Hayden Christensen Explains What It’s Like to Move Like Darth Vader

Posted 2022/05/24 6 0

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Moving in the armor of the iconic Sith Lord can be challenging. Luckily, Hayden Christensen had a Vader movement specialist to help out.

It’s been known for a while that Hayden Christensen will be back as Darth Vader for the Disney+ show Obi-Wan Kenobi. So once again, he’s had to strap on the helmet and giant suit of armor the characters had to wear ever since he disregarded how Obi-Wan had the high ground on Mustafar. Was moving around in that outfit easy? No. According to Christensen, it’s challenging.

“I remember when we were doing Episode III, and I put on the suit for the first time. I was really having a tough time moving around in it, and it was all extremely rigid,” he explained to Entertainment Weekly. “And I said that to George [Lucas], and he said, ‘It’s okay. This is your first time in this suit. So it should feel very mechanical and maybe not very natural.’ Now, this is ten years after that. So he’s had a lot of time to acclimate. But again, it’s a full-on challenge, just trying to get to set in that suit.”

According to Christensen, for his return, they spent a lot of time figuring out how to move and walk, as the suit also really informed your movement. If that wasn’t enough, the producers reportedly had a plan for a scenario that was impressive (most impressive). Fortunately for Christensen, they had a woman who was a “Vader movement specialist” to assist him.

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“Certainly, we wanted to make sure that we were staying true to how Vader moves and how we perceive him and wanting to keep all that relatively consistent.”

Going to the Bathroom as Darth Vader ‘Poses a Whole Other Set of Challenges’

In the Star Wars prequels, besides his character’s great enthusiasm for sand, Christensen was known for his fluid and intense fighting style with a lightsaber. Something that Christensen had honed from hours of intense practice sessions with co-star Ewan McGregor and stunt coordinator Nich Gallard? Was any of that worked into the Disney+ series as well?

“Yeah, we get a little bit of that,” reveals Christensen. “I think what they did in Rogue One was very strong, and that resonated with everybody, but there are a few nods to Anakin’s style. But his style changes and evolves as he tries to fight in his armor now.”

Of course, Vader’s scary and imposing figure is just one element of the character. Another part is the character’s iconic voice, which James Earl Jones has always handled. Except Christensen uses his voice when speaking the dialogue while filming with the other actors. So does he try to emulate Jones while doing so?

“Obviously, we stay true to the voice that we all know and love, but no, I do know how I feel Anakin would sound with all of those injuries and how that would’ve possibly affected his vocal abilities. And it’s my own sort of version of it,” Christensen said.

The premiere for Obi-Wan Kenobi is only a few days away now, set for May 27 on Disney+. Christensen, for one, has voiced his enthusiasm about coming back to the franchise after a brief cameo in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. “It’s really exciting, man. I think the general anticipation is there. It’s all been really positive, and I’ve enjoyed the experience.”


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