'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Actor Matt Lanter Confirms Return
Lucasfilm and Disney have been crafting the next wave of Star Wars television and film beyond the Sequel Trilogy, which concluded on a disappointing note of Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019). As their new slate currently takes a stronghold over Disney+, Star Wars alums rejoin the franchise for their latest era.
It's been confirmed that actor Hayden Christensen will reprise his role of Anakin "Darth Vader" Skywalker for the Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) series, reuniting with actor Ewan McGregor as the titular Jedi Master. However, Skywalker's return won't be limited to a live-action reprise.
"You'll see Anakin again," Skywalker voice actor Matt Lanter said to EW. Lanter voiced Skywalker in all seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series that ran from 2008 to 2020, following the Jedi Knights leading the Grand Army of the Republic against the Separatists' droid army.
"There's some new Lucasfilm Animation going on. I've been a part of some things I can't talk about yet. You'll see Anakin again," Lanter promises. "I never quite put Anakin down, whether I'm doing a video game or something new for Lucasfilm Animation."
With Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021-) on its way, it's safe to predict that Lanter will make some sort of cameo within the series, as The Bad Batch is a direct spin-off of The Clone Wars. Focusing on Clone Order 99, a number of canonical characters will feature themselves within the show, including actress Ming-Na Wen's Fennec Shand, who made their first appearance in The Mandalorian (2019-).
"[The series finale] didn't come as much of a shock as that first time because that first time we felt like we didn't get to finish," Lanter said about The Clone Wars' conclusion. "Now, we properly got to finish. We got to send off the show in an emotional way in the way that Dave [Filoni] wanted to send it off. I actually think it was really cool that it premiered when everyone's spirits were down [because of the pandemic]. For Star Wars fans, it was exciting to have something new. I think it lifted everyone up a bit."
ScreenRant notes that Lanter notes that he uses plurals when addressing his return to his character, reporting that "the way he spoke about how he had been a part of, "some things." indicates that his Anakin will be heard in more than one project."
Lucasfilm has yet to comment on Lanter's return, though it seems that he's confirmed the news for himself without letting his next projects slip. Star Wars: The Bad Batch premieres on Disney+ on May 4, 2021, and Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett arrives on the same streaming platform in late 2021.