Leslye Headland is sharing a bit more about her upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte. The series was announced last year and will take place during The High Republic era, roughly 200 years before the events of the prequel trilogy. As it turns out, George Lucas' first entry in that trilogy, The Phantom Menace, will influence the upcoming show, which is currently in the works for Disney+.
The showrunner behind Netflix's Russian Doll is set to become the first queer woman behind a Star Wars show or movie. In an interview in honor of Pride Month, Leslye Headland discussed The Acolyte. Though she couldn't divulge much by way of specifics, she explained that 1999's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came at an important time in her life. Here's what she had to say about it.
"What I can say is the reason it did appeal to me personally is that I was 18 when 'Phantom Menace' came out and I was a very, very big Star Wars fan. I remain a big 'Star Wars' fan, but at that particular time, right after the re-releases and the fact that I was in high school, it just kind of all coincided at a time where I was discovering who I was sexually, I was discovering who I was artistically, I was kind of realizing what I wanted to do with my life. And then this big, huge movie event, cultural event happened that was The Phantom Menace."
While Lucasfilm hasn't said much, the show is described as a mystery-thriller that will "take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era." Speaking further, Leslye Headland dove deeper, explaining how she was intrigued by the notion of the Jedi in Episode I, and how that will influence the show.
"I know there were varying reactions to it. And certainly there were a lot of people that had grown up with the original trilogy who were disappointed by it. But I actually was very intrigued by why George Lucas had started us at that particular point. I kind of wondered, but what happened to lead up to this? That's kind of where my Star Wars fan brain went was like, 'How did we get here?' And why are the Jedi like this? When they are in power, why are they acting this way and how is it that they're not having the reaction that you would think they would to Anakin's presence and what Qui-Gon Jinn is saying about how passionately he feels about training him and bringing him into the fold. It's like, even the discovery of Darth Maul is kind of met with this like, 'Hm, interesting' kind of feeling. So I just think for me, my brain has always buzzed around that area and wondered what's going on here, or what has been going on here."
The High Republic has been getting a big push from Lucasfilm over the last year. The era kicked off with a massive multi-phased publishing initiative. Some of the second-wave titles recently hit shelves. But The Acolyte will be the first live-action project to touch on the era, making it particularly important. Much has remained mysterious about the show. Though it was recently revealed that some of the writers have never seen Star Wars, to add some fresh perspective.
Thanks to the success of The Mandalorian, several new live-action Star Wars shows are in the works for Disney+. The Book of Boba Fett is up first, set to arrive in December. Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka and Lando, among other projects, are on the way as well. The Acolyte does not yet have a release date set. This news comes to us via The Wrap.