Hayden Christensen Worked with a ‘Specialist’ to Perfect Darth Vader’s Movements

Before stepping back into Star Wars with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hayden Christensen donned the full Darth Vader suit just once. It was in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith after Anakin Skywalker fully descended into darkness and barely survived a battle with his former best friend and mentor. Until now, Christensen was the face of the famed Sith Lord before (and as) he turned to the dark side. But in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Christensen is Darth Vader. And that required a whole new set of skills. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Christensen talked about working with a choreographer on Obi-Wan Kenobi to perfectly craft Darth Vader’s heavily-armored movement.

Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader in Lucasfilm's Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Disney+ series used choreographer Joann Jansen as their “Vader movement specialist,” who the actor said “made sure that we were always in the right ballpark.” Christensen described the thoughtful process the Obi-Wan Kenobi creatives took to find the right movements for Darth Vader. He added, “Certainly, we wanted to make sure that we were staying true to how Vader moves and how we perceive him and wanting to keep all that relatively consistent.”

The suit is an iconic part of the character, but it’s a newer aspect for Christensen. While describing his experience with the Darth Vader get-up this time around to EW, he compared it to Revenge of the Sith. And interestingly, his comfortability is somewhat parallel to his character. He mentioned struggling with the rigidity, which isn’t too unlike how Darth Vader would probably feel during his early days with the mask and armor. But Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place a decade later. So Darth Vader’s lived with the suit for quite some time now. At this point, that part of him probably feels a lot more natural. Still, a suit of armor and a mask are just that. And certainly a far cry from cozy Jedi robes.

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

It’s really exciting having Hayden Christensen back—as Darth Vader (officially!), no less. And we can’t wait to see how this walk choreography looks in the series. Ewan McGregor’s talked a lot about how scary it was seeing Darth Vader on set for the first time. So it certainly sounds like he pulled it off.

Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on May 27 on Disney+.

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