PT Is Hayden's Anakin iconic?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by LordThanatos, Dec 15, 2013.


Is Hayden's Anakin iconic?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. LordThanatos

    LordThanatos Jedi Padawan star 1

    May 18, 2013
    Do you consider the Anakin portrayed by Hayden Christensen as iconic? I'm really interested in hearing what people here think! Please vote and discuss!

  2. windu4

    windu4 Jedi Master star 4

    May 15, 2008
    I wouldn't say he's iconic. Infamous, maybe.
    starwarsjunkie7 and Carbon1985 like this.
  3. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    Not really. I can name a lot of people in Star Wars more iconic that Hayden's Anakin.
    The Hellhammer and Carbon1985 like this.
  4. Han Burgundy

    Han Burgundy Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 28, 2013
    Good? In my opinion, yes. Iconic? Absolutely not.

    Had AOTC and ROTS culturally "taken off" in the way the originals had, I would be giving a different answer. But those films simply didn't have the the level of cultural penetration to warrant any characters "iconic" status. As it is, Hayden is (unfairly) remembered by most to have given a subpar performance.

    If there's any character from the PT I'd say qualifies as iconic, it's Jar Jar. For better or worse, he's become an "icon" of overuse of CGI and improper use of comic relief (not my words, the internets).
  5. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    Vader, yes. Anakin, no.
  6. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    I think Hayden's Anakin is totally iconic.

    So much so, in fact, that I think it's tantamount to blasphemy to act like those names are separate entities.

    There is no Hayden's Anakin, in other words... there is just Anakin.

    Really, when I think of Anakin, I think immediately of, well... Anakin. Hayden is such a part and parcel of that role, to me, that his image immediately flashes in my mind when I so much as hear the name "Anakin". The character is not just some abstraction with a name. I mean, it's Anakin, dude. ANAKIN!

    Hayden totally embodies that role to me, especially in AOTC, somehow. I mean, I don't think there's a bum note in the whole piece, and I immediately latch onto this guy's energy -- his aura, if you will -- in the opening night-time piece: in Padme's apartment and during the whole speeder-assassin chase.

    There are some very clever subtleties in his performance, too. I especially like the way he portrays Anakin's nervousness and sultry, bossy attitude, as well as his sense of hot doom, in those early scenes. Watch how he shakes his leg, for example, when he openly admits to Obi-Wan that Padme covered the cameras and he doesn't think she liked him watching her. Or the lip-biting that occurs later on the refugee ship. Or the fine, fine way he looks at Padme in that "hero" shot, as I like to call it, when he says, "Sometimes, we must let go of our pride and do what is requested of us". Or the way he's up in her face, all repressed bravado, a few moments later. "Why not?" Other people hate that moment, but I LOVE IT!!! The guy is a sensation.

    I still like him in ROTS, a lot, although he's noticeably more morose there, but also conveys a lot of subtle, new-found assuredness in his dealings with Grievous, say, or the poignant moment before he snaps at the Jedi Council -- "I understand" -- and starts to get eaten away by fresh doubts and anxieties. It's quite a layered performance, particularly when you see there is some inherent awkwardness to Anakin: a delicate sense of never quite belonging in the lofty world of a gleaming city planet, robed politicians, and even the dignified, old-world quality that his wife remains redolent of. This delicacy is brought out in lots of discreet gestures, little eye timings, a moody slump of the shoulder, and so forth. It's not a "show-y" performance, but it's a pretty atmospheric one, and I think that's the difference... that ineffable something which means people are more likely to criticize after the fact than they are compelled to understand or praise.

    What else can I say? I really dig the guy and consider Hayden a gem of a casting choice.
    Mata2010, MiWa, rways and 16 others like this.
  7. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2012
    Opinions aside, there pretty much just was only one Anakin, like Cryogenic said. As much as I enjoyed the movie, I don't think Jake Lloyd's Anakin was remembered as much, though I think Christensen's portrayal in Revenge of the Sith was what worked the best for the character and the audience. Him during the Battle Over Coruscant and in the Invisible Hand were some of my favorite scenes for Anakin - they really showed the loyal and powerful Jedi described by Obi-Wan in A New Hope.
  8. Barbecue17

    Barbecue17 Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 11, 2013
    Of course. Who would have ever expected Vader to really be that guy?

    Oh, wait. Iconic. I thought you typed ironic. ;)
  9. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008
    It depends on the individual who has seen the movie. For me, Christensen is as much Anakin/Vader as David Prowse in the suit. Actually, a lot more.
  10. V-2

    V-2 Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 10, 2012
    If it's iconic or not depends what you mean by icon. If you mean flat wooden panel painting, then yes.
  11. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 26, 2013
    To me he is. I grew up watching the Prequels, I can't imagine anyone else in the role. I think Hayden is really underrated, especially in ROTS.

    To the mass public, probably not though.
  12. windu4

    windu4 Jedi Master star 4

    May 15, 2008
    I feel like having to ask if he's iconic also gives you the answer to your question.
  13. KED12345

    KED12345 Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 10, 2012
    "Iconic" in the fact that he's the only portrayal of Anakin Skywalker that pops into my mind when I hear the characters name.
  14. Big_Benn_Klingon

    Big_Benn_Klingon Jedi Master star 3

    Nov 14, 2013
    The fact that the majority of humans under 25 (and many over) in the English speaking could identify the character (as played by hayden) on sight, is pretty much the definition of iconic.
  15. Aaronaman

    Aaronaman Jedi Knight star 4

    Mar 12, 2013
    Without a shadow of a doubt Hayden Christensen's portrayal of Anakin Skywalker has evolved into an iconic role....the transformation he under takes through AOTC and ROTS is fantastic. His line 'You under estimate my power' is IMO the line of the movie.

    When 99% of people think of Anakin they think of Hayden....thats iconic in my book.
  16. LordThanatos

    LordThanatos Jedi Padawan star 1

    May 18, 2013
    The reason why I ask because I've heard many PT bashers say he's not iconic. It seems to me if you hate the prequels then you're gonna have a negative opinion about everything or most relating to the PT. It's like the criticism of Hayden in the end of ROTJ. Most opinions about that originates from your opinion of the PT. That's why I asked here to get the opinions of fans as well.

    To me it's just obvious that Hayden's Anakin is iconic. He is Anakin Skywalker. The main character of the SW saga.

    Well said.
  17. Samnz

    Samnz Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 4, 2012
    It depends. I wouldn't say most people (at least in my country) would recognize Hayden as Anakin when they saw him (privately). But that probably wouldn't be the case for any human character. The most famous and iconic Star Wars characters use to be aliens/maschines: Vader, Yoda, 3PO, R2, Jar Jar...

    What makes Hayden's Anakin iconic to me, personally, is how unafraid both Christensen and Lucas portrayed him. Anakin - sometimes - is painful to watch. Life is pain and joy and if we are lucky, we manage to balance them. Anakin had a lot of pain in his life and the unfortunate tendency to turn joy into pain as well :)
    He was so not cool (in a "tradional" sense) and unconventional (for summer blockbusters) and I always appreciated that (especially because he's the precursor of Darth Vader).
  18. windu4

    windu4 Jedi Master star 4

    May 15, 2008
    You know whose iconic? James Earl Jones, David Prowse and Sebastian Shaw. They are/were all talented actors who brought different elements to Darth Vader.

    Hayden literally reached the bare minimum requirements it takes to make an Anakin Skywalker. A bland, white and stereotypical action hero who is defined by his future role instead of the actual role that Hayden himself played. There was really no subtlety to Anakin nor did he really do anything truly interesting. I mean, the most recognizable scenes from Hayden involve him whining about Tuskens, killing younglings, and participating in a lightsaber duel that virtually any actor in their 20s or 30s could pull off with ease. Honestly, what has Hayden ever done to be considered iconic other than hammy acting? I'm not saying it's his fault but still. The fact that he's recognized for terribly acted scenes in a trilogy of movies that is widely criticized and considered vastly inferior to the originals points to infamy instead of being an icon.

    The sheer effort, blood, sweat and tears that it took to make Darth Vader simply doesn't reflect with the PT's Anakin Skywalker. (Obi-Wan, maybe). To be an icon you actually have to be respected and have talent. Hayden never really showed either of these traits.

    It'd be alot easier to justify Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan for being iconic since he arguably had the acting skill to match Alec Guiness. However, this is also hard to justify because Obi-Wan's character in the PT suffers from the same weaknesses as most of the other characters.
    jedi_samuel likes this.
  19. Carbon1985

    Carbon1985 Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 23, 2013
    Iconic is something that permeates to pop culture where a casual fan will understand the importance of the character. Marlon Brando in The Godfather is iconic, Sylvester Stallone in Rocky is iconic, Christopher Reeve as Superman is iconic, even Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future is iconic. Hayden's Anakin is not iconic because that character only permeates with Star Wars fans. You don't have to be a big fan of the movies I named above to know those characters.
  20. windu4

    windu4 Jedi Master star 4

    May 15, 2008
    We also live in a society that is oversaturated with pop culture because the internet. It's pretty difficult to create an iconic character because we've seen it all before.
    Firmus Jagdon likes this.
  21. anakincol

    anakincol Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 28, 2009
    if anything Matt Lanters performace in the cartoon is more iconic. He got to be the Anakin we wanted to see, you know the great warrior that was obi-wan's good friend
    Darthmaul208 and Force Smuggler like this.
  22. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    I was just about to say that.
    AnakinColodin likes this.
  23. anakincol

    anakincol Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 28, 2009
    Good ROTS quote.

    Lanter also got to Play the character Longer than Shaw, Jones, Prowse, and Christensen. He got to really sink his teeth into the character voicing him for 5 years and he also had the advantage of being the last to play Anakin.
  24. Zinnzade

    Zinnzade Jedi Knight star 1

    Dec 6, 2013
    For me it is.. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. Although, it was cool when he won that MTV award for Best Villian :)

    I think Hayden's portrayal is a reflection of the difficult personal things he was going through in his life when we see him in the movies - versus Matt Lanter's where most of what's going on has him pulled deep into the war, in a different way. I also think the 2 actor's received different direction on where to go with their performances (based on what I've heard of hints from Hayden in interviews).
  25. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    Fixed. Also can't forget this little gem.
    Darkslayer likes this.