The Acolyte Creator Talks Influences and Villains

A still from Star Wars: The Old Republic featuring an army of Sith and their red lightsabers.

Picture, BioWare/EA/Lucasfilm

For a lot of Star Wars’ existence, the assorted heroes we have watched and performed have been good individuals making an attempt to make the galaxy a greater place indirectly, or on the very least, discover their very own place within the universe. The bigger conflicts have at all times put our heroes up towards seemingly insurmountable odds, be it an endless battle, a magic cultor dudes obsessive about doomsday weapons and cloning, One of many franchise’s upcoming Disney+ sequence, The Acolyte, is providing a large shakeup by placing making the villainous Sith the protagonists of its story.

Talking with Self-importance Truthful for its cowl story on all issues Star Wars, Acolyte creator Leslye Headland spoke at size about her targets for the sequence. Confirmed to be set 100 years earlier than the Prequel Trilogy, the brand new sequence will (probably) star Amandla Stenberg through the period of the Excessive Republic, presently the massive point of interest of a number of books and comics. For Headland, the enchantment of this comparatively untapped period in Star Wars historical past is what drew her to the present.

“The Excessive Republic is so golden in so some ways,” she mentioned. During the excessive republic the Jedi have been at their greatest, and the Republic was dedicated to creating Nice Works to serve the bigger galaxy. However as peaceable because it all appears, Headland knew that the Sith’s rise to energy needed to begin someplace, and her present would discover how they took benefit of the gaps within the Republic’s would possibly. “What are we turning a blind eye to that would result in the rise of any individual like Palpatine a few century later? Sure, it is one unhealthy man, however it’s one unhealthy man that fully undermines all the system of presidency , you possibly can’t simply find yourself with George [Lucas], Phantom Menace scenario if every little thing goes properly.”

In Headland’s eyes, The Acolyte is a thriller above all else, with that thriller being what’s actually occurring throughout this so-called peak interval. It is also her likelihood to usher in much more parts of the Expanded Universe that dominated the franchise earlier than Disney purchased it in 2012. Elements of the EU have been slowly included into the brand new canon over time, and it seems like The Acolyte can be bringing much more of that into the fold. In the identical article, Kathleen Kennedy teased that Headland was drawing from numerous “bits and items” of that outdated canon that have not been explored onscreen earlier than, which is certain to excite longtime followers.

Amongst her many EU inspirations for the upcoming sequence, the massive one for Headland is 1991’s Inheritor to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. In approaching Lucasfilm together with her thought for a sequence, she overtly admitted to writing Star Wars fanfiction impressed by the novel that launched Grand Admiral Thrawn, After taking part in tabletop RPGs together with her buddies, she’d go and write her OC in several eventualities. “I got here onerous at that within the ‘90s,” she recalled, “after which received launched to the Clone Wars animated sequence. I knew the timeline very well.”

What components of the EU can be included will stay to be seen, however acolyte offers Headland loads of room to work with. Whereas she does really feel stress to make her present nice, she additionally feels an excellent quantity of freedom with it as properly, since coping with legacy characters could be a crapshoot for this franchise. “You might not pay me sufficient cash to attempt to be within the Luke Skywalker timeline,” Headland laughed. “There’s an excessive amount of iconography and depth with these specific characters , I believe I am telling a narrative that is extra a few timeline we do not know a lot about. Let’s hang around right here for a bit bit and take a look at what Star Wars appears to be like like when the great guys are truly in cost. What occurs? We all know what it will definitely results in, so let’s discover. What are the holes that we are able to poke into what occurred?”

Star Wars: The Acolyte will arrive in 2023 on Disney+.

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