Spoilers for the Ahsoka episode, “Part Four: Fallen Jedi,” lie ahead, so read at your own discretion.
After much speculation regarding his supposed role on the show, Hayden Christensen made his return as Anakin Skywalker at the tail end of Ahsoka’s fourth episode. It was there that he greeted his former padawan (the titular Jedi) when she woke up in the “World Between Worlds." While their encounter was brief, it was also lovely and well executed by the installment’s director, Peter Ramsey. The veteran filmmaker shared that he actually gave Christensen a key note for that scene, and I love just how sweet it is.
Peter Ramsey is definitely not unfamiliar with having to stage scenes that are meant to be emotionally-affecting. After all, this is the man who co-directed the Oscar-winning film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The Anakin/Ahsoka scene he directed is only the tip of the iceberg, as it’ll surely continue in the latest episode. However, Ramsey solidly set the table for the meet-up and seemed to enjoy his time working with Hayden Christensen and Rosario Dawson. The helmer had some particular praise for Christensen – who played Anakin and Darth Vader in last year’s Obi-Wan Kenobi – as a performer and person. Ramsey also explained that he gave the actor a specific piece of direction to inform his approach to the on-screen reunion:
He’s a really sweet, low-key guy. He was pretty happy about being there after all this time. It had a lot of meaning for him. And I just told him, 'it's like you haven't seen your daughter in two years. She'd gone off to college and you're seeing her again and she's like a different person but still your daughter.'
My heart melted just a tad upon reading that tidbit. Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker arguably have one of the loveliest relationships in the entire Star Wars franchise. (It’s a bond that’s even been highlighted through sweet fan art.) While the master and apprentice initially don’t know what to make of each other but eventually forge a father/daughter relationship. So the Rise of the Guardians director’s note is very perfect in that regard, and it’s sweet to think of Tano as a college student returning home to meet her father after having been away for a long time.
Fans were absolutely head over heels upon Hayden Christensen’s return, and Rosario Dawson was pumped to work with him as well. Back when Christensen’s casting was reported in 2021, Dawson shared an A+ response that conveyed her hype. Though she's a fan, she’s also a professional, and Peter Ramsey further explained to IGN that she understood the importance of the reunion:
On the Rosario side of it, she knew what it meant in the story and it was just about selling the idea that she was waking up somewhere really having no clue as to what was going on, not understanding 'am I dead? Am I alive? Am I where I think I could be?' And the way that expression changes at the very end when she sees him and says his name is so sweet and it was just like her turning back the person she was the last time she saw him.
At this point in the Star Wars timeline, the two Jedi have been through a lot since the last time they saw each other. Anakin turned to the dark side of the Force and was ultimately transformed into the terrifying Darth Vader. But he’d eventually find redemption by saving his son, Luke, before passing away during the events of Return of the Jedi. Ahsoka, for her part, mostly remained in hiding during the days of the Galactic Empire but worked – from the shadows – to maintain order in the galaxy.
That’s why she’s aiming to prevent the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, and that goal is ultimately what landed her back in the World Between Worlds. I’m intrigued to see what she and Skywalker end up discussing while they’re together and, hopefully, there are some more sweet exchanges on the way.