The first image of Darth Vader from Disney+'s upcoming Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi is finally here.
The image, released by Entertainment Weekly, sees Hayden Christensen in full Darth Vader costume as the Sith Lord emerges from his meditation chamber.
It was announced in December 2020 that Christensen would reprise his role of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader from Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in Obi-Wan Kenobi, reuniting with Ewan McGregor for an epic rematch.
"It was so important to have Hayden be a part of this project because he is such a massive part of that character," writer Joby Harold said. "It was a priority to all of us that we did it with as much care as possible, so as to honor one of the greatest villains and antagonists in the history of entertainment."
"When he first came on set for us, it definitely had a very special feeling," director Deborah Chow added. "The first time I saw him in costume, he was towering over me. He was literally almost twice my size! It's really intense to have such an iconic character, and then to be directing him and doing new scenes with him…. I do remember poor Ewan on that day being like, 'What am I, chopped liver?'"
Christensen himself also finally broke silence on his long-awaited return to Star Wars. "Deborah came up and we spent the day chatting," he said. She told me a little bit about the project and her vision for it, and I just thought that it sounded wonderful. I was very excited to come back. The whole experience was very surreal. The first time that I saw Ewan as Obi-Wan again, that was a very special moment for me, and one that I'll remember for a very, very long time."
Christensen's portrayal of Anakin in the prequels was a major point of contention for Star Wars fans. Thanks to shows like The Clone Wars, however, opinions of the prequel trilogy as a whole have shifted over the years, and even though Christensen wasn't involved in the acclaimed animated series (Anakin was voiced by Matt Lanter), Star Wars fans seem more than ready to welcome him back with open robotic arms.
Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres May 25 on Disney+.