The Star Wars prequels are regarded by many as failures that tarnished the reputation of the world renowned Star Wars franchise (although the prequels did lead to many a hilarious meme). Despite the films getting pretty much panned everywhere, a significant amount of fans feel that Hayden Christensen- the lead actor who played the role of Anakin Skywalker in the Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith– got a lot of undeserved hate following the films releases. One fan showed their respect for the actor in his role of Anakin/Darth Vader by creating this incredible fanart which imagines what Christensen could look like if he ever did reprise his role as an old Anakin.
The artwork- by Instagram artist Phase_Runner- shows an elderly Anakin in his scarred and burnt form following his fight with Obi Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. He is being cradled by the ghostly figure of Natalie Portman’s Padme Amidala- Anakin’s true love whose death he could never forgive himself for. The image is haunting and yet starkly beautiful at the same time, capturing the regret of a deformed and broken old man who gave into the dark side. Phase_Runner also gives the prequel actors some kudos by including them.
Christensen’s acting in the prequels is renowned for not being great -though personally I thought there was a big improvement in his Revenge of the Sith performance compared to that of Attack of the Clones. Though he never reached incredible heights after his role in Star Wars, he did prove that he was capable of much better acting (see Life as a House as an example). Bad acting can usually be boiled down to a combination of equally bad directing and writing. Considering this – plus the fact that Christensen was only 19 when he suddenly had the weight of the one of the world’s biggest film franchises put on his shoulders – it is easy to see how Christensen may not have been able to give a great performance. After all these years, fans are finally giving Christensen some credit for his role and with the Obi Wan Kenobi television series starring Ewan McGregor- who played Kenobi in the prequels- becoming a reality on Disney Plus, the prequels seem to be becoming more accepted by Star Wars fans. This fanart is a great example of this forgiving nature.