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Star Wars Hayden Christensen The Rise of Skywalker Theory
It’s still unclear exactly why Star Wars IX is titled The Rise of Skywalker. Throughout the eight films of the franchise’s main series, we’ve only met a few actual Skywalkers. In Episode I, there was Shmee Skywalker, and her son, Anakin. After Anakin returns as Darth Vader in A New Hope, we soon meet his two children, Luke and Leia Skywalker. And then in the recent trilogy, we’ve become acquainted with the latest generation of moody Skywalkers after meeting Adam Driver’s character, Ben Solo–the son of Leia. That’s five Skywalkers. So, at least one of them is going to “rise” in the big finale to the series. And oddly enough, recent rumblings in the Star Wars fandom are pointing toward Anakin as the Skywalker in question here.
Hayden Christensen, the actor who portrayed the angsty teenage version of Anakin in Episodes II and III of the series, was pictured at the Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars park in Disneyland’s Resort this week. And Disney is being, well, weird about the whole thing.
The actor was seen posing in front of the Millennium Falcon, spending some time in the ship’s cockpit, and even gifting a lightsaber–a blue one, to be exact–to a young fan in the park. Folks on the Star Wars Speculation Subreddit noticed that the Disneyland account shared the tweet above, only to delete it shortly after…and then repost it again. But it doesn’t end there. The Disney Instagram account also posted the series of images, while referring to Christensen as “The Chosen One,” which is a title that’s still kind of up in the air in Star Wars terms, since Anakin Skywalker is still yet to bring balance to the Force.
Though Christensen has been absent from the Disney Star Wars scene, the actor has been making some appearances lately, joined by none other than Darth Sidious himself, Ian McDiarmid. Back in August, the two were set to appear on a panel together at the FanX Convention in Salt Lake City. Shortly before the panel was supposed to begin, Disney shut the whole thing down.
The pair of Star Wars legends have also been pictured visiting children’s hospitals together, which confirms that Christensen has been involved with the Star Wars fandom ahead of the new film. We know that Palpatine is going to be returning for The Rise of Skywalker, since a lot of recent trailer footage has been centered around McDiarmid’s voice and hooded likeness. With these recent appearances, and especially with the pair’s presence at the shut-down panel in August, it’s hard to deny that something’s going on here. Why put the two of them together? Why not pair McDiarmid with another confirmed actor who’s appearing in the film?
It’s likely Christensen could just be returning as a Force Ghost in Rise of Skywalker. We saw him show up as a hazy blue hologram before, at the end of Return of the Jedi. But with a title that mentions his last name, something tells me there is more going on here.
Rise of Skywalker debuts on December 20, 2019.
Dom Nero is a staff video editor at Esquire, where he also writes about film, comedy, and video games.