If there was just 1 Star Wars prequel, who would you cast as Anakin?

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The Wook

Master Member
A few minutes ago I was replying to the thread about the best order in which to watch the Star Wars movies. I posted that while I'm not a prequel hater, I think they're kinda cool in parts--especially III--but to me they just ain't 'Star Wars'. (Of course, neither is VI, but that's irrelevant to this thread.)

The main reason the prequels fall short in my mind is because Anakin, as played by Hayden Christensen, is nothing like I imagined a young adult Anakin to be. He doesn't behave like the Anakin I imagined, nor does he look like the Anakin I imagined. And when I say "looks" I'm not talking whether or not he resembled Sebastian Shaw, but rather the sorta vague but sorta clear image I had in my mind while watching IV and V all those pre-prequels years.

Hayden Christensen looked too wimpy in body and face, and was too short. Not good. But worse than his physical shortcomings, his voice bugged, especially when whining, which was often. That's obviously not all the actor's fault, he was given a script and he followed it. But not once during II or III did I watch him and listen to him and think, "Oh yeah, that's the young man who'll become Darth Vader!". This thread isn't about bashing Hayden or the prequels, however, so let's keep it positive, and answer these 2 questions:

If there was just 1 Star Wars prequel, say three+ hours long, starting out showing his brilliance as the best star pilot in the galaxy, and ending with his turn to the dark side of the Force...

1) Who would you cast as Anakin? (Post a pic since some of us may not be familiar with your choice.)

2) Why would he turn? (Would it be the sorta-noble prequel storyline of coveting the power to save Padme's life? Or would it be related to some temptation other than a girl, and if so, what?")


I'll chime in later with my opinions.

The Wook
 
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JD

Master Member
Look, Ma! Another let's passively aggressively bash the Star Wars Prequels thread.

The movies were made. The Prequels made lots of money, they were successful. Jake and Hayden were Anakin... second guess all ya want, you still ain't George Lucas.
 

The Wook

Master Member
Look, Ma! Another let's passively aggressively bash the Star Wars Prequels thread.

The movies were made. The Prequels made lots of money, they were successful. Jake and Hayden were Anakin... second guess all ya want, you still ain't George Lucas.
You've misinterpreted my intentions. I thought I made it perfectly clear I didn't want this thread to be about prequel bashing, but rather a positive look at who could've been cast to better meet the decades long images we had in our minds of the best star pilot in the galaxy, Anakin Skywalker. And also about what we'd imagined would seduce him to the dark side of the Force.

I have a long history here of defending the prequels from the prequel-haters on the site. I enjoy them, even TPM. But they just seem like they don't belong in the same franchise as the OT.

The Wook
 

Robert412

Well-Known Member
I think a clearer version of your question would be:

Who, in your minds eye, did you picture as a young Anakin Skywalker, for the nearly two decades between episode VI and episode I? And what did you assume seduced him to the dark side?
 

The Wook

Master Member
I think a clearer version of your question would be:

Who, in your minds eye, did you picture as a young Anakin Skywalker, for the nearly two decades between episode VI and episode I? And what did you assume seduced him to the dark side?
Um, that's almost exactly what I posted in the 2 questions I have in bold italics. The stuff leading up to that was my experience watching the prequels and why I've identified the casting of the adult Anakin, as well as the whiny way in which his character was written, as the primary reasons the prequels don't even seem like they even belong in the same film franchise as the OT. It's my thread, I wanted to provide that context for why I authored it, so go jump in a lake. :)

The Wook
 

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Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
Who, in your minds eye, did you picture as a young Anakin Skywalker, for the nearly two decades between episode VI and episode I? And what did you assume seduced him to the dark side?
I can honestly say I never thought much about young Vader prior to Episode I because it was only the prequels that changed the overall story of Star Wars to the fall and redemption of Darth Vader. Prior to the prequels, Star Wars was the story of the making of a hero; Luke Skywalker.

In thinking about the OP's question, I honestly don't know who would have been able to adequately fill Anakin's shoes. My issues with Anakin centered more on the writing than Hayden. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who seems like a perfect Anakin.
 

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hayden did a fine job considering the material, it's not the actors I thought they got wrong in the prequels but rather the characters. I have the same problem with JJ's Star Trek.

I too can't really picture an actor for Anakin. Honestly, if I were George starting from scratch and with hindsight of the prequels I'd keep Hayden and write the character closer to how he's described by Obi Wan in the OT. We first meet him as a hot shot young pilot about Luke's age, Obi Wan meets him and tries to train him as a jedi, etc...

I've put far too much thought into how I would write the prequels than is healthy but two things I would keep the same are Hayden & Ewan. They were right for the roles.
 

Falk

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Funny enough you are asking this, because I never bought the BS (Hayden be Vader)...

And my thoughts have nothing to do with the so-called prequels at all - I am wondering since old Ben told Luke about the old days in Star Wars. Well, here are my 2 cents:

A young Anakin in my imagination is a) huge, b) blonde (w/ sideburns) and knows exactly what he wants. I guess Chris Hemsworth (as in Thor) could play "my " Anakin. Or that swedish dude from Starship Troopers back in the day.

And *if* Anakin is supposed to be Vader (I still have a problem with that twist, even after all those years... But I do not want to open that can here!), his decision to rule the Galaxy as the Emperor's right hand was based on him believing it would be right to do so. Think mislead Shogun or Wehrmacht General.

Cheers!

PS: Well, now it's out. I am a nerd.
 

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Probe Droid

Master Member
Going back a whole buncha years now, when I would see Paul Walker on screen he kinda reminded me of Hamill a bit, so I thought he could be a 20-something Anakin. The voice is always a tripping point because of JEJ's particular inflection.
 

steveo

Sr Member
I can honestly say I never thought much about young Vader prior to Episode I because it was only the prequels that changed the overall story of Star Wars to the fall and redemption of Darth Vader. Prior to the prequels, Star Wars was the story of the making of a hero; Luke Skywalker.

In thinking about the OP's question, I honestly don't know who would have been able to adequately fill Anakin's shoes. My issues with Anakin centered more on the writing than Hayden. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who seems like a perfect Anakin.
Gotta second everything AA said here. Never thought of a young Anakin so I had no preconceived notions and yes, the writing and directing more than Hayden or Jake.
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
James Franco. I always thought he looked the part and he's 100x a better actor then Hayden.

On the left:




I think he looks more believable as a young Sebastian Shaw.
 

clancampbell

Sr Member
James Franco. I always thought he looked the part and he's 100x a better actor then Hayden.

On the left:




I think he looks more believable as a young Sebastian Shaw.
Now THAT's an interesting choice! he can do suave, dangerous, hurt, strong...........all the things Hayden couldn't.....

Lucas said he wanted a young James Dean......Franco fullfills that perfectly!!!!

Rich
 

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Robert412

Well-Known Member
I meant no disrespect. I was just trying to reword the question so Prequel trilogy crusaders would be more comfortable answering the question.
 

Obi Sean Kenobi

Well-Known Member
After watching the Count of Monte Cristo, and seeing the progression from an idealistic young man to an embittered, hardened adult - id say Jim Caviezel hands down. He would have been an amazing Anakin.
Right stature. He has gravitas. And can act.
Just watch the Bob Anderson choreographed fight scene from Count & imagine the possibilities ....
 

The Wook

Master Member
I meant no disrespect. I was just trying to reword the question so Prequel trilogy crusaders would be more comfortable answering the question.
No worries.


As to James Franco, I'll agree with this much. He's a better actor, and you just look at him and you see a tormented soul...an intrinsic characteristic that would lend itself perfectly to a young adult Anakin. (Became a huge fan of his back during Freaks and Geeks.)

Still...he's too short, too delicately built for me to have believed he'd ever become the hulking figure that is Darth Vader. He'd have been the same height as Ewan, whereas at least Hayden was a couple of inches taller.

But even giving up a couple inches to Hayden, I think his acting would've made him a much better choice for the role.

The Wook
 

The Wook

Master Member
After watching the Count of Monte Cristo, and seeing the progression from an idealistic young man to an embittered, hardened adult - id say Jim Caviezel hands down. He would have been an amazing Anakin.
Right stature. He has gravitas. And can act.
Just watch the Bob Anderson choreographed fight scene from Count & imagine the possibilities ....
Yes, great choice.

Of course he was far too old at 32 when AOTC was filmed and 35 when ROTS was filmed, but if he was 10 years younger, yeah man, he's a fantastic actor that oozes gravitas. And at 6' 2", about an inch taller than Hayden.

Jim Caviezel *looks* very much like the man I'd pictured who'd become Darth Vader. Hayden was just too much of a pretty boy for me to buy it. I pictured a more rugged hero, with an edginess that could send him either way with the Force. Here's a pic...



The Wook
 
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Clutch

Master Member
I had always hoped the prequels would start with Anakin as a young adult, not some snotty-nosed kid.
 

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