When they say “the Force will be with you, always,” they mean it.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Friday that Hayden Christensen will return to the role of Anakin Skywalker in the forthcoming Disney+ live-action series Ashoka. He will appear alongside Rosario Dawson, who will reprise her portrayal of Ashoka Tano, as seen in one episode of the second season of the hit series The Mandalorian. The fan-favorite character debuted in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and continued through Star Wars: Rebels. In animation form, she was voiced by Ashley Eckstein.
Though the specifics of the new series are being kept close to the cloak, Ashoka’s history is tightly knit with Anakin, the midi-chlorian-rich Tatooinian who eventually turned from Jedi Knight into Galactic ghoul Darth Vader. Indeed, Ashoka was first assigned by Master Yoda to study as Anakin’s Padawan at the age of 14.
The new series is being written by Dave Filoni, who has been with Ashoka Tano since her debut in 2008, and Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau will serve as executive producer. It appears Ashoka will be set at the same time in the Star Wars mythos as The Mandalorian, so five years after the destruction of the second Death Star (and after Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker’s demise). Death has never been much of a barrier for those with Force sensitivity, of course, as first evidenced by Luke Skywalker receiving aural messages from Obi-Wan Kenobi moments after his decapitation.
In a since-deleted Instagram post, Rosario Dawson shared a link to the THR story and wrote, “Skyguy, …They know!!! See you soon, Snips.” (Skyguy and Snips are adorable nicknames Ashoka and Anakin have for one another.)
News of Christensen hopping back in the X-Wing first came last year when it was announced he would appear in a different Disney+ series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, opposite Ewan McGregor. That show is set years earlier (before the Battle of Yavin, even!) when Darth Vader is still alive.
The re-introduction of characters and actors from “The Prequels” in a post-Rise of Skywalker landscape is something of a generational shift in the audience for this material. Speaking in generalities, the aging Gen X-ers who grew up with the Original Trilogy did not take kindly to the prequels, to the point of their distaste being the subject of a documentary film. Millennials and younger, by and large, have fond, youthful memories of the prequel series that ran from 1999 to 2005. They seem to actually enjoy it.
In celebration of all things Hayden Christensen, here’s a song about sand.
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