The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland recently sat down with Collider and discussed the themes and concept of the show. She also mentioned how Kathleen Kennedy responded to her pitch. Check out an excerpt here:
“I think it’s difficult to do a show that is critical in any way of the Jedi. And I think that you saw that with [Rian Johnson’s] film. Do you know what I mean? Like, I think that, especially in that moment, people were very nervous about saying this particular institution may not be the light and perfect, stunning group of heroes that are totally nobly intentioned. And one thing that I think Dave would say is that they are fallible. That’s really the story that George told with the prequels, right? The fall of this particular group.”
“But I think when you think you’re going to tell the story about bad guys, and the Jedi’s might be the antagonist to those Jedi’s, I think that makes people nervous. But it didn’t make Kathy nervous. And I will say that in that room, when I pitched her, it was probably one of the most exciting things because it felt like a conversation, and less like I was up for a job. It felt much more like, ‘Okay, but what are you going to do about this? And what are you going to do about that?’ And so I was able to fold in what I know about Star Wars, and what I love about Star Wars, into what she’s always pushing for, which is, ‘What’s the emotional throughline?'”
She says a lot here. I’ve tried to stay out of the negativity surrounding a show we know little about. I’m intrigued by the premise of a Sith-led show, and I like what I know of star Amandla Stenberg’s work. And I agree with her that Dave Filoni would say the Jedi are flawed. George Lucas and anyone who actually watched the movies and shows would agree. What I find weird is the idea that the audience automatically opposes this idea. That’s not why The Last Jedi was rejected by the fanbase. As Headland herself says here, everyone already knew the Jedi weren’t faultless, perfect beings in a perfect order. I don’t understand why she thinks this needs to be pointed out or that people will hate The Acolyte (or TLJ) for it. And as for Kathleen’s reaction and input, I don’t care. I really, truly don’t value that woman’s opinion on anything, especially Star Wars. I also wonder why she keeps saying “Jedis” when Jedi is already the plural form of Jedi. It’s funny because people have been saying “Mandalorian” is already plural when it’s obviously not. That’s more of a nitpick, though. I’m still cautiously looking forward to The Acolyte, though I’m not encouraged by Headland’s bizarre comments here.