The fifth episode of the Disney Plus series, Ahsoka, featured the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, a Schrödinger-like combination of the two. Ahsoka Tano was pulled into the mysterious Force realm dubbed the World Between Worlds in Star Wars: Rebels and asked, point blank, if she actually wanted to go through with this. She’s been dealing with a lot of baggage over the past few years, following her exit from the Jedi Order and the demise of her former master and subsequent turn into all that he’d sworn to destroy.
As she prepares to prevent yet another war, it’s clear she’s tired of a lifetime filled with fighting and being restless. She’s taken up the burden of the entire galaxy, which begs the question: Is she ready for possibly her biggest challenge yet? That’s what Anakin’s spirit asked her as he took her former Padawan in a journey through time and space inside the World Between Worlds. That journey involved the recreation of some of the iconic battles they fought together during the Clone Wars, and also some they didn’t — the Battle of Ryloth and the Siege of Mandalore, respectively.
To accomplish that, Dave Filoni, showrunner of the Star Wars spin-off series but also writer and director of the episode, put Hayden Christensen for the first time in Anakin’s iconic Clone Wars armor from the animated show and cast Hollywood’s latest “it” teenager Ariana Greenblatt as young Ahsoka. As it’s been well documented by now, they both killed it. So much so, in fact, that insatiable fans have already taken to social media to ask Disney and Lucasfilm for a live-action version of The Clone Wars with these two at the helm.
One of those people brought the issue to Ariana Greenblatt on Twitter, to which she responded “We laughed and talked about that tonight”. That was enough to fire up social media for the rest of the year, dreaming about that hypothetical series. So here I am to say, please no.
Why would we revisit The Clone Wars now in Star Wars?
There are easily a dozen arguments and questions I can come up with against the idea of another round of Clone Wars-era Star Wars content, but the biggest one is easy enough: Why? What is the reason to halt what we’re doing now in the New Republic era and go back to another time that’s been over-explored? (Sure, we could attempt to do both concurrently, but that would either result in Filoni being stretched too thin, as he’s also doing a second season of Ahsoka and a theatrical feature film, or Filoni not being involved at all; try selling that to the fanbase.)
Of course, there’s an obvious answer: Because we love Hayden Christensen! Well, sure. I strongly feel like this overwhelming wave of love Hayden Christensen has been getting for over three years now is in part the Star Wars fanbase trying to pull a 180-turn on the damage they made during the prequels. The leading voices in the fanbase today are people who grew up with the prequels (myself included) and Hayden’s Anakin Skywalker, and seeing how much hate the actor got from the previous generation after he was one of their go-to faces growing up, they are trying to let him know: We were always here.
But this isn’t fixing Hayden’s bad performances in prequel Star Wars movies, and despite what many poeple believe, he hasn’t had more than 10-15 minutes of on-camera screentime since Revenge of the Sith (Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi was a five-people effort, and I can’t always tell when Hayden is actually there — can you?). Yes, those 10-15 minutes were pretty remarkable, but is that enough to convince us that he should be given his own series to revisit a character arc that’s already been done by another actor? What would the additional value of this hypothetical series be?
There’s also the issue of Ariana Greenblatt. I loved her in the role. I like her presence a lot, and she was an absolute standout in Barbie. But I would be more than satisfied if she was just brought in as a cameo from time to time over the next couple of years, while she doesn’t age out of the role and while we’re playing in this New Republic-era sandbox. Let’s all appreciate this moment rather than try to squeeze every drop we can until we realize we took something that was great and turned it into a mess.
But here’s my bottom line: We need to move on. When this Dave Filoni movie is wrapped up, I want to move on from the Skywalker Saga of Star Wars. There’s so much we can do with these characters and these events before we start running into contradictions and trying to pull stories out of thin air. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the perfect example of this. Let’s explore other eras. Does Jon Favreau want to keep playing in the Star Wars universe with Dave Filoni? Great, I’d like to introduce you to this era known as the Old Republic. Here are 24,000 years for you to play in. Go nuts.
What do you think? Disagree with me and think we should totally get such a series or are you also good if we move on from the Skywalker Saga for a few years? What did you think of Ariana Greenblatt as young Ahsoka Tano? Let us know your thoughts on our social media!