Star Wars: The Acolyte Showrunner Says Phantom Menace Was a Big Inspiration for Series

There are many Star Wars series coming to Disney+ with shows like Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi currently in production for the streaming service. Another series that's rumored to begin production in February is Star Wars: The Acolyte, a live-action series that will be set in the final days of the High Republic era, that will be led by Russian Doll showrunner and the writer/director of Bachelorette and Sleeping With Other People, Leslye Headland. During a recent chat with The Wrap, Headland revealed that Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was a big inspiration for her upcoming series.

"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," Headland shared. "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. And 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."

She continued, "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."

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Are you excited to see Star Wars: The Acolyte? How do you feel about The Phantom Menace being an inspiration for the show? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!