A familiar face has returned to a galaxy far, far away.
After months of speculation, Hayden Christensen finally popped up on Ahsoka, reprising his role as everyone's favorite podracer-turned-Jedi-turned-interstellar-dictator. Christensen's Anakin Skywalker made a surprise return in episodes 4 and 5, reuniting with his former Jedi apprentice Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson).
Now Disney is sharing a behind-the-scenes look at Christensen's return. In a featurette recorded before the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Ahsoka series creator Dave Filoni explains why he wanted to resurrect the man who would become Darth Vader for a climactic conversation between Master and Padawan.
"You know, as I was figuring out the story for Ahsoka, I just really thought, 'Well, there's an opportunity,'" Filoni says in the video. "'I could bring Anakin and Ahsoka together.' It's just awesome."
Off screen, Christensen and Dawson have a long history: Not only did they star together in 2003's Shattered Glass, but Dawson explains that they've known each other for decades, bringing real-life emotion to their onscreen reunion. (The pair can be seen rehearsing and filming their big lightsaber battle, high-fiving afterward.)
"I met Hayden when I was 16," Dawson says. "We were in an acting school together over a summer. To have that kind of history with him, it really was like seeing my old friend."
Disney+ Hayden Christensen on 'Ahsoka'
Ahsoka isn't Christensen's first time revisiting Anakin: The actor reunited with his prequel costar Ewan McGregor in last year's Obi-Wan Kenobi, playing Vader and also appearing in a flashback as a younger Anakin. But Ahsoka might be his meatiest Star Wars role since 2005's Revenge of the Sith, following Anakin as he teaches his former Padawan one last lesson in the ethereal Force dimension known as the World Between Worlds.
"Putting on the Anakin costume, getting to wear those Jedi robes, it kind of blows your mind every time," Christensen says. "I just feel very grateful."
Ahsoka airs Tuesdays on Disney+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
To hear exclusive interviews with the Ahsoka cast, as well as full episode recaps, listen to EW's Dagobah Dispatch podcast.