Hayden Christensen Intentionally Scared His Youngling Co-Star in REVENGE OF THE SITH

Anakin Skywalker’s slaughter of Jedi younglings is one of Star Wars‘ most infamous and shocking moments. The galaxy far, far away’s most powerful Force user struck down helpless children looking to him for help. The unthinkable brutality of his actions revealed just how evil the newly christened Darth Vader truly was. Now we know Hayden Christensen needed to rely on a little bit of his own dark side to make the moment believable. He intentionally scared his young co-star to get a genuine reaction.

Anakin Skywalker as the evil Vader with a brown Jedi robe still on in Revenge of the Sith

Christensen recently sat down with Empire to discuss working on the Star Wars prequels a long time ago. During the interview he talked about his relationship on set with George Lucas, Ewan McGregor, and Ian McDiarmid. He also explained how he got the part and the pressure that came with being so famous so quickly. But one tidbit stands out because it will forever change how fans watch his iconic younglings scene.

Christensen answered whether children ever fear meeting him because of what his character did in Revenge of the Sith. (They apparently don’t. The fools!) He then shared what happened while filming that moment. Christensen said his co-star wasn’t giving them “the reaction” they needed. So to get a genuine one he “shouted, or growled” at the child unexpectedly. That did the trick. The boy’s sincerely startled response is what ended up in the movie.

A scared Youngling  reacts to Anakin's blue lightsaber in Revenge of the Sith

If you’ve seen that moment roughly 1,000 times like we have, you can perfectly picture the scared youngling’s little jump when Master Skywalker’s blue lightsaber turns on. Thanks to this anecdote you can also now picture Hayden Christensen actually startling the poor kid.

That’s even funnier than the word “youngling.” Don’t feel too badly about laughing at the thought of a grown man terrifying a kid. The prequel star says he apologized to his co-star years later. Unlike Darth Vader in that moment, Hayden Christensen didn’t really want to harm a child.

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