Star Wars Actors Reveal How Franchise Changed Their Lives

Hayden Christensen and Diego Luna recently got together for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series to chat about their recent return to Star Wars. Last year, Christensen reprised his role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time since Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was released in 2005. Then, Luna played Cassian Andor in Star Wars: Andor, the prequel series to the 2016 film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. During their chat, Christensen and Luna opened up about how neither of them expected to play their character again, and how Star Wars has changed their lives. 

"I mean, it would be easier to count the ways that it didn't affect my life," Christensen admitted. "It gave me an acting career. It gave me financial stability, which as a creative person is something that you can struggle with. After I finished Star Wars, there was still a desire for me to go back to smaller, more independent filmmaking and just try to cut my teeth as an actor. Because I was still learning a lot. I just tried to not think about navigating a career as much as I was just trying to do work that appealed to me, and play characters that I thought would challenge me, and help me grow as an actor. That was a great freedom."

He continued, "But what Star Wars has really given me is a connection to all the people that love these stories. That's such a special thing that you can't fully appreciate unless you're a part of something like that. I mean, I meet people now and it makes me feel a little bit old, but they'll say to me, "Anakin was my hero when I was a kid, and now my kid loves Anakin." It's this generational thing that gets passed down – and that's really special." 

"I would say that has been a shock, in a good way – the love around this project and this universe," Luna said when Christensen asked how Star Wars had changed his life. "The expectation and the awareness about your show before you even finished. I've spent whole life trying to get people's attention to say, 'Hey, look, we have a film here, you might like it!' Here, it's the opposite. It's not just that they're expecting the film or the show to come out, but they also want to love it. They want to feel part of what you are doing, that connection you don't find anywhere else. You also have to understand why it's happening. You are part of something else. If you're expecting that to happen when you put on this very strange play – and you suddenly go like, 'Oh shit, no one came tonight'...

Christensen replied. "That's really astute. To be aware that you're a part of something that is bigger than you, I think is a healthy thing."

Will the Writers' Strike Delay Andor Season 2?

Previously, it was reported that the second season of Andor's production would not be halted due to the WGA strike, but showrunner Tony Gilroy announced a few days later that things had changed.

"I discontinued all writing and writing-related work on Andor prior to midnight, May 1. After being briefed on the Saturday showrunner meeting, I informed Chris Keyser at the WGA on Sunday morning that I would also be ceasing all non-writing producing functions," Gilroy said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter

Stay tuned for more updates about Star Wars