One Star Wars fan imagines what Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker would look like if he wasn’t seduced to the Dark side and grew old as a Jedi.
A Star Wars fan illustration imagines Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker staying with the Light side and growing old to be a Jedi. While the original trilogy chronicled Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) hero’s journey, the prequels focused on the origins of his dad, Darth Vader. The Skywalker patriarch was dubbed to be the Chosen One, but he ultimately fell to the Dark side because of Emperor Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) meddling.
Looking back, the prequel trilogy did enrich Star Wars‘ overall lore. As critically panned and convoluted as those films were, public perception has mellowed down over the last several years, especially in light of the controversies in Disney’s sequel movies. Fans started to appreciate George Lucas’ vision for those blockbusters. There’s clear overall and individual arcs running through all three films, with Anakin’s fall to the Dark side at its center. Despite a less-than-ideal execution, the additional context about Darth Vader’s past drastically changed how people viewed him in the original trilogy. In reality, he’s a traumatized man who was so racked with fear of losing his loved ones that he became easily manipulated by the Sith.
But what if Anakin stayed in the light the whole time? What if he deciphered Palpatine’s evil plan and resisted the urge to take what he was offering? What if the Jedi High Council paid more attention to his grievances instead of quickly dismissing them? Perhaps instead of the all-black armor he wore as Darth Vader, he’d look more like how he’s depicted in this Star Wars fan art. Check out the illustration below shared by u/BornGorn on Reddit:
Looking at the illustration, Anakin’s costume is still somehow reminiscent of his Darth Vader armor — but in a less bulky and lighter color. Compared to the Jedi’s typical robe ensemble, this one is more elaborate, with various layers. Nevertheless, it’s clear that this is a different version of the character — not the one born at the end of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as Palpatine’s right-hand man, and certainly not the villain throughout the whole original trilogy. Pondering the ramifications of this imagined scenario, it’s safe to say that had Anakin not walked away from the Jedi, Star Wars would be significantly different from what it is right now.
Going back to what’s canon now, Anakin’s story will continue in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series. This will chronicle part of his arc that has yet to be explored in Star Wars. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s going to significantly change what’s known about his story, particularly in relation to his dynamics with his former friend and mentor.
- Rogue Squadron (2023)Release date: Dec 22, 2023
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