Hayden Christensen (born April 19, 1981) is a Canadian actor most widely known for playing Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. He was born in Vancouver, Canada, and was raised in Toronto. He appeared in Canadian television programs when he was young, then diversified into American television in the late 1990s. He acquired his initial fame starring in Fox's Family Network TV series, Higher Ground (2000), showing off his acting talents as a teen who was sexually molested by his step-mom, then turning to drugs in his despair. However, it is undoubted that his fame has been fully cemented because of his role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga.
George Lucas chose Christensen over hundreds of other actors to play the coveted role of Anakin Skywalker based on the young actor's exceptional talent for scenes of anger, pivotal for the role of Skywalker.
Christensen had a small role in the 1998 film The Hairy Bird, opposite Monica Keena.
One change in the 2004 re-release of the Star Wars trilogy made Christensen one of the few actors who appears in both trilogies of the Star Wars saga. He replaced actor Sebastian Shaw in the final scene of the series as Anakin's Jedi spirit, alongside Yoda and Obi-Wan. The explanation from Lucas is that only the light Jedi get to exist after death; Anakin appeared to Luke like in Revenge of the Sith, before he definitely turned to the Dark side of the Force. Christensen's role in Return of the Jedi was uncredited. In a TV interview Hayden said that he was unaware of his digital insertion into this scene. This fact was predicted by some as it appears that his image is created from footage used in Episode 2.
In January 2005, Christensen was signed to play the lead in Uli Edel's adaptation of The Physician , based on Noah Gordon's European bestseller.