General News

All-Out Anakin Attack!

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Aug 15, 2001 | 9:04am EDT

One minute you're a nondescript nobody; the minute after that, you're the next Anakin Skywalker. And the minute after that one, you're Topic No. 1 for geekazoid fan boys everywhere. Hayden Christensen -- the same nobody who last week was rumored to be George Lucas' pick to play the pubescent Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode II" -- is indeed going to do just that, according to the whole wide world with the exception of, hmmm, Lucasfilm and the actor's reps.

Despite all the official hush-hush, the Christensen appointment is viewed as a done deal. And obsessive-compulsive Jedi fans are furiously typing out their reactions on various Hayden Christensen and "Star Wars"-related Internet news groups and Web sites. Here's a sampling of what they're saying:

The supportive: "Hayden is in final negotiations to play Anakin Skywalker in the next 'Star Wars' installment. I have to say good choice!"

The inquisitive: "Question: Do you really believe this 'Hayden' person is capable of pulling off a part like that? I've never heard of him, and granted, that may be the point (fresh new face-not a real tean [sic] idol), but he has a pretty face and I can't see a pretty-boy playing someone dark and evil. It won't hook me...."

The embittered: "This guy sucks. Leo [DiCaprio] should have been cast as Anakin, long live leo [sic] the real Anakin Skywalker."

And the skeptical: "This guy looks nothing like Jack Lloyd [in 'Episode I']. I hope he can act. PS If this is true Lucas has lost it."

Natalie Portman The word is Christensen inked the deal for the role last Thursday, the very day his rumored appointment was brought to light by Daily Variety columnist Michael Fleming. Further word is that the Christensen confirmation is being kept under wraps by the Lucas folks until a full-scale P.R. assault (including a Time magazine cover spread) can be launched. (No word from Time yet on the reputed in-the-works piece.) The 19-year-old Christensen is heretofore best known (if he is best known) for playing the resident bad boy with a penchant for drugs and petty crimes in the Fox Family Channel series "Higher Ground." Apparently, Lucas became aware of the actor's hitherto non-existence through a screener tape of the show sent by the actor's rep a few weeks back. And the decision reportedly was finalized after Christensen nailed the now-legendary digital screen test opposite "Episode II" leading lady Natalie Portman last month.

In anticipation of a surge of sudden interests in everything Hayden Christensen, we've scoured the Internet Movie Database (www.us.imdb.com) and excavated the actor's working history:

"Trapped in a Purple Haze" (2000) (TV) -- Orin Krieg "Higher Ground" (2000) (TV Series) -- Scott Barringer "Freefall" (1999) (TV) -- Patrick "No Greater Love" (1996) (TV) -- Teddy Winfield "Harrison Bergeron" (1995) (TV) -- Eric "In the Mouth of Madness" (1995) -- Paper Boy "Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story" (1995) (TV) -- Fletcher #2 "Street Law" (1995) -- Young John Ryan "Macht der Leidenschaft" (or "Family Passions") (1994) (TV Series) -- Skip McDeere

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