Why Hayden Christensen Returning To Star Wars Is A Bad Idea

When the Star Wars prequels turned out to be pretty bad, Hayden Christensen took a lot of the blame for it. And while the problems with those movies go far beyond his performance, it's true that he's not without blame for their badness. He must realize this, which is why he's supposedly agreed to appear in Episode VIII. Now, while everyone deserves a second chance, let's get one thing straight: Hayden Christensen returning to Star Wars is just the worst idea. Here's some evidence based on his list of film credits that seems to prove it.

Factory Girl (2006)

In this kind-of biopic based on Edie Sedgwick, the muse of Andy Warhol, Hayden Christensen plays "The Musician," a character originally intended to be the legendary Bob Dylan. (Oddly enough, Christensen was the "linchpin for getting financing for the movie.") And Christensen doesn't do the greatest job in the role either. His portrayal of the singer can be summed up best as a poor imitation. Think of any bad stand-up comedian's hackneyed impersonation of Bob Dylan, and you barely begin to approach what Christensen did with the role. But as bad as Christensen was, his portrayal isn't what caused Dylan to threaten producers with a lawsuit. According to New York Magazine, it was the movie's insinuation that Dylan had some responsibility in Sedgwick's death that brought the lawsuit on. So at least Christensen dodged a bullet there.

American Heist (2014)

Based on the reviews for American Heist, Christensen actually does a good job in this movie, in which he co-stars with Adrien Brody. A review in The Playlist even describes Christensen's performance as "fantastic." But as fantastic as he is, that didn't prevent this movie from getting lost in the shuffle. Who's even heard of this movie? So as fantastic as Christensen may be in it, he apparently wasn't good enough to give this movie any kind of propulsion. The only heist that occurred was when the actors took the time to make it, or if anyone paid to see it.

Virgin Territory (2007)

How was Hayden Christensen in this straight-to-DVD period masterpiece? It's hard to say: there really aren't any references, neither good nor bad, regarding his acting in this movie. There were numerous references to it being a bad movie, but as far as Christensen goes, all we really know is that he's in it. And that really doesn't say much for his performance.

Outcast (2014)

Poor Hayden Christensen—he just keeps making bad movies. This is the most recent movie on this list. The Nerdist's review describes the portions of this movie that focus on Christensen's character, an opium-addicted medieval warrior, as "boring." How do you make a character like that boring? It seems impossible. A character like that should be a well of potential for any actor, right? Well, Christensen found a way to waste that potential. So his acting skills are actually kind of impressive—at least in the sense that he can make anything that should be interesting seem woefully dull. The only saving grace about this movie is that it features one of Nicolas Cage's classic over-the-top performances. Maybe Christensen should take a cue from Cage and take his acting skills down the "crazy" route. It couldn't hurt to try.

Jumper (2008)

Okay, so a lot of the problems with Jumper, in particular the lack of any likable characters and an incoherent plot, aren't really Christensen's fault. Those lie with the movie's director, Doug Liman. He had control of the movie and the direction it went in. It's not Christensen's fault that the character he plays, David, is an unlikable d-bag. He simply followed the director's instructions and what the script allowed him to do. But still, when the only time you portray a character convincingly is when you play an unlikable person, it doesn't say much for you as a person or an actor. It's not really the authenticity you want to go for.

Awake (2007)

How bad of an actor is Hayden Christensen? In Awake, he plays a man undergoing surgery for the movie's 84 minute runtime. This means that Christensen is essentially unconscious for the duration of the movie. He just has to lay there, and he still does a bad job with it. How bad of a job does he do? He's so bad that he earned a Razzie nomination, or at least he earned half a nomination, for his work in this movie. The other half of the nomination, which was for Worst Screen Couple, went to Jessica Alba. An actor who can screw up lying down really has no business going anywhere near the Star Wars franchise. Or at least going anywhere near it again...

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Really the biggest reason Hayden Christensen returning to Star Wars is a bad idea is because he's already left his mark on it, twice. The first time he did it was with Attack of the Clones. His performance in this movie is pretty much flat all the way through. Even his temper tantrum, when he screeches the infamous lines, "He's holding me back!", can't be believed, in that we don't believe he's actually upset. And his lightsaber fight with Count Dooku at the end—well let's just say that when Yoda comes in to save the day, he saves the day in more than one sense. Now, in Christensen's defense, this is pretty much his first big role in a movie, so in a sense, he isn't the most seasoned actor here. And plenty of blame lies with George Lucas for hiring him in the first place. However, the same can't be said for his performance in the next Star Wars movie.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

While Hayden Christensen was a relatively new actor when he appeared in Attack of the Clones, he isn't so in Revenge of the Sith. And he doesn't show too much growth as an actor since then. Again, there's very little to believe in his performance, not even when he's supposed to be writhing in agony after having his arm and legs cut off and being burned alive by lava. It's more like he's just going through the motions. It's no surprise he was nominated for another Razzie for it. And the strange thing is, he made a movie between his two Star Wars appearances, Shattered Glass. Even stranger, he won an award for his acting in it! It really makes no sense. Maybe it's better for his career if he just stays away from Star Wars altogether. Fans would probably appreciate such a gesture.