Although there has not been an official announcement from Disney or Lucasfilm, all signs suggest Season 2 of The Mandalorian will feature Rosario Dawson in the live-action debut of Ahsoka Tano. Known for her involvement in The Clone Wars, Ahsoka is technically the only Jedi trained by Anakin Skywalker, AKA "The Chosen One," AKA Darth Vader. At the time of The Mandalorian, Anakin has been dead for more than five years. But there's every reason to believe Hayden Christensen could return as Anakin in The Mandalorian Season 2.
Here are three totally reasonable ways Christensen's Anakin Skywalker could appear in The Mandalorian Season 2. Search your feelings. You know at least one of these should happen.
3. Anakin could appear as a Force ghost
At the end of Return of the Jedi, we see Anakin smiling as a Force ghost, looking at Luke. Everything about Star Wars canon tells us these ghosts all spoke to Luke again. Yoda visited Luke in The Last Jedi, and one in-canon book claims Anakin's ghost visited Luke sometime in the post-Return of the Jedi era.
The Mandalorian only takes place five years after Return of the Jedi, 9 ABY in the conventional Star Wars dating system. (9 years after the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope.) Force ghosts tend to transcend time and space, but conventionally speaking, it seems reasonable that Anakin was still chatting to people five years after he became a ghost. Obi-Wan's ghost was still hanging out with Luke four years after he died, and the spirits of several Jedi (including Anakin) joined Rey in 35 ABY in The Rise of Skywalker.
So, Anakin's ghost is around. If he knows anything about Baby Yoda, or wants to chat with Ahsoka about all their unfinished business, it seems super-reasonable he would do so. Plus, if Hayden looks a little "older" as a ghost than in the 2004 special edition version of Return of the Jedi's ending, nobody is going to mind. Ghosts can look however they want.
2. Anakin could pop-up in a flashback
Star Wars prequel actor Temuera Morrison is also rumored to appear in The Mandalorian Season 2, which either means he's playing Boba Fett, or one of the many clones of Jango Fett. Some people have their money on the idea that he could be playing Captain Rex, a Clone Trooper who served with both Anakin and Ahsoka in the Clone Wars. If that's true, Anakin could appear in some kind of flashback with any of these characters. Temuera Morrison could be helmeted for any of these encounters, which, would hide the fact that the actor has aged IRL. Hayden looking a little older wouldn't be a big deal, because he doesn't look that different than he looked 15 years ago. If Anakin and Ahsoka knew about Baby Yoda during the Clone Wars, then a flashback revealing that detail could be a big deal.
This could also allow for our first glimpse of a live-action Anakin wearing his Clone Wars-era "armor," something we've only seen in animated form. Further, an Anakin Skywalker flashback with Ashoka could help solidify Ahsoka's identity for those who aren't familiar withThe Clone Wars.
1. Vader could appear in a flashback
Christensen wore the Darth Vader costume for several shots in Revenge of the Sith. From a canonical point-of-view, if there's a flashback involving Baby Yoda in the years just following the Clone Wars, Vader could totally appear. If he does, it would make sense for the person in the costume to be played by Christensen. If Baby Yoda was somehow hidden from the Emperor and Vader after Order 66, that fact has to be accounted for at some point. And, because one of Vader's primary jobs was to hunt down and destroy all the remaining Jedi, it seems very likely that, at some point, he was after Baby Yoda.
If a flashback exists where Vader is chasing down Baby Yoda, it could go along way toward explaining why Vader didn't take out Baby Yoda. Did someone stop him? Or, did Vader spare Baby Yoda...by choice?
The Mandalorian Season 2 hits Disney+ on October 30.