Hey Vanity Fair, Maybe It’s Fandom That Needs Hayden’s Forgiveness: Commentary

While I was away from a proper computer, Vanity Fair posted a piece on Hayden Christensen’s appearance at SWCO.  The clickbait link on social media was titled “It’s time for Star Wars fans to forgive Hayden Christensen” while the actual story was a hodgepodge of silly assumptions based on nothing.  Sure he had a jokey answer to his Star Wars Live interview question if he really disliked sand but so what?  It’s a big fat nothingburger as per usual with the fake news media.

And in any case, there’s nothing to forgive.  Christensen was hired to play a role and he did his job.  I loved his Anakin.  There was never any malintent on his part regardless of opinion of how he portrayed Anakin.  The really awful things done and said by internet bullies and the media on the other hand were based on nothing BUT malintent.  Their attitude was “it wasn’t done the way I wanted so I’m going to destroy this guy.”  The media, quick to label people failures and eager to ruin anything Lucas touched out of vendetta against the filmmaker, jumped right in.  Pathetically these jerks are still around.  They overshadowed and silenced fans who have always been on Team Hayden or at least didn’t hate him.  Those fans finally got to come out of the woodwork at SWCO, which I’m sure shocked the media.  Many of them have been fans for years while I’m sure there are others who have discovered the prequels in recent years and haven’t been affected by Hayden-bashing nerds.

If anything, fans should be asking his forgiveness.  Granted, he’s too nice, polite, and Canadian to hold a grudge or ask anything of fandom.  Regardless of slings and arrows, he’s never been anything but gracious.  I just think instead of saying, “Well he’s not a bad sort so let’s forgive him for a performance we didn’t like and for dialogue he didn’t write” we ought to be thinking, “Shame on us for being such a-holes.  Shame on us for a geek culture that’s mean, overwrought, and wrong about a lot of things.”  And especially shame on us for being far less Jedi-like than Anakin ever was.

It looks like Hayden had a great time at the convention; he probably had more fun than anyone else!  I hope his reception at SWCO will encourage him to appear at future cons and I hope the media takes notice and stops listening to the haters.

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38 Responses to “Hey Vanity Fair, Maybe It’s Fandom That Needs Hayden’s Forgiveness: Commentary”

  1. Pedro Felipe Says:

    That’s ridiculous, everyone knows how much I love the prequels and Hayden’s acting but that isn’t even the point here. The point here is that, even if the prequels were about Jar Jar Binks and Bugs Bunny finding Atlantis, the way the haters treated everyone involved with this films would be still wrong and despicable. This has NOTHING to do with the movies they like or not, what they’ve done clearly show they’re horrible people and typical of people who are on the wrong, dark side. George owned Star Wars, he was entitled to to whatever he pleased with his PROPERTY. He, the cast and the crew had absolutely no moral obligation to answer to “the fans”, as disney’s lucasfilm keeps putting it.”The fans” have been conditioned to think they deserve something or that they should have a say in things because they bought the merchandise and stuff. Let me give you simple lesson on how the market works: George owns Lucasfilm, if George wants profit, he will do something that he thinks the fans will like and buy (which he largely did, despite what you keep hearing from the haters), if he just doesn’t feel like it, that’s HIS problem, not yours, and you have no business in his decisions.

    • andywylde77 Says:

      Great post! One thing I always found funny is how people whine about Lucas selling toys. These idiots realize franchises were selling toys way before SW even hit the screens. Super hero toys like Superman and Batman were selling decades before SW. Star Trek and Planet of the Apes had toy lines as well.

      But it is only a problem when Lucas does it though. Any other franchise can sell toy out the wazoo and all is kosher. But Lucas is a demon for doing the same thing? And SW merchandise financial earnings were going towards Lucas’ films, companies etc. After he gained complete control of the franchise during the making of TESB, he didn’t have any financial backing from movie studios. Everything was on his dime. But lets not have facts get in the way of fanboy whining.

      And the fact that SW merchandise had such a huge demand, Lucas simply supplied that demand. What a bad guy he is for letting the fans have all the great SW merchandise that the whiners will even say that SW toys defined their childhood and were a big part of it. These nobodies will just live in La-La Land and pretend that Lucas’ sole purpose for everything he did was just to “sell more toys.”

  2. Moose Says:

    At the midnight showing of Ep. III, I sat next to a man who seemed like he grew up with the originals. He was quiet during the whole film but when the movie ended he booed at the screen. My first thought was “what is this guy talking about?” ROTS was such a powerful experience, what’s not to like? In truth I still do not really understand why a Star Wars fan would dislike the prequels. Maybe they are too grown-up/embarrassed to accept the fairy tale ethos of the films. It is my favorite aspect because it is eternal.

    Hayden’s portrayal of Anakin as a train-wreck waiting to happen was mesmerizing. You could not take your eyes off of him from the moment he started arguing with Obi-Wan on Padme’s couch.

    • joe Says:

      ironic if fans have a problem with the fairy tale ethos since fairy tales influenced lucas when he created star wars

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      So he paid money to sit through the third film of a trilogy he probably hated, just to boo out loud at the screen with nobody involved in creating the movie actually present. Totally normal behavior coming from a grown man.

      Totally the sort that the geek media should be siding with. A shining example of a true fan thst creators ought to be catering to.

    • LadyJediScientist (@LJediScientist) Says:

      I’m so sorry you had such a bad experience on opening night for ROTS. When I saw it for the first time during opening weekend, the entire audience clapped at the end. There wasn’t a displeased person in that theater. Anyone I talked to that summer had nothing bad to say about the film at all-nothing but praise.

    • lovelucas Says:

      I hope his was the only boo and that he felt embarrassed.

  3. Logan Says:

    Yeah, I’m getting tired of some of the things I’ve heard the media say, like when there was that article about female Star Wars characters that excluded Padme because “the force was not strong with the prequels.” Hayden, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, Lucas, and everyone who worked on the CGI on the films are owed an apology.

    • joe Says:

      what article was that?

    • joe Says:

      others who owe tha cast and crew of the prequels apologies channel awesome the defunct wizard company the defunct g4 network entertainment weakly simon pegg tv guide empire magazine screen rant cinemablend blastr cracked wil wheaton episode 1 cast members terence stamp and peter what’s his name (voice of darth maul and simon pegg’s buddy ) there are many others but i think that’s plenty sorry for the little rant may the force be with you

      • Pedro Felipe Says:

        Yeah, Prequel bashing from the own cast and crew is the worst. The thing is I loved Terrace Stamps performance as Chanceller Valurum. This behaviour is disgusting, thankfully this is not new and George was really good at having everyone involved do their best job even if they didn’t believe in what they were doing. For crying out loud most of the people working on A New Hope were laughting at him behind the scenes and saying how horrible it was. Unfortunately it is just a very common trait in humans beigns to engage in this sort of mockery and ingratefulness.

      • Phen Says:

        you’d think wil wheaton would have some empathy. He went through the same thing as Wesley

      • lovelucas Says:

        Simon Pegg is an ass so of course anyone who is his buddy will chime in with him. His criticism of the prequels explodes with ignorance…has not a clue about the real story.

  4. Bayonne VeterinaryMedical Says:

    I wonder how the “questionable” media will react when they see Hayden as Force Ghost Anakin in The Last Jedi, when and if that turns out to be true.

  5. Jim Raynor Says:

    Hayden played the part as written and intended, and he played it WELL.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much outright fanfiction persists about how “OT Anakin” was “supposed” to be. People refer back to Obi-Wan’s chat with Luke to argue that Hayden’s performance in the Prequels fell short of Anakin’s noble character. If you watch the actual scene, especially with hindsight from TESB and ROTJ, you’ll notice two things: That Obi-Wan was badly lying by omission in an effort to recruit Luke, and that all he talks about is Anakin’s SKILL and combat prowess. The idea that Anakin was this great, loveable stand up guy has no basis in the actual OT.

    Furthermore, Anakin’s awkwardness, anger, and “whininess” (funny way to dismiss a guy who grew up as a slave, was raised by emotionally repressed monks, and who lost both his mother and surrogate father) made perfect sense in the context of the films and as a prelude to his villainy as Darth Vader.

    I know some guys in real life with repressed upbringings and emotionally distant parents and Anakin reminds me of them. Repressed anger and difficulty with self expressing nis a real thing among male geeks and they really ought to be more aware of that.

    As for Darth Vader, he was a psychopath by then. The OT-only fandom sums him up as a “badass” which is such an immature and simplified description. Vader is fun to watch onscreen as an opposing force for the heroes, or as a vicarious power trip, but he would be the furthest thing from cool in real life. Prone to grandiose boasts and displays of power, with a short temper that makes him lash out at others around him. He was “emo” long before Kylo Ren ever existed. He just did a better job of masking it in a persona of authority. When the mask came off in ROTJ, the whole point was that he was a broken down and pathetic phony, hollowed out by his own hatred.

    But pre-armor Vader as played by Anakin couldn’t hide behind a mask, so of course he was too weak, whiny, and unmanly to play the Ultimate Alpha Male that Vader was “supposed” to be.

    Anakin/Hayden hate is rooted in such a lack of self-awareness and understanding of everything from the movies to human psychology.

    • joe Says:

      well said

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Exactly! Even as a 13-year-old, I’d noticed ROTJ revealed Vader as pathetic, conflicted and under the control of a warlock openly out to replace him with someone “far younger and more powerful.”

    • LG Says:

      Great post, both of false expectations of Anakin and of Vader. Vader is the most confounding false perception because by ROTJ, Vader is revealed to be a weak man. That’s what I like about him.

  6. Steven Farmer Says:

    I’ve been sitting on this observation for a while, but have you guys noticed just how much the outlook on the Prequels has changed? In the old days, during the Dark Times, the hateboys and bashers ripped the Prequels and George Lucas to shreds, sparing nothing in their insane hatred of these movies. But look at it now. The comment sections on articles are filled with Prequel lovers. There are more articles being written positively for 1-3 and George. Articles like this, annoying though it is, are proof that the winds of change are blowing. Lucasfilm has been forced to back off of the bashing of the Prequels (looking at you Gary Whitta and the entire TFA marketing campaign), and now the Clone Wars will be showing up in Battlefront, the emblem of the Jedi in 8, a possible Anakin force ghost. Even the bashers in the comment sections have limited themselves to criticism of the script and direction, and anything more than that is in danger of getting ripped apart by actual fans. The Prequel generation has finally grown up, and it’s fighting for the future of Star Wars.

    Unless I’m missing something, or am just too entirely optimistic, things are looking up guys. The reexamination of the PT, the exact same thing that happened to the OT, has begun.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I think you are right. I’ve noticed the same thing.

    • LG Says:

      Same. I expected this and for a short time, I thought maybe the tides wouldn’t turn, but I’m really glad my initial expectation was right.

    • jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

      “Big Geek” will never let the prequel hate die. It’s how they make their living. Once something is consensus in the media then it is considered fact. Truth be damned! The prequels and Michael Bay suck, and Ghostbusters (2016) was brilliant. If you don’t agree with that, then you’re just as bad as Hitler…according to them.

      Nice to see the Hay-man get some respect here and there, but nothing has really changed.

  7. lovelucas Says:

    While I wasn’t at Celebration I did watch the opening day showtime with George, Hayden, Harrison, Ian etc and I was totally thrilled at the respect and love shown to Hayden by George and Ian. I see a total transformation in George since he no longer has to please anyone….he flat out calls them out. Talked about “mean fans” and then wove that into what a terrific, sweet and classy guy Hayden is – Ian chimed in immediately. The crowd cheered during this entire session including a standing ovation for Hayden – we expect that for George but I nearly cried to see Hayden actually receiving something positive from the fans instead of all shit he’s had to take. He seemed much more relaxed and I loved seeing George calling some shots up there. Best thing I’ve heard/felt/read about in positive prequel fandom in…..jeez….ever?

  8. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t buy Jim Raynor’s description of Anakin. it sounds too simple to me. And I believe Anakin was a lot more complex than that.

    To me, Anakin represented all of the characters in the saga. In their own ways, they were filled with as much flaws as he was. Nor do I believe that he was simply a psychopath even at an early age. Everyone had the ability to become a monster. He was not alone. Everyone had something in their personality makeup that gave them the potential to come a monster. Only Anakin and Count Dooku were the only ones who completely became monsters. But some of the other characters came very close. I wonder if the idea that anyone can become a monster is something that a lot of people do not want to consider or accept.

    • Kim Says:

      I think Jim Raynor’s statement was that he was a psychopath once he became Darth Vader, not as a child or as a young adult until he turned. I also love Anakin’s complexity, and it makes the OT so much more interesting and emotionally satisfying when he chucks the Emperor over the side and has his moments with Luke. And Hayden did a great job!

    • jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

      All the prequel characters were flawed in some way. They all were unable to prevent the rise of Palpatine. They were either swayed by Palp, misjudged how dangerous he was, or didn’t see the danger until it was too late.

  9. andywylde77 Says:

    More lame ass articles from people that think their opinion matters more than others. More article authors speaking on behalf of the fans and dictating what fans should and shouldn’t do.

    These “fans” hat gave/give these actors for being in the PT hell won’t ever apologize for all the crappy behavior they exhibited all these years. And they shouldn’t even bother because it wouldn’t be sincere or authentic. Usually these idiots are just programmed by the media to be told what to like or dislike. Hate or love.

    These actors in the PT like any other movie series are just doing their job. But some folks have the tendency to put their opinion on a pedestal and think that if something they think sucks then it means that it sucks on every objective level. If an individual thinks that Hayden’s acting sucks, well so be it. That is their right. But they take that one step further and believe that their opinion on Hayden’s acting is is universal truth.

    In the SW fandom these types are running rampant and thinking they are hot **** for sharing an opinion of some non existent majority. If I was to take these people and their opinions seriously, hypothetically speaking of course, I would be under the belief that the sole existence for the new SW trilogy is to make up for the “failures” of the PT. This one always grinds my gears. What are these “failures” they speak of?

    The PT didn’t fail financially. Not by a long shot. The PT also brought in legions of new fans. And gave way to TCW series which is loved by many and is looked upon with the same level of love as the films. The PT home media formats sell like there is no tomorrow.

    So even with these few tid bits of information, where does the the failures come in? Oh, because an individual didn’t like them, then they must be failures at large and not in the eye of the individual. So basically to a person that thinks the PT was a massive failure it is Disney’s job to make up for those “failures?” The only failure I see here is the train of thought that these clowns actually think matters. There are too many sad people around that think their opinion is just as important as they think they themselves are.

    “Lucas forgot what made SW special when making the PT.”

    This is another petty statement made by these idiots. Disliking the movies isn’t enough for them. They need to place the blame on Lucas and anyone else involved with the PT. Because not liking the films can’t be the fault of the person not liking them but it must have to be Lucas not understanding SW or something. But have no fear clowns, you are getting the OT 2.0! All your whining has paid off in a big way. From what I have seen what makes SW special to these morons is latex rubber puppets, plastic trooper armor, death stars etc. You know important stuff!

    • joe Says:

      i hate to say it but i think star wars has one of the worst fandoms out there will all the mean-spirited negative hate over a few movies ? can you please rove me wrong about what i just said ? there are many fandoms that exhibit this behavior as well may the force be with you

      • andywylde77 Says:

        As far as fandoms go, they are all pretty much the same. But for SW, this one is held to higher standards for some reason. In the case of the PT here are things that are done in them that get heat that if done in other franchises get looked over.

        Like take Queen Amidala in TPM for instance. I have seen non stop whining about “how can you have a 14 year old queen?” Well in The Neverending Story Fantasia is ruled by a childlike empress. Never once have I seen this whined about. But in the SW universe it is an issue.

        Even when people whine about the Jedi not freeing slaves. Well if they paid attention they would have known that Tattooine isn’t under Republic jurisdiction and the Jedi being agents of the Republic and all. I mean there is actual slavery going on in modern day Earth. But yet the Jedi suck because they don’t stop slavery in a fictional world, but in real life not a problem.

        Now I know I went off on a little tangent here, but it was to illustrate how this particular fandom functions. I don’t think there are other fandoms that are this bad. They may have their issues but this one just has no limits on its hypocrisy and double standards that its members so often employ. I would also say that since SW is the probably the biggest fandom in the world, is a big reason there is so much exposure of it. Though the Star Trek and Lord of the Rings fandoms have had their moments when the Hobbit trilogy came out. That is looked at the same way the PT is to the SW universe. The new Trek films caused a divide between fans old and new. But to me SW is pretty much the worse of the bunch. Due to reasons like I stated in previous comments. When it comes to the PT no one can seem to just say they didn’t like the films because it didn’t appeal to them. They usually have to go into some hate filled tirade on why they are bad based on quasi conspiracy theories and mis-informed knowledge and just plain ignorance of the material they claim to hate.

        This is why I brought up the point of how some folks usually give some kind of apologetic disclaimer when they say something positive about the PT.

        “I know the PT sucks, but…”

        “Most fans hate the PT, but I happen to…”

        I personally never seen much of that in other fandoms but I see this non stop in this one. Like if someone likes something about the PT they feel the urge to kowtow to some imaginary authority because if they like anything about the PT then there must be something wrong with them or they are not “real” or “true” fans. So that really speaks volumes about how messed up this fandom is when loads of people have to apologize publicly about liking a fictional universe.

    • Moose Says:

      Imagine if George was the one who handed handed them Snoke and Maz.

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