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Anakin Skywalker - The Role


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?

I think Lloyd was pretty unstable to begin with. He got cast in the biggest movie ever and really didn't understand how to deal with it. When I saw the audition tapes on the bonus content, I thought they purposely chose the worst one. He seemed much less mature than the other kids. Sure he was bullied in school but so what? Most people where at some point. That's part of growing up. Eventually you learn to deal with it and stop thinking the world owes you something. He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but aren't most actors that way too? Doesn't that help them be believable in a role. The best actors can control their schizophrenia while the ones that can't crash and burn.


--- Quote from: Nicklab on January 21, 2016, 09:34 AM ---So, it begs the question:  was the role of Anakin Skywalker, to some degree, cursed?

--- End quote ---

George Lucas isn't a very good director.  That's your curse.  He isn't very good when it comes to casting decisions, and he's much worse when it comes to directing and writing dialogue.  It didn't help that the stories were awful too.  He took good actors in those prequels and had them blandly delivering lines to green walls.  The performances sucked, the direction sucked, and the casting sucked.

In capable hands, I'm sure Anakin could be done as well as any other roll could be.

I think, from a story standpoint, that Anakin should've been much older in TPM.  Wehn the council said he was too ald at 10 years old seemed really weak to me...especially since Luke didn't start formally training until he was much older than Anakin was in the TPM.

Start with an older actor in the role, then have people around George Lucas that had the stones to tell him that certain ideas were stupid, then the prequels would have been awesome!


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