Hayden Christensen Applauds Young Leia Actress for Channeling Carrie Fisher and Natalie Portman

Princess Leia's role in Obi-Wan Kenobi came as a surprise to many, including star Hayden Christensen. He told E! News how he felt about seeing the character brought to life in a new way.

By Paige Strout Jun 22, 2022 6:02 PMTags
Watch: Hayden Christensen Is Thrilled to See Young Leia in Obi-Wan Kenobi

The force is strong with actress Vivien Lyra Blair.

The Mandalorian gave fans the adorable Baby Yoda (ahem, Grogu), and the new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi introduced fans to a younger (and just as sassy) Princess Leia. Vivien—best known from Netflix's hit film Bird Box—captured the essence of the role's originator, Carrie Fisher, and nobody was more impressed than her onscreen father, Hayden Christensen.

"I was just thrilled at seeing young Leia in this story and how's she's represented," the actor said on the latest episode of E! News' digital series While You Were Streaming. "I think they really imbued the character with all the qualities that make that character great. And young Vivien has done such a great job of bringing her to life."

The character's original actress—who died in 2016—wasn't the only Star Wars woman Hayden saw in Vivien's performance. He told E! News that "part of the fun" of watching young Leia was "getting those little glimpses of Padme [Natalie Portman], which I do get."

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Star Wars Easter Eggs

Not only did the series mark the first time fans got a look at the early days of Leia and Luke Skywalker (played in the series by Grant Feely), but it also marked Hayden and Ewan McGregor's return to the franchise, 17 years after Revenge of the Sith.

Suiting up as Darth Vader again came with some big challenges, including not overheating in the suit. "It's a very hot costume and you sweat profusely all day long," said Hayden. "You end up losing a lot of weight just because you're sweating so much."

The trick to staying cool? "They made this undergarment that had tubes of cooling liquid," he shared. "When you weren't filming, you'd get plugged into this device that would re-circulate the cooling liquid and it would cool your body down, which definitely, definitely helped."

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

When he wasn't sweating away in his character's iconic costume, Hayden told E! News that he and the rest of the cast would practice their light saber skills. And practice certainly made perfect, as Ewan managed to master one of Hayden's signature moves from the prequel films.

"Hayden developed one which is a spin behind the back and then in front. If you saw it, you'd recognize it," Ewan told E! News, but Hayden confessed the trick wasn't his to take credit for.

"That was a move that I remember seeing one of the stunt performers practicing when we were doing the prequels," Hayden explained, "and I just thought it looked really cool. And so, that was sort of one that I took a liking to."

A Who's Who Guide to Obi-Wan Kenobi's Characters

Check out the full episode above, and be sure to follow E! News on Twitter to catch new episodes of While You Were Streaming every week.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+.

Watch the latest episode of E!'s While You Were Streaming Friday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. PT on Twitter @enews.