Ever since its conclusion, the #StarWars prequel trilogy has been the subject of criticism and mockery. Chief among the jokes aimed at the many flaws of the second Star Wars trilogy is the revelation that the future Darth Vader, #AnakinSkywalker (Hayden Christensen), really hates sand.
"I don't like sand. It's coarse, and rough, and irritating - and it gets everywhere."
This realization became known as one of the worst lines of the prequel trilogy, but years after the infamous line was uttered in Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, Anakin Skywalker has finally expressed his feelings about the fandom's in-joke.
The Chosen One Returns: Hayden Christensen At Star Wars Celebration 2017
Hayden Christensen joined the cast of the Star Wars saga to meet and greet the fans in the recently concluded 40th #StarWarsCelebration in Orlando . His appearance was a pleasant surprise, as the last time he attended a major Star Wars event was more than 15 years ago.
During his panel, he was asked about his time working on the prequels as the Jedi who would later become #DarthVader. Given the infamy of Christensen's melodramatic character and his outspoken disdain for Anakin, it was inevitable that his interviewer, Andi Gutierrez of The Star Wars Show, would ask about his true feelings about his character's most hated enemy: sand.
Christensen took the joke in stride, revealing his tough love for the substance and his empathy for Anakin's frustration. He may not hate it with the fiery anger of a Jedi whose powers were underestimated by Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi, but don't expect him to sing its praises.
It's not very smooth, it doesn't really stay in one place, so I'm not such a big fan of it myself. Although, if it leads to the water, I can tolerate. But Anakin came from a desert planet so I understood his contempt for it.
Watch the full interview with Hayden Christensen below.
But Christensen's jokes about the famous line didn't end there.
After the panel, a fan by the name of Spike Springe asked the actor to sign a jar of sand. Springe, who makes a living as a costume designer, admits that he's relatively new to the Star Wars fandom, but he loves the character arc of Anakin Skywalker.
Check out Springe's unique jar of dirt below.
Springe's described Christensen as a "super nice... really nice guy", who was more than just a good sport about his hilariously cheesy dialogue. Springe has no plans to sell the jar, proudly proclaiming that it will sit in his personal mantel, where it will stay as "a living meme" in his house.
These hilarious moments between Star Wars stars and fans are great to see, and it's even better to see Hayden reconnecting with the fandom.
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Life After Star Wars: Dealing With The Prequel Trilogy's Poor Reception
After finishing Anakin Skywalker's turn to the dark side, Christensen dropped out of the spotlight and concentrated on smaller but better received projects.
As he told Yahoo!, he felt that the popularity that would come with playing Anakin felt like it was handed to him. Not wanting to get a free pass, he preferred to do things his own way and earn it through hard work - even if it meant potentially damaging his future as an actor.
His choice to drop out of mainstream acting was also due in part to the backlash his character received from hardcore Star Wars purists, who felt that his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker insulted Darth Vader's legacy. While some criticism is not unfounded, most of the hate Christensen received was unwarranted and excessive.
This sadly mirrors the fate of Jake Lloyd, the then-child actor who played Anakin in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Lloyd became the target of bullying and torment, leading to a troubled childhood and a long bout with mental illnesses.
Lloyd is currently under the care of a psychiatric facility after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
More than a decade has passed since the prequel trilogy ended, and it seems that the scars inflicted on both fans and filmmakers alike by the films are finally healing. Proof of this is not only Christensen's surprise appearance in the Star Wars Celebration or signing a jar that ridiculed his Star Wars role, but the enthusiastic welcome he got from an excited audience.
By all accounts, Hayden Christensen could have ended up as an another black mark for the near-fanatical Star Wars fanbase. Thankfully, both he and the fans have came out better than expected, and now they can look back at Christensen's biggest and most polarizing role with fondness rather than contempt.
The same still can't be said for sand, however.
Watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi below.
[Source: Vanity Fair]
What are your feelings about sand? Share your thoughts in the comments below.