The return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series has been something that Star Wars fans have been waiting on for years, especially as appreciation for the prequel movies has only grown in recent years. For Christensen to come back to the part after more than 15 years made it almost like riding a bike, but since his time in the Darth Vader suit in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith was limited, it would mean a bit of an adjustment and making sure that it fits with all the other portrayals of Vader in the series. To that end, Christensen says that they hired someone for the show specifically to make sure his movements as the Sith lord were consistent with other appearances.
"That was something that we spent a lot of time working on," Christensen told Entertainment Weekly about moving in the Vader costume. "And this suit really just informs the way you move....We had this woman who was like a Vader movement specialist, and she made sure that we were always in the right ballpark. 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." That "Vader movement specialist" was none other than Joann Jansen. A choreographer and movement coach, Jansen's other credits include Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the upcoming Avatar: The Way of Water.
Christensen elaborated further on wearing the suit, calling it "challenging," and adding: "I remember when we were doing Episode III and I put on the suit for the first time, I was really having a tough time moving around in it, and it was all extremely rigid. And I said that to George [Lucas], and he said, 'It's okay. This is your first time in this suit. So it should feel very mechanical and maybe not very natural.' Now, this is 10 years after that. So he's had a lot of time to acclimate. But again, it's a full-on challenge, just trying to get to set in that suit."
Starring Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Rupert Friend, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Indira Varma, Sung Kang, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Benny Safdie, Kumail Nanjiani, and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres with two episodes Friday, May 27, on Disney+. New episodes will air on Wednesdays beginning June 1.