Hayden Christensen 'Rise of Skywalker' Comeback Rumors May Explain Dark Rey

Is Anakin's ghost back for real this time? 

At last, Hayden Christensen might finally get his revenge. New rumors — and one convention cancelation — strongly suggest Christensen could be returning as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and if the rumors are true, it seems like a hop-skip-and-Force-jump to making a connection between the ghost of Darth Vader and everybody’s theories about Dark Rey.

Speculative spoilers plus wild rumors for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below. You’ve been warned

Over the weekend, several Twitter and Reddit sources— including fan-run Twitter accounts dedicated to Hayden Christensen — reported that panel at the FanX convention, featuring actors Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid had been forcibly canceled by Disney. Supposedly, the organizers of the convention were threatened with legal action if the panel wasn’t shut down. The assumption here is that Disney doesn’t want Christensen and McDirarmid chatting on stage and accidentally spoiling anything that might happen in The Rise of Skywalker. Adding to this confusion is the fact that Christensen and McDiarmid did visit a children’s hospital in Utah around the same time.

To be clear, of all of this stuff, the fact that Christensen and McDiarmid visited the children’s hospital in Utah are the only things that have been confirmed, mostly because there are photographs doing this of them published in actual newspapers. So, here’s what we really know.

  1. Christensen and McDiarmid visited a children’s hospital in Utah around the same time as the convention.
  2. Both were scheduled to appear at FanX in Utah this past weekend, and based on tons of photographic evidence they did!
  3. As far as the FanX website is concerned, the schedule lists Christensen and McDiarmid slotted for photos with fans and autographs. A panel discussion is not listed. So, it seems like Christensen and McDiarmid did the convention, but they might not have spoken together on stage.
  4. Nobody actually knows if Disney really canceled a panel or not. Again, there are a lot of photos of Christensen and McDiarmid chilling with fans at the convention, so, if Disney was really worried about them talking to fans about Rise of Skywalker, it didn’t stop our favorite Sith Lords from posing for adorable photos with fans.

Inverse has reached out to representatives at FanX Salt Lake to get official confirmation as to whether a panel with Christensen and McDiarmid was canceled or if said panel ever existed to begin with. As of this writing, they have not responded. This story will be updated as soon as we have more information.

Okay, so before we get to some fun Anakin speculation in The Rise of Skywalker, one final thought about this rumor. Back in 2017, at Star Wars: Celebration, Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid had their own panel, which led many fans and pundits (myself included) to speculate that both would appear in The Last Jedi. Obviously, they did not.

BUT, let’s put all of this aside for a second and pretend that perhaps this rumor of this panel being canceled means nothing either way. After all, Hayden Christensen could still be in the movie regardless if any of this has an ounce of truth to it. And, if he is in the movie, it could explain the other huge thing everyone is freaking out about: Dark Rey!

Dark Rey
Dark Rey

There are a lot of theories out there that suggest the spirit of Emperor Palpatine could possess Kylo Ren or even the body of a young Matt Smith, but what about Anakin possessing the body of Rey? In The Force Awakens, it was established that Kylo Ren talks to the spirit of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker. So, what if that spirit comes back and helps out Rey to defeat the bad guys?

In The Force Awakens, it was established that Kylo Ren talks to the spirit of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker. So, what if that spirit comes back and helps Rey defeat the bad guys? If Anakin is still really the “Chosen One” who will bring balance to the Force, what better way than by Voltron-ing his powers onto Rey?

In other words, perhaps Dark Rey is a kind of Rey/Anakin Force hybrid, someone who is perfectly balanced with light and dark and able to wield the powers of both safely. Maybe, at first, Anakin’s spirit thought he could merge with Kylo Ren to bring balance to the Force but then realized that his grandson was way too unstable. If true, it’s possible Rey is the partner Anakin’s spirit needed to fulfill the prophecy, all of which could create an awesome Force ghost fake-out in The Rise of Skywalker.

Imagine thinking Rey has been possessed by Palpatine’s spirit in a very pivotal scene, only to discover, she’s actually been communing with Anakin! If Hayden Christensen is secretly back as Anakin, putting him and Rey together would be the best twist no one would see coming.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.

Media via Star Wars, Lucasfilm