One of the most burning questions in the Star Wars franchise has finally been answered: how does Hayden Christensen really feel about sand? Of course, Christensen famously portrayed the young Anakin Skywalker in the second and third installments of George Lucas' prequel trilogy - a set of films nowhere near as fondly remembered as their predecessors. The disdain for those three films was perhaps evident in the most recent movie, The Force Awakens. Whilst the original movies were heavily referenced - the entire plot of A New Hope, for example - the three prequels were barely acknowledged.
One of the prequel trilogy's many failings according to critical opinion is the character of Anakin Skywalker. With blame placed on both the script and the acting, many fans struggled to connect Anakin to the villain he would eventually become and didn't enjoy the teenage angst trope on display. Perhaps the most infamous example of young Anakin missing the mark is the 'sand scene' in Episode II, which sees the Jedi-in-training vocally express his displeasure at the most mundane of things - sand.
With Christensen appearing at this week's huge Star Wars Celebration 2017 extravaganza (and seemingly having not aged a day), fans on Reddit were keen to discover whether the actor himself shared his character's unease with all things sandy and the interviewer duly complied. Responding to the question entirely in good humor, Christensen states:
"Well you know, it's not very smooth. It doesn't really stay in one place, so I'm not such a big fan of it myself although if it leads to the water I can tolerate it. But Anakin came from a desert planet so I understood his contempt for it."
The significantly-sized crowd gathered for Hayden's panel responded brightly to his paraphrasing of the original dialogue and the actor did well to take the question in the light-hearted manner it was intended. His comments regarding Anakin's planet of origin do, however, offer some genuine insight into why the character hated sand so much; he despised being trapped on Tatooine and on that rock, the stuff was more or less inescapable.
During the panel, both Christensen and his interviewer allude to the fact that the actor has not been a regular presence at other Star Wars events and this is perhaps partly due to many fans' dislike of the character. As such, it's incredibly pleasing to see both the attendees' warm reception and the actor's good grace and humility in answering the questions and appearing at the event.
With that said, it's important to remember that many of the factors that resulted in young Anakin failing to win over audiences weren't under Christensen's control. The sand speech itself was the fault of the movie's writing - and even Morgan Freeman would've struggled to deliver such lines with any conviction.
Source: Hayden Christensen
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018