Hayden Christensen is getting some love from Star Wars fans.
On Sunday, Christensen — who famously portrayed pivotal Star Wars character Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader in 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith — appeared at Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London.
At the event, the 41-year-old actor said he felt “emotional” as a significant crowd of fans applauded his appearance at the convention centered around the space opera franchise created by George Lucas in the 1970s.
“You’re making me emotional,” Christensen told a live audience at the beginning of his appearance, a clip from his live streamed appearance shared on Twitter shows.
“Thank you so much,” Christensen added, after the host interviewing him said: “There isn’t a single bit of it that isn’t deserved.”
Christensen took his role as Anakin in his early 20s and infamously received the blunt end of negative reviews surrounding Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy, alongside actors like Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks) and Jake Lloyd, who portrayed Anakin as a child in 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
Now more than two decades since the prequel movies released, Christensen and Best are among actors who have made triumphant returns to the franchise via its Disney+ television content. Christensen reprised his role as Darth Vader while acting alongside Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, while Best recently made a cameo as a new character in The Mandalorian.
“For me, the experience of working on the prequels was amazing,” Christensen told PEOPLE about his relationship with the franchise in June 2022.
“My relationship with Star Wars is I guess, ever-evolving,” he said at the time. “I’m just in a really good place with it right now and just really grateful for all of this.”
Christensen said at the time that his daughter, Briar Rose, who he shares with ex Rachel Bilson, is “certainly curious” about the movies.
“I haven’t showed her the films yet, but she understands what a lightsaber is,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “There are these things that permeate our culture in a way that you don’t even need to know the stories and still, Star Wars will resonate with you. It’s remarkable.”
The actor is not fully done with the franchise, either; back in 2021, Christensen signed on to play Darth Vader once more in the upcoming Disney+ series Ashoka. The series will center around Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), whose origin centers around a master-apprentice relationship with Anakin largely depicted in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Ashoka takes place five years after the events of 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, in which Anakin dies and becomes a Force ghost.