Apparently, there were 1499 actors who could have been a better Anakin

My family and I just finished watching Episodes I – III of Star Wars. My son has seen the original trilogy before, but never this one – you know, because they are pretty terrible in comparison. In fact, they are to film sequels what Fonzie’s shark jump is to television.


This poster promised so much…

There are so many things wrong with these films, and they’ve been combed over so often that it’s meaningless to go into all the flaws. So, rather, what could have made this series better without just changing everything.

The hardest thing for me to get past is that Anakin’s descent into the dark side is just not believable. If that’s the case, the problem must be the script, right?

What draws one to the dark side?

Fear, Anger, and other strong (negative) emotions.

This is why the jedi strive to remain calm, selfless space Buddhists.

Anakin’s fear is constantly referenced, but I just don’t see it. He does fear loss of loved ones, but somehow that doesn’t feel quite sufficient to land someone permanently on the dark side.

Here’s Yoda to tell me that I’m wrong (From The Phantom Menace):

Ki-Adi-Mundi: Your thoughts dwell on your mother.

Anakin: I miss her.

Yoda: Afraid to lose her I think, hmm?

Anakin: What has that got to do with anything?

Yoda: Everything! Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.


Then, in The Revenge of the Sith, Count Dooku tells a completely confident Skywalker:

Count Dooku: I sense great fear in you, Skywalker.


Yoda Reiterates:

Yoda: Careful you must be when sensing the future Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.


The problem is, the script doesn’t look too bad. In fact, it actually does a good job outlining exactly how Anakin’s fear of loss is directly linked to his descent.

If that’s so, where is the problem?


It’s a good thing I’m pretty


Hayden Christensen.

Approximately 1,500 other candidates were screened and it was the job of Casting Director Robin Gurland to winnow this field down for Lucas.

Lucas is quoted as saying that he chose Christensen because he “needed an actor who has that presence of the dark side” that was essential to solidify the story that Lucas was trying to tell: the tragic fall of Anakin Skywalker and the rise of Darth Vader.”


When Ms. Gurland first met Christensen, she “knew from the instant she first saw [him] that the young man had potential. Like the Jedi Master who first found the Chosen One, Gurland felt something unusual and distinctive about the Canadian newcomer. “When Hayden came for his first meeting, I opened the door, and I just suddenly became flushed, because I knew.”

It sounds like what she really found was a young guy she had a crush on.

After all, it’s no secret that Christensen can’t act. lists his as one of their top 27 actors who can’t act. Fortunately, for each actor, they are at least kind enough to say why they don’t care – at least for everyone else…

Hayden Christensen

This is it! Your big moment! The dramatic pivot upon which the most popular fictional universe of all time stands or falls. Knock ‘em dead, Hayden! Do it for us!


Why We Don’t Care: Actually, on this occasion, we do care. Sorry Hayden, but you ruined our childhoods.

Honestly, there are so many reasons that these films are problematic. Picking on Christensen alone is unfair. The writing is barely passable, the Direction is abysmal, there’s way, way too much CGI, etc., etc. But if I could only change ONE thing, it would be to get someone else to play this part.


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