There have been plenty of times when cancelled public appearances signaled an actor’s participation in filming. That turned out to be the case when Billy Dee Williams cancelled an appearance in Saskatchewan last July. Lucasfilm confirmed his casting in Star Wars: Episode IX shortly thereafter. Well, fire up the ol’ rumor mill. It seems Hayden Christensen was ready to appear at FanX in Salt Lake City…. Only to have his panel cancelled at the last minute. Does that signal his return for The Rise of Skywalker?

The Anakin Skywalker actor was slated to appear at FanX together with Ian McDiarmid. McDiarmid, of course, portrays Emperor Palpatine. His return to Star Wars has already been confirmed. To the contrary, there’s been nothing but rumor about Christensen thus far. The two actors, however, do seem to have been rather chummy lately. tells us the pair even appeared together at a children’s hospital on Friday. Granted, this isn’t the first time Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid have shared the spotlight. They were together for Star Wars Celebration in 2017, for example. But when their FanX appearance got cancelled under suspect circumstances….

Is Hayden Christensen returning for The Rise of Skywalker?

Hayden Christensen; Ian McDiarmid; FanX appearance cancelled
Hayden Christensen and Ian MacDiarmid appear together at Star Wars Celebration 2017. (Image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

The rumor is that Disney stepped in to ensure that the FanX panel would not proceed for fear of spoilers. Now, McDiarmid is a pretty tight-lipped individual. There was no confirmation of his character’s return until his surprise appearance at Celebration this past April. So is Disney worried about Hayden Christensen spilling the beans about his rumored appearance?

Probably not…. We think it has less to with the actor than it does the timing. Don’t forget, rumors of Hayden Christensen returning started churning back in October of last year. It was then that the Golden Globe-nominated actor began really speaking about Star Wars again in earnest. Just recently he even reunited with the actor who played *that* youngling that Anakin murdered in Revenge of the Sith. Now, The Rise of Skywalker is just three and a half months away. It wouldn’t be surprising if Disney is simply clamping down on any possibility for spoilers.

Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen appears as Anakin Skywalker in Force ghost form in Special Edition of Return of the Jedi. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

If Hayden Christensen returns for the final film of the Skywalker saga, it certainly wouldn’t be shocking. J.J. Abrams has already confirmed that the film will tie the entire nine-episode saga together. With Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader featuring so prominently thus far, the real surprise would be if Anakin doesn’t appear somehow.

We’ll find out soon enough. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters December 20.