STAR WARS: THE ACOLYTE Showrunner Explains Prequel Ties And Why She's Avoiding Legacy Characters
Star Wars: The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland has revealed new details about the Disney+ series, including how it ties into the prequels and why she wants to avoid using any familiar characters...
As Lucasfilm begins to lay the groundwork for a new era of storytelling, Star Wars fans are preparing to spend time in different eras of this Galaxy Far, Far Away. While many of the Disney+ shows have featured familiar characters and been set between the movies we know so well, The High Republic era (which has been the focus of many recent novels and comics) is something altogether different.
Star Wars: The Acolyte will take place roughly 100 years before The Phantom Menace, delving into how the Dark Side ultimately infiltrated the Republic and set the stage for Palpatine to become Emperor.
Talking to Vanity Fair (via SFFGazette.com), showrunner Leslye Headland talked about the distinct visual difference between the prequels and the original Star Wars trilogy saying, "The further you go back, the better things are. 'A long time ago' actually becomes more futuristic. So while we are creating this type of world, we’re trying to carry George’s concept that the further you go back, the more exciting and new and sleek and interesting things look."
Explaining that the reason this era's Jedi wear white and gold uniforms is because of how rarely they actually get into any sort of battles, Headland reveals that she wanted to use that as an excuse to take a closer look at what else is going on in the Galaxy. "You can’t just end up with George’s Phantom Menace situation if everything is going well," she says. "It has to be going well at the expense of what? What is not being attended to? What are we turning a blind eye to that could lead to the rise of somebody like Palpatine about a century later?"
"Yes, it’s one bad guy, but it’s one bad guy that completely undermines the entire system of government. A lot of other things must have been going on beneath the surface."
While the High Republic Era comic books and novels have introduced a (slightly) younger Yoda, it sounds like Headland will be doing her best to avoid throwing famous legacy characters into the mix in The Acolyte.
"You could not pay me enough money to try to be in the Luke Skywalker timeline," the showrunner says with a laugh. "I’m like, 'No, thank you!' It’s just too intense. There’s too much iconography and intensity with those particular characters. Whereas, I think I’m telling a story that’s more about a timeline we don’t know much about. Let’s hang out here for a little bit and check out what Star Wars looks like when the good guys are actually in charge."
It's certainly not outside the realm of possibility that we might meet some characters with familiar names, but avoiding creating any forced connections is far from a bad thing. In fact, a wholly original story actually sounds like a refreshing change of pace for Star Wars at this stage, and we're curious to see how this one comes together.
Production on The Acolyte is expected to begin later this year for an expected 2023 premiere.