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The Reason Hayden Christensen's Daughter Has Not Seen 'Star Wars' Yet

by Culture Slate about a year ago in star wars
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Do You Agree With This Reasoning?

It was recently revealed that Hayden Christensen, the actor who portrayed legendary Jedi Knight turned Lord of the Sith Anakin Skywalker in two prequel-era Star Wars movies (and as a digital addition in another), and his wife, actress Rachel Bilson, have yet to show their 6-year old daughter, Briar Rose, any of the Star Wars movies. Christensen has revealed that their daughter knows that both of her parents are actors and that she knows that he has starred in a movie series called Star Wars. But without seeing the films, she lacks the proper context, and Christensen wants it to stay that way, at least, as he says jokingly, until she is 80.

What's the reasoning behind their decision? Well, as is well-established, the prequel trilogy films chronicle the twilight of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order, the fall of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, and rise of the evil Empire under Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious). In short, they explain how the Empire, the ultimate baddies in the original trilogy, comes to be. Needless to say, in direct contrast to the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, the prequel trilogy is clearly the darkest trilogy in the core Skywalker saga. And even though its stark conclusion is tempered somewhat by the hope symbolized by the births of Luke and Leia at the end of the final movie, it still ends with the shroud of the dark side descending upon the galaxy far, far away, an ending that younger children may have a difficult time dealing with. Here is Christensen's quote on the matter of him playing a young Darth Vader:

"She has no idea what that even means, because she hasn't seen anything. And thank God, because he kills children, so let's keep that from her until she's like 80."

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, final movie of the prequel trilogy, and the only movie in the Skywalker saga to carry a PG-13 rating prior to the release of the sequel trilogy, also has several scenes with disturbing content, both seen and implied, moreso than pretty much any of the Star Wars movies to date. The most notably horrific scene in the movie comes where Christensen, playing Darth Sidious' newly minted apprentice Darth Vader, ignites a lightsaber in a room full of scared Jedi younglings, with the intent to kill them. While the act is, thankfully, not actually shown, it is indeed confirmed later in the film that Vader has killed them. An earlier scene in the movie shows Anakin, at Chancellor Palpatine's urging, beheading a helpless Count Dooku, who has just lost his hands during a duel with Anakin. Perhaps the most disturbing scene in the film occurs at the climax of the film during the fateful lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and the surviving Obi-Wan Kenobi that results in Vader losing multiple limbs (one arm and his legs) and being set ablaze by the nearby lava river, ultimately requiring him to be encased in the iconic suit of armor (also doubling as life support unit) we later see him in throughout the original trilogy.

Speaking from personal experience as a parent, looking back on it, my wife and I very much regret having taken our eight-year-old son to see Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, because that last scene at the end really upset him at the time and he has not had any desire to rewatch that movie ever since. (He is now almost 24.) So, it is completely understandable that Christensen and Bilson are cautious about exposing their daughter to the Star Wars movies, especially the prequel trilogy, for now. I would probably even caution parents against delving into the sequel trilogy with younger children as well.

As for me, well, I pretty much grew up with the original trilogy. (I was born in 1976.) Although those movies were much tamer than the prequels, I definitely can't say that, as a little kid, the fearsome visage of Darth Vader didn't scare me. In fact, as I recall, sometimes I had a hard time sleeping at night with a poster from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back plastered on my wall, which prominently featured the Dark Lord of the Sith. Even nowadays, I actually can't even watch that movie, which is considered by most fans to be the "darkest" of the original trilogy, and still not get a little creeped out by a few scenes, including Luke inside the Dagobah Cave, as well as Luke's duel with Vader on Bespin. But, of all three of the trilogies that comprise the Skywalker saga, it seems to me that, if you are a parent and want to introduce your children to the movies, the original trilogy is probably the best place to start. However, when and how to introduce their children to certain types of media is a personal choice every parent has to make for their own children, and Christensen and Bilson, parents themselves, are certainly no exception.

Although the prequel trilogy is viewed more favorably nowadays, aspects of it, especially some of the acting, was often criticized by Star Wars fans as it was being released. Part of me wonders if Christensen isn't a little hesitant to rewatch his films with his daughter because he in particular took a lot of flak for his acting in the two movies that featured him. However, despite that criticism, it seems that most fans now seem quite excited about recent reports that he will be reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. The highly anticipated six-part series will be set between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, and will be exploring some of what happens to Obi-Wan, again portrayed by Ewan McGregor, during his Tatooine exile. How exactly Christensen will appear in the series, whether it be him out of his life support suit for brief periods of time or possibly via flashback scenes of him as his younger Jedi Knight self, remains to be seen. However, it appears that there is tremendous excitement for the series and the return of Christensen and McGregor to their respective roles in a galaxy far, far away.

Written By Mara Butler

Source(s): Screen Rant

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