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The Acolyte The Acolyte: High Republic Series From Leslye Headland

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV- Current and Future Shows' started by Darth Chiznuk , Apr 22, 2020.

  1. CrazyOldJedi

    CrazyOldJedi Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2000
    Her project sits halfway between the High Republic stories and TPM, the mid point of two centuries. I would say that that is no coincidence, when she presented the original idea they worked in the best possible time period so that it would not be affected by future or past events too closely. That way she can pretty much do what she likes as the majority of characters in the HR will be dead and those in the PT will not yet be born.
     
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  2. Mostly Handless

    Mostly Handless Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Eh, I’ve always kinda dug the beige/tan Jedi outfits. I know they’re a bit bland, but since these guys are basically supposed to be monks the ascetic vibe works for me. The white/gold robes of the High Republic era never really worked for me like that, too showy I guess.
    If we see the change in styles on screen I hope it’s driven by an ideological shift within the Order, which could be fun to explore, rather than ‘these Jedi started getting muddy again’.:p
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  3. Darth PJ

    Darth PJ Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2013
    As someone said above… this is a blank slate. They can use the EU or ignore it completely. I get the feeling that we may not see an actual Sith Lord at all, albeit maybe via hologram or something (?)… and that the show may be absolutely focused around a minion who is kind of a foot soldier for the Sith Lords… (the Alfred to Batman kind of thing) who goes around facilitating their dark machinations. I’d love to see new Sith Lords , but given the title of the show, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was more small scale.

    Also, in terms of the Jedi and their philosophy/aesthetic… sometimes I think we forget that these dudes exist within a military structure (albeit more ancient)… it’s why they have Jedi Knights in their ranks. They may be serving a noble and galant cause, but they are warriors too… and would dress and armour themselves as such. I’d really like to see that at some point in the High Republic or KOTOR.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
  4. Konrad Pietrzak

    Konrad Pietrzak Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 6, 2020
    Does George not choose Neimodian?
     
  5. Fredrik Vallestrand

    Fredrik Vallestrand Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 15, 2018
    He was conflicted between Neimodian and Muun specie.
     
  6. TaradosGon

    TaradosGon Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 28, 2003
    I thought the Muun (i forget his name) from AOTC came across as too non threatening, and borderline silly with his laterally compressed head and nasally voice.

    When it was announced that Plagueis was a Muun, I eyerolled for sure. And non of the fan art has really made him look imposing IMO.

    A Bith sith… could work. And also in keeping with the increased use of practical effects, it would be easier to pull off without CG.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Fredrik Vallestrand

    Fredrik Vallestrand Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 15, 2018
    The Muuns we see in the clone wars i think has that small threath about them. And with todays tech we could see a scary Darth plagueis. A Bith as sith i always liked.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
  8. Krueger

    Krueger Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2004
    This is the best Plagueis art for sure:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
  9. Pro Scoundrel

    Pro Scoundrel Socially And Emotionally Distant Mod Of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Darth_Plagueis- Osarion2.jpg

    sarah jones cover2.jpg


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Darth Corydon

    Darth Corydon Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 4, 2018
  11. CrazyOldJedi

    CrazyOldJedi Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2000
    Just pondering... presumably we will get a whole new bunch of droids and vehicles for this series. Maybe too early for the C series droids still, I'm guessing we will never see them in the same numbers as the R series of the PT/OT era.
     
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  12. TaradosGon

    TaradosGon Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 28, 2003
    San Hill is really the only Muun I have to go off of for reference of what a Muun looks like, and some of those pieces look like they took a little bit of creative liberty to play around with teeth, lighting and proportions to make it work. He looks more like a peach colored Cad Bane with beady eyes than San Hill.

    But given what they are doing with increased use of practical effects in Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett, if that trend continues, I would think Plagueis being a Muun would require more CG while a Bith would not (assuming Tenebrous even figures in at all).


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    Last edited: May 22, 2022
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  13. Konrad Pietrzak

    Konrad Pietrzak Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 6, 2020
    O don't know why but on last picture he always look like horse to me
     
  14. The Chalk Jedi

    The Chalk Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2019
    I hope the Sith master is an alien this time round, at least.
     
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  15. Bor Mullet

    Bor Mullet Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Apr 6, 2018
    What if they went with a round-headed Grand Inquistor because they’re planning to introduce a long-faced Plagueis in this show, and wanted a sharp distinction between the two? Think about it
     
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  16. darthfettus2015

    darthfettus2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Needs to be good as a chronological watcher, it might be the first star wars I show my grandkids
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  17. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Daniel Davis as Darth Plagueis in the Audiobook is amazing
     
  18. Fredrik Vallestrand

    Fredrik Vallestrand Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 15, 2018


    The Acolyte will expand upon an aspect of Star Wars that was always slightly mindbending, even if it's become under-appreciated over the years. The events in the galaxy far, far away were never presented as some advanced version of our future. Instead, the very first words of the saga place it “a long time ago.”


    Within that Star Wars chronology, The Acolyte is about to venture even further back in time.
    The show, which is still in the preproduction phase, **takes place about 100 years before any of the screen stories fans have already watched. That sets the story at the tail end of an era known as the High Republic**, which was an age of wealth and innovation for the galaxy, with white-clad Jedi lording inspiring awe and the dark side of the Force seemingly erased from existence.


    Headland, best known for her work producing and directing for the shows Russian Doll, Single Drunk Female, and the movies Bachelorette and Sleeping With Other People, **is drawing extensively from what’s known as the Expanded Universe, or “the E.U.”, which is the plethora of books, games, and comics that are now considered unofficial “legends” instead of narrative canon.** When The Acolyte debuts, lovers of those stories may be relieved to see aspects of them become real once again.


    “She is a gigantic Star Wars fan,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “What's wonderful about Leslye is she knows it all. I mean, she's read a 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.”
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
  19. Mostly Handless

    Mostly Handless Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Ok, so I finished reading the Darth Bane trilogy recently, and something I really enjoyed was Zannah using dark side sorcery (Sith magic) as a force power.
    I love it when we see the force used in weird and trippy ways, and if Headland is pulling from legends I can’t wait to see what kind of new force powers we could see in this series. So excited.[face_dancing]
     
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  20. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 12, 2011
    https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/05/the-acolyte-star-wars-series

    Vanity Fair: How do you explain the High Republic to a Star Wars fan who may not yet be familiar with the stories the books have been telling?

    The way I would explain the High Republic, and specifically where my show takes place, is that I'm about 100 years before The Phantom Menace. So, a lot of those characters haven't even been born yet. My question in watching The Phantom Menace was always like, "Well, how did things get to this point?" Do you know what I mean? How did we get to where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? What went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment? So that's what I would say. That's how I would describe it to my friends, especially my non-Star Wars friends.

    One hundred years in our own world is a huge leap. There are unthinkable changes in the span of century. Is that true of the Star Wars world, too? Obviously there are starships, there are lightsabers, but is it a different era technologically in the High Republic?

    Absolutely. I mean, I love the fact that George Lucas, when he originally made Episodes 4 through 6 [a.k.a. the original trilogy], you can see that he wants everything to feel like it has this particular type of decay. This is a lived-in sci-fi fantasy world, not a sleek, well-put-together aesthetic. He was really going for something that I think was a bit revolutionary at the time.

    When he tasked himself with making the prequels, the way that he decided to address technology and all of those types of things was to make it a much sleeker, better-looking, almost more advanced time. That's what's kind of weird about Star Wars. 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.

    The way you're describing it reminds me of the Roman era, a time where that empire was very powerful and fairly technologically advanced. Then that region of the world falls into a period of barbarism, and the Dark Ages follow. Is that similar to what you're talking about here? Is the High Republic an era of education and advancement and glory, while the Star Wars movies and shows that we know best are from a time of collapse and decay?


    Yes. We actually use the term the Renaissance, or the Age Of Enlightenment. There doesn't necessarily need to be an uprising among people in the expanded regions or in the inner worlds, because everybody's doing so well. For what I'm exploring, another good analogy might be post World War I in the United States, where we very much got into this isolationist concept of: we're not helping anybody. We want to protect this particular vibe that we have going. [Laughs.] ‘Vibe’ is definitely not the word they use.

    So the leaders of this galactic era would rather ignore conflict or suffering than resolve it?

    The High Republic is so golden in so many ways. The Jedi uniforms are gold and white and it's almost like they would never get dirty. They would never be out and about. The idea is that they could have these types of uniforms because that's how little they're getting into skirmishes. So of course my question is like, ‘Well, what else is going on?’ You can't just end up with George’s Phantom Menace situation if everything is going well.

    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.

    And we know the Jedi completely miss this.

    [They’re] constantly talking about balance. If the light side is proliferating everywhere, what's going on with the dark side? How is it manifesting itself? What is it doing to survive? Because it very clearly does later on in the world.

    I've heard you describe The Acolyte as a mystery. So is that the mystery, what's below the surface of this glossy world?

    Yes—are things what they seem to be? Are things as good as everybody's saying they are? That's the big question of any society that has these big booming periods. There is some form of counterculture or some form of underground, whether good or bad, you know what I mean?


    What are some of your cinematic influences for the show?

    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 …

    So I actually 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.

    What can you share about how The Acolyte originated?

    I was pitching with Kathy Kennedy and we were developing this with [Lucasfilm development execs] Michelle Rejwan, and Rayne Roberts, who was like my main gal on this project. She was the person that literally found me and shepherded this idea all the way up to the top. We were really getting into it, and what's so exciting about those [influencing] stories is that you don't always know exactly who the bad guys are and who the good guys are. You're not quite sure whether you can trust the heroine in this case as a result of that.

    Honestly, my pitch to Kathy was the first time that everybody in the room was a woman. I've done many of those types of pitches and I was like, ‘This is trippy that my big [intellectual property] meeting is all ladies.’ That was pretty cool.

    Since this is the first screen story told from the High Republic era, what was their ambition for it? Were they looking to break free of the well-explored Star Wars universe?

    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 really relying on legacy characters.

    I was coming at it as a fan who was much more into the RPG [role-playing games] that the Extended Universe feeds on. I came hard at that in the '90s, and then got introduced to [the animated series] The Clone Wars. I knew the timeline really well. And I was like, "I think if you want to explore Star Wars from the perspective of the bad guys, the best time to do it is when the bad guys are wildly outnumbered. When they actually are essentially the underdogs, for lack of a better term." So this would be that era.


    Kathy Kennedy and I talked about how Star Wars publishing can serve as a kind of storytelling test kitchen. They’ve been putting out a lot of books about the High Republic in recent years. Was that a factor in the creation of the show?

    [Publishing] had just launched Phase One for the High Republic, and I think it was just kind of kismet. "Actually we could do that. That is something that we're now prepared for..." The deep, deep fans are actually much more like, ‘Okay, I’ve got it. I know what this is. I know what place I'm in.’ I was pitching something so specific that would only really work in this time period. And [Lucasfilm] was like, ‘This is actually a time period we're interested in pursuing.’

    There's always a lot of pressure around Star Wars. What are the stakes of this show from a franchise standpoint?

    I feel a lot of pressure, but I also feel—weirdly—enormous amounts of freedom because I don't feel like I'm dealing with legacy characters, which is a lot scarier... I mean, you could not pay me enough money to try to be in the Luke Skywalker timeline. I'm like, "No, thank you!" [Laughs.] 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. What happens? We know what it eventually leads to, so let's explore. What are the holes that we can poke into what happened?

    Can you talk to me about the necessity to grow beyond the Skywalker era?

    I mean, it's such a good question. And I think there are probably people that would disagree with you. There would be people who say, ‘That is Star Wars. Star Wars is the Skywalker saga.’ For someone like myself who was introduced to Star Wars not just through the films, but also through role playing games, I'm also like, ‘You don't understand what type of escapism this afforded me as a young kid—a kid that did not fit in, that had many, many behavioral problems.’ I was able to escape into that world with my friends, to pretend that I was part of that world. It was not like, ‘And now you have to do a scene from the original movie.’

    You could imagine your own scenarios.


    My first stabs at writing were writing essentially what you might call Star Wars fan fiction, meaning I would be inspired by [Timothy Zahn’s 1991 Star Wars novel] Heir to the Empire. I'd be inspired by a particular [gaming] session with my friends and then I would go and I'd write. ‘What if my character was also in a different scenario, and what would she do there?’

    That to me is the magic of Star Wars. It's not just the characters. It's not just that particular monomyth. That is part of it. That is part of the longevity. But it feels like a world so much more so than a story. But I also don't want to say that and make it sound like it isn't one of the best stories that our culture has ever produced.

    Star Wars is set in a society in which there is great spiritual advancement and also great technological advancement. And in between, people are trying to maintain their humanity while being drawn by these two poles.

    It is unusual to point to pieces of pop culture that have representations of extreme spirituality. The concept of God is such a heavy concept. The concept of religion is such a really oppressive one, especially for people like myself and many, many others. So what you just made me realize is that part of the lasting effect is that Star Wars is a spiritual story.

    Even Tolkien is not as spiritual as the Force is, or as Yoda is. I remember as a child being raised in a Catholic home … When Yoda says, ‘Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter,’ even as a kid I understood that so much more than I understood catechisms and sacraments and all of those other things. I got that immediately: That I have a spirit in addition to having a body. For George to have done that, it's almost an impossible thing.

    Is that part of The Acolyte too?

    That would be my big hope in getting to play in this world, to continue to search through a spiritual story that changes someone's identity or destiny. That to me is the heart of it.
     
  21. 2Cleva

    2Cleva Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 28, 2002
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
  22. The Chalk Jedi

    The Chalk Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Leslye sounds amazing!

    The Acolyte is the show I'm most excited for, without a doubt.
     
  23. TCF-1138

    TCF-1138 Anthology/Fan Films/NSA Mod & Ewok Enthusiast star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Oh hell yes!
    Come Drink With Me is fantastic.
    She should have Cheng Pei-Pei in the show. She's still acting, I think; she was in Disney's live action Mulan a couple of years ago.
     
  24. TaradosGon

    TaradosGon Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 28, 2003
    I liked Leslye’s responses for the most part. It sounds like Jedi inaction is going to be a major factor in the background. I wonder if that will lead to a Revan-esque character who gets into conflicts that the Council refuses to.

    In the absence of law enforcement, people can turn to cartels for some semblance of structure. There’s potential there for criminal cartels headed by Sith stepping in to fill a void, becoming wealthy, funding politicians campaigns and creating corruption, with good Jedi that mean well, ultimately succumbing to the Dark Side as Barriss Offee did in response to the being fed up with decadence and inaction


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  25. Bor Mullet

    Bor Mullet Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Headland said a lot of great things in this interview.