Hollywood Reporter

Hayden Christensen on Talking Clone Wars-Era Anakin With George Lucas Fsalinks

Ahsoka stars Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen sat down for an Emmys For Your Consideration conversation in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, reflecting on the scenes between Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker in the show’s fifth episode, “Shadow Warrior.”

The episode serves as a reunion between Anakin and his former Padawan, as well as features a flashback to the War Between Worlds, with Ariana Greenblatt appearing as a younger version of Ahsoka. And after Christensen appeared in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series as his character’s Darth Vader side, this storyline brought him back as a Jedi.

At the event, he noted that creator Dave Filoni asked him if he knew about the War Between Worlds on their first phone call about the show, “and I said, ‘Yeah, I do.’ I was just instantly really excited because it just creatively opened us up a lot in terms of what we could do with the character. Anakin, he goes through a lot in his life and in the prequels he’s a very emotional character, but in this, this is a post-life version of the character, so he’s aware of all of those things but he’s not emotionally beholden to those things either, so we could present just a slightly different slant on the character.”

Christensen said he was also really excited about “getting to explore Clone Wars-era Anakin” because he remembered “George [Lucas] telling me about the Clone Wars when we were getting ready to do Revenge of the Sith and just filling me in on all the backstory — how Anakin fought in the Clone Wars and he was this great warrior and a decorated general. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that sounds really cool, would be nice to see some of that,’” adding that after the animated Clone Wars series, “to get our feet wet with that in live-action was just a real privilege.”

Dawson echoed that she was “really looking forward to this episode, to work with Hayden” and getting to explore a different side of Ahsoka. She said she loved getting to play “this lightness that I think she hasn’t allowed herself to experience for a really long time, and this opportunity for her to be a little bit more open to the reality that Anakin was so much more than what he became.”

“I love when he challenges her to be like, ‘Is that all that I am?’ as she really kind of can’t help but continue to focus on the dark. She’s resisted for so long, it’s clearly something that she’s so haunted by,” Dawson continued, and in getting to see the younger version of Ahsoka, “you can understand how heavy this burden has been for so long.” The star added that the episode explores that “it isn’t just dark and light, it’s all of the spectrum in between. Really accepting that and choosing to live that fully is one of the most beautiful lessons.”

The conversation, which also featured Filoni, co-star Natasha Liu Bordizzo, production designer Doug Chiang and composer Kevin Kiner, took time to pay tribute to the show’s late costume designer Shawna Trpcic and late co-star Ray Stevenson, who plays the season one villain.

“For as menacing as he could be on screen, he was as gentle as possible off,” Filoni said of the actor. “There was nothing better than finding all the bad guys gathered on a stage somewhere, listening to their bad guy music, thinking that they’re all bad guys and they’re all the nicest people. Ray was kind of the kingpin of that whole little group. It’s incredibly sad but I’m so glad that he was a part of it. He wanted to wield that lightsaber, I just wish he got to see all of it. I think he’d been really proud.”

Ahsoka,Dave Filoni,Events,Hayden Christensen,Rosario Dawson

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