Hayden Christensen In Star Wars: Episode VIII? PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!"

The worst thing about there being several Star Wars movies in different stages of development is that we'll inadvertently start finding out spoilers for a movie based purely on rumours for one set chronologically after it. It's made all the worse by some of those reports totally missing that saying a certain actor is shooting a scene for a subsequent movie reveals a lot about their part in a previous one. And so it is the latest Star Wars news could be simultaneously a big spoiler for The Force Awakens, reveals something major about Rogue One and practically ruin Episode VIII - Hayden Christensen is rumoured to star in the latter. No, I'm not joking. According to the oft reliable MakingStarWars.com, "A team in the U.K. are soon heading to the U.S. to begin training Hayden Christensen for a Star Wars: Episode VIII appearance of some sort."
Yeah, no. Just why you'd bring an average-at-best actor back into the fold, particularly when to do so will require extreme contrivance of the internal logic of the movies or will otherwise piss off a good chunk of the movie's audience, is almost ridiculous as CGI'ing him into the end of Return Of The Jedi. I mean, does anyone actually think Christensen was good for Star Wars? I actually don't mind the Star Wars prequels. Oh, they're not great movies (although Revenge Of The Sith has some surprisingly well-directed moments), but they're fun spectacle and a cut above what passed for mainstream sci-fi at the time. And even I find Hayden's performance alternatively painfully wooden and dominated by breathless, forced emotion. Yes, it's partly Lucas' fault, but still - he's not a great actor, with minimal screen presnece.
No matter how you try and justify it, bringing back Christensen just doesn't make any sense. Disney have been playing the whole Star Wars resurrection perfectly, bringing back the old cast, keeping a tight lid on spoilers and promising a fresh-but-reverent story. The only minor slip-up so far appears to be appointing Colin Trevorrow as the director of Episode IX, but that's only because he's most notorious for mediocrity. It's a great time to be a fan, so why mess it up? We obviously don't know what's going to go down in The Force Awakens (maybe Supreme Leader Snoke is a Gungan or Kylo Ren is more whiney than nine-year-old Anakin), but the assumption from EVERYTHING we've seen suggests J.J. Abrams has worked to make something that befits both the Star Wars universe and the fandom. Chucking in one of the series' most derided actors into the sequel doesn't just seem like an odd choice; it goes against all we've been led to believe the Disney era stands for. Hayden Christensen starring in Episode VIII is just about as out-there as you can get. But then again, we do live in a world where the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy is a thing, so who knows? What do you make of this? Could it actually work?
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Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.

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