“George Lucas made it political. Those are political films”: The Acolyte Showrunner Has Refused to Listen to 1 Very Vocal Demand from Star Wars Fans

Leslye Headland believes political undertones are inherent to a Star Wars project!

Star Wars Acolyte

SUMMARY

  • George Lucas' Star Wars franchise is a fan-favorite film series even in 2024.
  • Leslye Headland explains why political undertones are a must when making a Star Wars project.
  • Leslye Headland gives a hint on how The Acolyte will follow the same premise.
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When George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope was released in 1977, it revolutionized the sci-fi genre. The film series combined classic themes with compelling storylines and well-written characters. Everything was neatly integrated with jaw-dropping visual effects and surreal world-building, making the audience fall in love with the series and have a massive impact on pop culture.

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George Lucas' Star Wars became an evergreen film series for fans
A still From Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back. Credits: Lucasfilm Ltd.

However, Leslye Headland, the showrunner of The Acolyte has shared her views on the original trilogy having political undertones and Lucas deliberately made the films in that manner to appeal to his audience. Interestingly, Headland’s upcoming show has been criticized by fans because her upcoming show is blasted by fans for being too woke, and how the theme of her show is similar to the very idea of the creator of the original films.

Leslye Headland on George Lucas’ Star Wars Films For Being Political In Nature

Even though George Lucas’ Star Wars films are more renowned for their storyline and meticulously crafted galactic universes featuring diverse planets, species, and cultures with intriguing language. Moreover, the franchise has been an evergreen watch for its special effects, and using technology that would make it stand out in the sci-fi genre even in 2024.

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Star Wars films have political undertones
Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. Credits: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Despite being a notable film franchise, it has often been reflected on how the original trilogy had political subtext by drawing parallels with the Fall of the Galactic Republic, leading to the rise of The Empire. Much later in an interview with TIME, Lucas mentioned how it was “really about the Vietnam War.”

While a majority of the fans do not believe that the original trilogy is political in nature, Leslye Headland feels otherwise, because she thinks that the original 6 films were made with that notion.

Leslye Headland ignores fans demand for her upcoming show
A still from The Acolyte trailer. Credits: Lucasfilm Ltd.

During an exclusive interview with AV Club, the showrunner mentions how they are following the footsteps of George Lucas, which includes his ideology as well. She said,

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In a way, that’s why that ends up happening. I don’t know for sure, but if I had to take a guess as to why the standalones and the series ended up feeling like we’re going to move just into this particular space or we’re going to lean into this particular genre, which we know inspired George. And that goes for ideology as well.

She continued by stating how she ignores the demands of the fans because by nature the series is political and it is kind of impossible to tell a story without following those notions. She said,

I mean, it’s funny, because a lot of the feedback that I’ll get—and I use the term feedback very lightly—but when I do go on social media, the feedback is “Don’t make Star Wars political.” I’m like, “George Lucas made it political. Those are political films.” War is, by nature, political. That’s just what’s up. It’s truly what he was interested in talking about and looking at and digging into.

So it’s kind of impossible to tell a story within his universe that doesn’t have to do with something that has to be that the characters see externally reflected in whatever’s happening in the galaxy at that particular time period of when it takes place.

She concluded that how she to “kind of keep reflecting in the work, hopefully.” The showrunner had decided to overlook the feedback shared by her fans, she will follow in the footsteps of George Lucas, particularly by following an individual vs the system form of storyline

Leslye Headland Gives a Hint on The Acolyte’s Storyline

While sitting with The Associated Press, Leslye Headland shared how she went to Lucasfilm without having a particular character in mind and how telling a story that takes place before the “Skywalker Saga” would give her more creative freedom.

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Leslye Headland gives a hint on the The Acolyte'splot
Amandla Stenberg in The Acolyte. Credits: Lucasfilm Ltd.

She said,

I just found out an interesting place to set an original story, when I came in and pitched the story to Lucasfilm, it wasn’t based on any character or a story that had already happened so it felt to me that moving back in time would give us the most freedom to tell a story that wasn’t connected to the Skywalker Saga or The Empire or the previous.

She added,

I actually brought it to them. I said, yeah, I had a general with Rayne Roberts, she is one of the co-producers of the show, she said, ‘If you had the chance to work in Star Wars what would you write about?’ I said, ‘I’d write about the Sith and I would love to take a story about the bad guys and spin it into the underdog versus the institution as well as making it into a family drama.’ Hopefully, we can achieve that.

This brings a major concern over the show’s success because Headland has commented how she refused to follow the fans’ requests by making the show have a political notion. Now the question remains that even though The Acolyte has managed to bring in early positive reviews from the critics, will it please the fans for being political?

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The Acolyte will release on 4 June 2024 on Disney+.

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Written by Tushar Auddy

Articles Published: 1060

Tushar Auddy, Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.