Ahsoka’s Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen Are Glad People Love the Prequels Now

Rosario Dawson and Hayden Christensen met long before they crossed paths in Star Wars; though their careers have been mostly divergent (her breakout was 1995’s Kids; his was 2002’s Attack of the Clones), they attended the same NYC drama school as teens. Now both associated with major roles in Star Wars and have shared the screen in Ahsoka, they keep drawing on that long friendship.

In fact, it’s their shared history—and the movie awards-show photos that captured it over the years—that helped convince Ahsoka creator Dave Filoni to cast Dawson as the live-action take on his animated Clone Wars and Rebels heroine in the first place, especially since Ahsoka and Anakin have their own shared history. “One of the more infamous photos of us was at the [2004’s] Independent Spirit Awards here in LA. There’s a picture of us embracing, and we presented on stage together,” Dawson said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “And that was actually one of the photos that Dave saw when he first imagined potentially casting me [as Ahsoka] … So to see us young together and really have this strange, weird, magical, connective, fortuitous history and connection to all of it, it’s definitely something that the fans have been very excited about. Who could have ever imagined this? You can’t make this stuff up. You can’t write it.”

As Dawson suggests, she and Christensen are aware of what Star Wars fans hope for (and sometimes, demand from) the franchise. But they’ve been in Hollywood long enough to see first-hand that tastes can shift. Take the prequel films Christensen starred in, for instance; though they raked in cash at the box office, they were famously met with mixed reactions from both critics and diehard Star Wars fans at the time. That’s shifted in the decades since the prequels hit theaters in 1999, 2002, and 2005, with the goodwill now so effusive that Christensen recently reprised his character in Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka.

“My experience with Star Wars has always been a positive one,” Christensen told THR. “The critics certainly took their aim at those films during the prequel days, but I always felt the support from the fans. So it’s been really nice to get to come back now and be a part of this franchise, and continue with the character and also enjoy the reception that those films have now.”

Added Dawson, “I like to say that [Hayden’s] got the high ground now”—referencing, of course, Anakin’s climactic brawl with Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith. When asked what advice he’d give to the actors entering the realm of Star Wars for the first time as part of new Disney+ series The Acolyte, Christensen sounded grateful to still be a part of it himself. “Just have fun with it, because it is such a unique experience,” he said. “It’s such a special world to be a part of, so relish every moment.”

Read the full interview with Dawson and Christensen at the Hollywood Reporter.

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