Star Wars: The Force Awakens may have originally featured Hayden Christensen reprising his heavily-derided turn as Dark Side-tempted Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, according to newly unveiled concept art.
The image of Christensen as Skywalker has emerged in a new book titled The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Artist Iain McCaig tells author Phil Szostak he imagined Anakin returning from beyond the grave to haunt his descendants.
“‘When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.’ That inspired me to propose, for the first time, that Anakin’s ghost could come back,” says McCaig. “If we see Anakin Skywalker, because he does flow back and forth between Darth Vader and Anakin, let’s see him as a character with a dark and light side. The reason Luke is this whole new entity is because he was the first to acknowledge his own dark side — that it was not separate from him.”
The concept art depicts a disfigured and haunting version of Anakin who resembles Christensen. If McCaig’s idea had made it to the final shoot, such a casting would have represented an unlikely return to Star Wars for the Canadian actor.
Disney and J.J. Abrams were acutely aware of not making too many connections between the prequels and the new film, which perhaps explains why Christensen’s proposed role was cut from final production.
Thanks to the guys at Squareeyed for the scoop