There seems to be a lot of turmoil around the actors who portrayed Anakin Skywalker in the PT. Jake Lloyd has led something of a tortured existance, having played the young version of Anakin in The Phantom Menace
. And last year things came to a head when Jake ran afoul of law enforcement in South Carolina
. I sincerely hope that he's able to turn things around for himself.
Jake has had a tough time of things. Especially since so many adult fans took to blaming him and his performance for not living up to their expectations for the Prequels. It's that reaction to him that has really gotten me angry with fans who have been more than a bit overzealous.
Then there was Hayden Christensen in Episodes II and III. He was a relative unknown, and had to step into a role that would be intensely scrutinized. When it came to the physical aspects of the role he seemed up to the task. But he was also in the unenviable position of having to play a character who was struggling with great power, trying to keep a romantic relationship under wraps, and speak in a way that was in line with the established pattern of dialogue of Darth Vader.
So how did Hayden deal with it? He's performed in a handful of other movies, including the well regarded Shattered Glass
. But by and large Christensen seems to have distanced himself from Hollywood. Check out this article about his semi-retirement from acting
. And once again, given the strong feelings of some overzealous Star Wars fans, I can't say that I blame him.
And then, there's what might have been. Like? Leonardo DiCaprio passing on the role of Anakin Skywalker
. In no way do I want to disparage the work of Hayden Christensen as Anakin. I think that a lot of the trouble with that character was a product of the screenwriting of George Lucas. But given how strong Leo's performances have been over the past decade plus? It really makes me wonder what ATTACK OF THE CLONES
and REVENGE OF THE SITH
might have been like with Leo playing opposite Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid.
So, it begs the question: was the role of Anakin Skywalker, to some degree, cursed?