MOVIE NEWS – Moving in the armour of the iconic Sith Lord was a challenge. Luckily, Hayden Christensen had the help of a Vader movement specialist.
It’s been known for a while that Hayden Christensen would return as Darth Vader in Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. So once again, he had to strap on the helmet and giant suit of armour his character has had to wear ever since he stopped taking seriously what it means that Obi-Wan has the height advantage. I wonder how challenging it is to move in that suit? Well, Christensen says it’s quite a challenge.
“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,” she explained to Entertainment Weekly.
“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 ten 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.”
Christensen says that before his return, a lot of time was spent figuring out how to move and walk, as the dress really restricted his movement. Luckily for Christensen, there was a crew member on set who was officially a “Vader movement specialist”; she helped him work through the process.
“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.”
“No more jumps” – that’s Darth Vader’s motto when it comes to lightsaber fighting
In addition to his character’s great enthusiasm for sand in the Star Wars prequels, Christensen was known for his fluid, and intense lightsaber fighting style, something Christensen honed over hours of intense practice with his partner Ewan McGregor and stunt coordinator Nich Gallard – how much of that has been preserved in the Disney+ series, I wonder?
“Yeah, we get a little bit of that,” Christensen revealed.
“I think what they did in Rogue One was very strong, and that resonated with everybody, but there are a few nods to Anakin’s style. But his style changes and evolves as he tries to fight in his armor now.”
Of course, Vader’s intimidating and imposing figure is just one character element. The other part is the character’s iconic voice, which James Earl Jones has always handled. Except Christensen uses his own voice when he’s filming with the rest of the cast to deliver dialogue. Is he trying to imitate Jones in the process?
“Obviously, we stay true to the voice that we all know and love, but no, I do know how I feel Anakin would sound with all of those injuries and how that would’ve possibly affected his vocal abilities. And it’s my own sort of version of it,” Christensen said.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is just days away from its premiere, on May 27 on Disney+.
Source: Entertainment Weekly