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“It’s More Personal” – Star Wars Acolyte Showrunner Confirms Series Will Have Its Original Martial Arts Influence

The first Star Wars live-action series will lay outside of the Skywalker Saga. Even though, Lucasfilm is keeping most details undercover. Showrunner Leslye Headland said that it’ll take us back to the roots of the original Star Wars trilogy. It’s going to follow the footsteps of what Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have accomplished with the franchise’s other shows on Disney+. This mystery series is inspired by the samurai and martial arts genre, which also inspired George Lucas.

Star Wars The Acolyte follows martial art influences
Star Wars The Acolyte follows martial art influences

Headland mentioned in an interview with Vanity Fair:

“Jon Favreau said that when you’re working in this world, you want to go back to what George was inspired by. There were Westerns and then, of course, Akira Kurosawa samurai films, and the fact that he originally offered Obi-Wan Kenobi to Toshiro Mifune.”

Star Wars: The Acolyte Showrunner Breaks Down Martial Arts Influences

Star Wars The Acolyte draws inspiration from Martial Arts
Star Wars The Acolyte draws inspiration from Martial Arts

Separately, from the same magazine, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy praised Headland’s dedication to exploring the franchise’s “Legends” mythology. Which is initially known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The writer also added:

“So I went more toward martial arts films, and storylines that are a little bit more personal and less global and galactic.”

“Those warriors were on missions that were deeply personal, with people feeling wronged and having to make it right. Wuxia films and martial arts films from King Hu and the Shaw Brothers, like Come Drink With Me and Touch Of Zen. They’re monks that are also martial arts heroes.”

Showrunner Leslye Headland talks about Star Wars
Showrunner Leslye Headland talks about Star Wars

Headland concluded:

“The truth is that I, as a major mega fan, came to them with this idea. And I said, ‘I think the best place to put this is in an era you guys have not quite explored yet. They were very enthusiastic. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to explore that [existing] world, but I think that they already were because The Mandalorian and a lot of the other television projects were relying on legacy characters.”

The executive also shared that Leslye knows it all and she reads gazillion books inside the E.U. There are little bits and pieces that she’s drawing from that no one has explored yet in the onscreen storytelling. It’s been over 2 years since The Acolyte was first announced to become under light with Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland at the helm. It’s an included samurai-themed Star Wars story that places the bad guys at the forefront of the narrative.

Related: Star Wars: First Details on No Way Home Director’s Disney+ Series Unveiled

Written by Shreeparna Das