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Hayden Christensen has responded to criticism of his performance as a young Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel films.

The actor played Anakin as he transistioned to become the villainous Darth Vader in Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and will reprise the role in the new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

When the prequels were released, they received mixed reviews from fans and reviewers, with Christensen’s performance often singled out for criticism.

In a new interview with The Guardian, Christensen addressed the negative reception his portrayal had received at the time.

“I think it just goes back to the sort of ownership that people feel towards these characters,” he said. “It’s almost like public domain. These characters really do belong to everybody.”

However, Christensen said that he remained defiant in the face of criticism, suggesting that those who were unhappy simply didn’t “get it”.

“I guess the impression that I got from George Lucas was that if they don’t like them, then they don’t ‘get’ it – and that was good enough for me,” he said.

Hayden Christensen played Anakin in the polarising Star Wars prequels

(Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)

The actor also addressed criticisms of the dialogue in the prequels, adding: “George Lucas creates such a unique world where everything is so specific, from the way these characters look and the way that they talk, and I feel like sometimes people lose sight of that and they expect them to speak the same way that we speak – and that’s not what we were going for.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on Disney+ on Friday 27 May.