Star Wars: Episode VIII – Is Anakin Skywalker Returning?

And is Hayden Christiensen playing him?

With production on Star Wars: Episode VIII under way, rumors and details are flowing through the internet like the Force. Just yesterday, we got our first picture of Mark Hamill after hours on the shoot which gave us our first look at how Luke Skywalker will appear in the film. If another rumor posting by Making Star Wars is to be believed, we have another very unexpected on set appearance.

… Hayden Christiensen?

Well, possibly. Again, we stress that this is just a rumor so take it with a block of salt. However, apparently the site heard “a team in the U.K. are soon heading to the U.S. to begin training Hayden Christensen  for a Star Wars: Episode VIII appearance of some sort.”

How likely is this?

Well, that depends on how he may come back… but we’ll get into that in a second. As for how likely it is… that’s hard to say. We’re leaning to it being unlikely, however there are some people who wish for Hayden to make an appearance. While his performance as Anakin Skywalker in the prequels is often maligned, Hayden has proven himself a capable actor in other works such as Shattered Glass. The stiff dialogue, extensive green screening, and lack of direction hurt everyone’s performances. It would be great to see Hayden redeem himself in the role.

If he came back in way that made sense, of course.

So, how could Anakin Skywalker come back in Episode VIII?

Assuming that he does, there’s really only two options.

He comes back as a Force ghost.

Anakin ghost

It’s already been retconned in the Return of the Jedi Special Edition that Anakin Skywalker’s Force ghost looks like the way he did in Revenge of the Sith. In the new canon there’s nothing that says Luke or another Jedi can’t commune with Force ghosts, so there’s no reason to assume Luke isn’t speaking to Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda regularly.

If that’s the case, it makes perfect sense for Anakin to appear again…especially if his Sith Lord persona is the central figure worshiped in a destructive religious movement. However, it does seem a little strange that Hayden would need to be “trained” in order to play a Force ghost. Usually, that kind of treatment comes when you need to do fight scenes… which brings us to our second possibility…

He comes back as a clone.

Anakin 1

This one is a little more farfetched, but also a possibility. Clones of Jedi haven’t been delved into too much in Star Wars, with the extremely notable exception of Joruus C’Baoth in the expanded universe’s Thrawn trilogy.

Still, given the very New Testament treatment the Knights of Ren and the First Order have been given… and their obsession with Darth Vader… perhaps they want to bring back their lord and savior? And if he does come back as a clone… will he be working for the Dark… or the Light?

We’ll have to wait and see if the rumors are true.

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