Fans Flip for ‘Ahsoka’ Episode 5 and Hayden Christensen’s Lightsaber Duel

Hayden Christensen's much-hyped return as Anakin Skywalker in episode five of Ahsoka thrilled fans. Christensen appeared at the end of last week's episode, “Fallen Jedi,” but had much more screen time in episode five, “Shadow Warrior.”

(Spoiler alert: the following contains plot details about Ahsoka episode five, “Shadow Warrior.”)

In the latest episode, Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) reunites with Anakin in the World Between Worlds and master and padawan engage in a lightsaber duel. Anakin tells Ahsoka “I'm here to finish your training” and says, “Live… or die.” The sequence features a flashback to the Clone Wars, when Ahsoka was a young pupil and Anakin her teacher. Then it's back to the lightsaber duel, during which Anakin becomes increasingly menacing and flashes of him as Darth Vader happen during the intense “training” session. Ahsoka eventually gets the upper hand and holds a lightsaber to Anakin's throat, saying, “I choose to live.” With that, Anakin's face becomes friendly again, Darth Vader stops flashing on-screen, and after saying, “There's hope for you yet,” he disappears.

Ahsoka Episode Five Is Hayden Christensen's Best Appearance Yet As Anakin on Disney+

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Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+.

In an interview with The Guardian in May 2022, Christensen talked about returning as Anakin in both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka. “It just seemed like a really exciting opportunity,” he said. “It was a no-brainer. In a heartbeat. When I got the call, I was instantly elated … I was just so excited to get to come back after all these years.” Christensen previously appeared as Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. George Lucas also added Christensen's Anakin as a Force ghost at the end of Return of the Jedi: Special Edition.

Dawson is the first female to topline a live-action Disney+ Star Wars show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she describes Ahsoka as a “lone wolf” and isn't ready to lay down her lightsaber after all eight episodes of Ahsoka season one air. “If more comes next, I'd be really excited and grateful,” says Dawson. “I feel like every time I get to step into her shoes, I learn more. I experience what I could never experience otherwise, and I feel like I keep getting better.”

Ahsoka episode five, “Shadow Warrior,” thrilled fans watching on Disney+ as well as in select theaters. Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

Episodes one to five of Ahsoka are available now on Disney+. Episode six premieres on the streaming provider on September 19.