Is Hayden Christensen set to make his return to a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? There is at least some evidence that points to that possibly being the case. Right up front, we must caution much of what is about to be discussed is speculative and should be regarded largely as a rumor for the time being. That said, something did happen over the weekend involving Christensen and Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid that is, at the very least, curious.
Both of the Star Wars alum were set to appear at a panel over the weekend at the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention. However, just before the panel was set to begin on Saturday, September 7, those in attendance were given word via an announcement that Disney had contacted the organizers of the event and that the studio wasn't going to allow for the panel to take place. While specific reasons remain fuzzy, it's suspected this had to do with the studio fearing spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would leak out. A fan later took to Twitter and threw this bit of info on the fire.
"The star wars spotlight panel at #fanx was cancelled. The rumor is that Disney threatened litigation if Fanx Salt Lake allowed Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid to speak for fear of leaks. These rumors have yet to be addressed by either organization."
Disney hasn't officially commented on the matter, nor have the organizers of the event. So there is no way of knowing if this legal threat is true. Either way, we know for sure the event was canceled at the very last minute, which is odd, especially considering it wasn't the stars of the panel who bailed out. A fan even posted a video of people clearing out of the large convention hall just after the announcement was made. We know for a fact that both Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid were in town, as they showed up for a meet and greet at a local Children's hospital together just prior to the big weekened event. And you can see footage of that below.
That leads us to the speculative portion. It's already been confirmed that Palpatine is going to return. So, at the base level, it's possible that the studio was worried about Ian McDiarmid saying something spoilery during the panel. But if Disney did threaten legal action, one has to imagine something a bit more intense might have been on the line. Say, for example, if Hayden Christensen were going to appear as Anakin Skywalker in director J.J. Abrams' conclusion to the Skywalker saga? That would be a huge deal and something Lucasfilm wouldn't want spoiled. Frustrating as it may have been for fans in attendance at the event, it's easy to see how something could slip with both of the actors on stage playing to the crowd.
For now, much remains secretive about the movie. Palpatine's confirmed return has raised tons of questions and sparked countless theories. If he can return to this universe, why not Anakin? Not only that, rumors of Hayden Christensen's return have been prevalent, even dating back to when The Last Jedi was in production. Again, for now, this is mostly speculative, but it's certainly something to ponder while we wait for a new trailer. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to hit theaters on December 20. This news was previously reported by Looper.
The star wars spotlight panel at #fanx was cancelled. The rumor is that Disney threatened litigation if @fanxsaltlake allowed Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid to speak for fear of leaks. These rumors have yet to be addressed by either organization.— Alex Wood (@WoodyWood_Chuck) September 7, 2019