The AV Club bring us a fascinating and in-depth interview with Leslye Headland, showrunner of The Acolyte and long-time lover of the GFFA, especially the rolling-the-dice action of RPG. Here, she explains how her project will follow the footsteps laid down by George Lucas while walking its own path in the final days of The High Republic.

AVC: We’ve been talking about taking ownership of Star Wars, in a sense, which also applies to the different types of shows being made. The Mandalorian is part neo-Western; they all fit into different genres. A lot of people are intrigued by the idea of The Acolyte adding a mystery-thriller to this universe.

LH: We’re all just following in George’s footsteps. He is such a deep worshiper of film, and not just the medium of film, but the history of film and the way film has been used, and all the different genres that he infused the original trilogy with is something that only he can do. He was such a believer of “film as tone poem,” that it only makes sense that people who are doing their own side stories or their own series or their own standalones. It makes sense that they’re kind of taking one aspect that he may have been interested in, or are taking inspiration from and infusing it into their particular content.

When you watch his original trilogy, you can kind of pick out all the different references, all the different things that he pulled from. And then there’s the kind of gestalt of how everything comes together and is so much greater than just the reference, which is what kind of ended up happening in the ’90s. There were all these references being made and recognized. It’s the same with being online—we’ve either seen a clip of it or we’ve seen the movie. Whereas, someone like George, he had to be a dogged admirer and ardent devotee to the art of cinema, in order to be cherry-picking the way that he did.

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. 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. You know? That’s another thing that we all kind of inherited from him as well, and hope to kind of keep reflecting in the work, hopefully.

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Star Wars The High Republic: Out of the Shadows
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ireland, Justina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 07/27/2021 (Publication Date) - Disney Lucasfilm Press (Publisher)