‘Ahsoka’ Season 2 – Hayden Christensen and Rosario Dawson Talk Potential Anakin Return and Season 1 Fight Scene


Hayden Christensen and Rosario Dawson got together to talk about their experience filming together for Ahsoka (they couldn’t talk while the series was airing due to the SAG-AFTRA strike) and touch on the possibility of Anakin Skywalker returning for the second season.


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly (EW), the two were able to go pretty in depth about their experience together and Rosario actually gave a pretty detailed answer about her hopes for Anakin in season 2 of Ahsoka. Clearly she wants it to happen.


“I will just say that as she puts on that hologram of him, you see that there’s several of them. So I think there’s that potential. But I love, also, not just being relegated to those messages and things that we might be able to see more of in the future. We’ve gotten to see from the films now into the show that he’s been able to become this force ghost that brings him back to Anakin, who at the end of the day, when he went and ascended to that space, that’s what he became.

And I love that she’s got that access point. I love that that peace has continued and you get to see it reflected in him that he gets to enjoy seeing what his legacy has become in a different way. And if Dave Filoni is listening, I hope we get to explore that more, because the road ahead is not going to be easy. And I think that’s been one of the really cool things about this story is a lot of these folks have been able to continue. I’m very into that sort of intergenerational openness of wisdom being passed on, and I would hope that she’d still be able to access that wisdom.”


Hayden chipped in with his opinion on a possible Ahsoka return, staying humble in the knowledge that it’s not up to him.


“Look, as to whether or not we see Anakin again, I don’t know. But as evidenced by that last shot of the series, he’s with her in spirit, and they continue to have this connection.”


The two actors spoke about what it was like filming their fight scenes for Ahsoka‘s “Shadow Warrior” episode, as Rosario was asked what it was like to cross swords with her old friend who has many stories about his enthusiasm for lightsaber choreography. She mentioned that her lightsaber fights with Ray Stevenson were also tough going.


Rosario Dawson: “Between Ray Stevenson and Hayden, I don’t know who was more heavy-handed. There would definitely be moments where I’m like, “We’re pretending to kill me — right, guys?”

Hayden Christensen: “You had some force behind your swings too, though. We had a good go of each other, but there were no major mishaps, as I recall.”

RD: “We had a lot of fun actually. It really was very special. That was definitely a major highlight of the production, and one of those pinch-me moments for myself of just going, “Is this work?” There’s plenty of times on a project where you feel the intensity of it and this one, I would’ve paid to have been there.”

HC: “Likewise. It really felt like play. And you’re awesome with the lightsaber too, I should say. Especially with two lightsabers, which is not easy. I remember there was a brief moment in Episode II where Anakin has two lightsabers, and I was trying to figure out how to do all the twirls that you do and I couldn’t get it. So hats off to you.”

RD: “Thank you.”



HC: “This scene was so nicely written. [Creator Dave Filoni] conceived something that was really exciting. From my point of view, I just wanted to bring that to life and help him realize his vision. And all of the lines are so specific that they tell the story, and it was capturing versions of these characters that was very compelling. Following Dave’s lead was a very satisfying experience. We were in great hands with him.”

RD: “Yeah, I remember we all got the hair raised up on the back of our heads just hearing that whole sort of Anakin discovery, and hearing “Snips” and that connection into the animation was just so amazing after so many years of seeing this dynamic between these characters, and now seeing it realized in live action. It felt really poignant and powerful and very satisfying.

“I remember we kept wanting to have a pull of maybe adding “Sky Guy” in there, but it didn’t make sense in that beat, in that moment. But we wanted to! We really did! But to hear “Snips” was more than enough. It kind of took the scene. It was so standout. It was definitely a fan girl moment that I had on set. There were moments like that, like when I first put in the contacts, and first put on that costume, and to see Hayden in the Clone Wars outfit — there was just so many moments that pulled you out of what we were doing right then and brought you back into that fan who just really enjoyed watching this over the years. It just felt really delicious, really exciting, really fun.”


Hayden spoke a little about what it was like putting on Anakin’s costume from The Clone Wars animated series for Ahsoka.


“I loved it, man. It was a really exciting version of the character, this kind of post-life Anakin that is this wise master that is an expression of the totality of the character with a sense of everything that has happened to him and that he’s gone through and being able to wield both sides of the Force. It was a really exciting version of the character that I had a hunger to get to play, and I think audiences had an appetite for as well.”


Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen on set for Ahsoka


EW also asked how we went about changing between light side and dark side Anakin. Presumably that constant flipping would be confusing for an actor, but Hayden said the Ahsoka script clearly laid it all out.


HC: “It was all on the page and it was very clearly mapped out and is sort of congruent with how the lesson is going, too. Anakin is trying to guide Ahsoka through this lesson without spelling it out for her, and she’s kind of getting it, but she’s also kind of not. And so then he has to switch to the dark side and is a little bit more to the point. He says to her, “You lack conviction.” You break down what the lesson is, and at its core, it is something that we all kind of go through at different points in our lives where you have to reconcile things in your past that are holding you back so that you can move on as a better version of yourself.

And so there’s a progression to that lesson, and finally, Ahsoka gets it and the story moves on, and then you see Ahsoka just standing on that star bridge that then starts to fold into itself and disappear. And then you have that shot of the black liquid rising up her body. It’s a really beautiful bit of acting that you did where your face is just about to become submerged, and you see some level of reconciliation that has taken place. It’s beautiful. And then you get that shot from below where you see her just floating in the ocean. Visually, I just thought it was stunning.”

RD: “I really loved that whole idea of her choosing to live, because we’ve sat so long with hearing Darth Vader say how much he’s killed Anakin, and that Anakin is dead. And so that line for me had a lot of layers to it. She’s developing herself to get to this next level. There’s that beat just before when she grabs his saber that you see — and it was nice seeing the fans’ comments saying, “Wait, did her eyes go red or did they not?” And that is that beat and moment.

“What I love so much about this story is that it is always a constant choice, and that’s why you’re vulnerable potentially, because it’s never like you just make the decision and you get to just be of the light or of the dark forever. It’s constantly a choice you have to make every single day, and you’ll be continuously challenged and tempted. But it’s finally her starting to let go of the conflict of it. She’s held onto trauma there for a long time and it was really powerful to be able to have this opportunity to heal that part of herself and be able to ascend to someplace else.”


Surprisingly, Hayden and Rosario didn’t practice their fight scenes together at all before stepping on set for Ahsoka. Rosario believes that their fight choreographer wanted them to wait until the day of filming to capture that emotion on camera.


“We actually didn’t really practice together. Once we started filming, it was almost impossible to be able to get us together. It was just an insane schedule, but that was actually what kind of made it a little fun. I think [fight choreographer Ming Qiu] had a weird thing about wanting us to really have that moment be more on-camera than anything, which was very cool.

“And the set was so wild. It was very unusual for us because a lot of times we were shooting on the Volume, so you could see everything. But on this one, we had this whole other area and this grading with the light coming through, and it was very kind of bare. It almost felt a little theatrical. It was magical to see what they ended up making it look like because [during filming] it was very keyed down and just us on this beautiful long strip of a platform which was very, very cool.

“I think we had two full days of filming on there, with the kind of flipping into Darth Vader and back and forth. We had this beautiful catwalk runway and people just watching us. It was quite a spectacle, I have to say. I kept getting really caught up in it. And when you were shooting with [Ariana Greenblatt, playing young Ahsoka], I got to come and visit on set, and that was really remarkable because even before they did all the special effects, it was breathtaking to watch these beats and moments. Seeing you coming out of this smoke and steam, it was very surreal.”


Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen duelling on set for Ahsoka


Hayden’s answered this type of question before, but EW asked him just how much he enjoys acting with a lightsaber in his hand, and unsurprisingly he said it was the thing he most enjoys about the job.


“Easily the best part. Any work day with a lightsaber, it’s a good day, and the experience on this one was really awesome. Ming came up with a really great sequence of fights, and we spent a lot of time working on it. Like Rosario said, we do it in isolation just with the stunt team, and then we get to practice a little bit together before we get to set. But the experience of getting to do that on the stage was awesome, and we were just laughing a lot because we couldn’t believe our good luck that we were getting to do this together.”


It’s well known at this point that Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen have been good friends for years, as they went to the same acting school in New York City. Rosario was asked how she felt when finding out that Hayden had first been cast as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars.


RD: “I remember thinking it was going to be quite the performance, because he is one of the nicest human beings you could possibly meet. I was so proud and so happy for him.

“We never could have imagined we’d be here doing this together. It is a pretty cool thing to know that we have a history that we were able to play with and actually engage with, and that there is a history there that didn’t have to get made up.”

HC: “It’s really been a very special experience for us to get to reunite on this project, and to get to play these characters that have the history to their relationship that they do, and get to explore some of that with someone that I’ve known for quite a while myself.”


From there, Rosario was also asked how she felt seeing Hayden return to the role of Anakin in Obi-Wan Kenobi before Hayden returned for Ahsoka.


“It’s so beautiful and so special. I was just elated when I saw Hayden in Obi-Wan Kenobi and just hoped, fingers crossed, that that would happen with him on our show. I don’t want to put anyone in the crew out there, but I will say there were some tears shed when we got to see that lightsaber in his hand again. It’s pretty remarkable and very special.”


Hayden was asked how it felt having all eyes on him in the Darth Vader suit on that series, but he remained humble about the experience.


“It is a character that people have a lot of affection for, and yeah, you get a sense of that. A lot of the people who are working on these projects now grew up on the prequels and were huge fans of those films, and so I think they have a special connection to these characters and to Anakin. Anytime Vader shows up, that’s a crowd-pleaser, so that’s an easy one. But it’s really nice to see the support that Anakin has now.”


For the full interview, head to Entertainment Weekly. Hopefully Dave Filoni can answer Rosario’s wishes, as it’s always fun to see Anakin pop up again in Star Wars stories, especially set after Return of the Jedi.

Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, who has spent far too much time wondering if any Star Wars character could defeat Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.