a massive throwback for fans of the Original Trilogy. A love affair for those who grew up on what are considered to be the definitive Star Wars movies. The Prequel Trilogy that Hayden Christensen is a part of however, is not an object of the same affections. Seen by many hardcore SW purists as merely a marketing ploy to sell toys to a new generation of Star Wars fans. Then, there were some aspects of the movies that just weren’t good. Midichlorians, Jar Jar Binks, Darth Maul’s way too early death, Hayden Christensen in general to name but a few gripes people have with the Prequel Trilogy. Many would see the inclusion of anyone from the Prequel Trilogy except maybe Ewan McGregor (We would make allowances for Sam L Jackson’s Mace Windu) as a pretty bad move.
On the other hand, if The Force Awakens proves itself to be half the movie that people are hoping for, the inclusion of certain aspects of the Prequel Trilogy in Episodes VIII & IX would possibly be more welcome should they fit the narrative appropriately. If Hayden Christensen was to appear as a Force Ghost in a time of need for Luke, or if Luke was to recall to his rumoured to appear children about the heroics of his father during The Clone Wars (before he killed the Younglings anyway!) via a brief flashback sequence it might be a nice throwback to even more Star Wars history.
Also, given how The Force Awakens, VII & IX will introduce yet another generation of kids to the Star Wars universe, ignoring the Prequel Trilogy completely would be bad for business. While it would please the purists, you risk leaving newcomers to the series out of the loop and risking them not being as curious about the Prequel Trilogy as they might now be for the Original Trilogy. At the end of the day, it’s all about the dollars for Disney & Co. via box office, merchandising & DVD sales. You want folks to not only go see your movie in theatres, but also pick up the complete saga box sets and some Prequel Anakin & Obi-Wan toys while they’re at it. That’s the movie blockbuster industry.
Either way, rumours are rumours and we’ll treat them as such until we hear any confirmation (or get a sneaky leaked on-set photo). Stay tuned to Nerd Lowdown for all the latest on everything Star Wars as we get it!