Hayden Christensen Reveals He Came Up With The Idea Of Anakin Skywalker’s Sith Eyes

Manipulated by the evil Chancellor Palpatine and haunted by nightmares of Padmé Amidala’s death, Anakin Skywalker fell to the Dark Side in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith when he had to choose between aligning himself with the villain or saving Mace Windu. 

It was a tragic moment, but after giving in to his darker impulses and being named “Darth Vader,” Anakin soon gave in to the way of the Sith. He murdered Jedi Younglings and the people he called friends, attacked Padme, and battled Obi-Wan Kenobi in a duel which led to him becoming more machine than man.

After he fell to the Dark Side, Anakin’s eyes changed colour. Those “Sith Eyes” have since become an iconic part of the hero-turned-villain and actor Hayden Christensen opened up on that in an interview with Empire Online (via SFFGazette.com).

“That scene is the tipping point in Anakin’s fall to the dark side. He has Mace Windu and Darth Sidious, Jedi and Sith, both pleading his allegiance and he has to make a choice. When we were filming that scene, George spoke about how Anakin was conflicted but not yet corrupted, and that he still wanted to do the right thing.”

“It’s a hugely transitional scene for the character and one that sets the course for everything that follows. I remember in the weeks leading up to filming it, I was trying to figure out how to express his turn and acceptance of the anointment of Darth Vader. It needed an observable shift in character and this was actually the origin of George and I discussing giving Anakin Sith eyes.”

“Originally, there was no mention of it and George was initially against the idea when I brought it up. I loved the visual of Sith eyes and thought it could make sense: Darth Maul had them and Sidious has them. George responded saying that Count Dooku didn’t, and I thought that was the end of that. A few days later he came back to me and said he thought about it some more and now liked the idea of Sith eyes – but not for that scene.”

“I think that was because it would have misinformed things. Anakin’s fall to the dark side isn’t just about good and evil and ideological views; it’s also about timing and circumstance.”

Asked if Lucas was typically collaborative in that way on the set of the prequels, the actor added:

“George is a visionary and always knew exactly what he wanted, but when I had an idea he would always hear me out and consider it. When I had an instinct on set and wanted to try something different than what we were doing, he would always indulge me. I remember on several occasions explaining what I wanted to try and George would say, ‘Well I know when I get to the editing room and I’ve got your version and my version, I’m always going to use my version, but sure, let’s give it a try.’ And he was right, he always did use his version!”

Anakin’s Sith eyes came into play in Obi-Wan Kenobi when we got a glimpse beneath Darth Vader’s helmet. That proved to be one of the best moments in the Disney era of Star Wars storytelling and one which allowed Christensen – the “creator” of Anakin’s Sith eyes – the chance to shine. 

Do you think the Sith eyes were a good addition to Anakin’s appearance in Revenge of the Sith?