Star Wars: Hayden Christensen reveals why he quit acting after playing Anakin Skywalker

'I didn’t want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave'

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The Independent Culture

Hayden Christensen, known to many as Anakin Skywalker, has revealed why he quit Hollywood after finding global fame in the Star Wars prequels.

The 34-year-old was just 19 when George Lucas cast him in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the sudden worldwide attention left him feeling like a fraud. He packed it all in and went to live on a farm.

“I felt like I had this great thing in Star Wars that provided all these opportunities and gave me a career, but it all kind of felt a little too handed to me,” he told the LA Times. “I didn’t want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave.”

Christensen’s first film in five years, 90 Minutes in Heaven, was released in September to scathing reviews but he insists he is happy keeping a lower profile.

“You can’t take years off and not have it affect your career,” he said. “But I don’t know - in a weird, sort of destructive way there was something appealing about that to me. 

“There was something in the back of my head that was like, ‘If this time away is gonna be damaging to my career, then so be it. If I can come back afterwards and claw my way back in then maybe I’ll feel like I earned it.”

There was talk of Christensen briefly appearing in the new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens in a vision showing his battle with the dark and light side, but ultimately it was Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan that spoke to Rey.

Star Wars 8 arrives in 2017, which the screenwriter has promised will be "weird".