A new rumor claims that Leslye Headland’s upcoming female-centric Star Wars series The Acolyte is seeking a “female POC” lead.
This new rumor comes from YouTuber Grace Randolph.
Randolph posted to Twitter, “Here’s some Star Wars tea for you: The Acolyte is now casting it’s lead, a female POC college age who is athletic and can do martial arts!”
She adds, “Sounds very promising! It will begin filming in London 1st quarter 2022.”
In a subsequent tweet, Randolph further elaborated writing, “FYI, consider Star Wars has had mostly caucasian brunette female leads to the point it’s become a running joke.”
She added, “That’s why this show – and other Star Wars content – is specifically looking for women of color.”
The show was initially rumored to be “female-centric” back in April 2020.
Variety reported it would be “female-centric” and take place “in a different part of the Star Wars timeline than other projects.”
Headland would eventually confirm the show is indeed female-centric in an interview in November 2020.
She told YouTuber Fantastic Frankey, “Just because my show is technically yes, ‘female centric,’ meaning it centers around a female protagonist. I don’t think that necessarily excludes men from that space.”
Headland continued, “Listen, I relate to male characters all the time. Like I root for Mando. Like I root for Luke. I like deeply, deeply… Well, not sure how much I care about Han Solo anymore. When I was little I really liked him. When I watch him now, I’m kind of like, ‘Gosh a lot of my psyche makes sense now. Hmm. Ok.”
“All joking aside, I think that truly, I think that an inclusive space means an inclusive space. But at the same time I think that just because something has a female protagonist doesn’t mean it’s only meant for women,” she added.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the show’s title and provided further details during Disney’s 2020 Investor Day presentation.
She stated, “Leslye Headland, Emmy-nominee creator of the mind-bending series Russian Doll, is a boldly, innovative filmmaker bringing her new Star Wars series to Disney+.”
“The Acolyte is a mystery thriller that will take us into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging Dark Side powers in the final days of the High Republic era,” she teased.
More recently, Headland provided details about the show’s writing room seemingly revealing the entire room is ideologically aligned and thus not inclusive.
She stated, “First of all, I really wanted people that were different than me. I certainly didn’t want a room full of people that were just agreeing with me vehemently.”
“Not ideologically, but artistically—people that kind of had different writing styles or were interested in different things, all that kind of stuff,” she explained.
Headland elaborated, “But there was a certain intention, in terms of putting together a room that I felt like were people that I hadn’t been in a room with before, if that makes sense. I don’t think I can go much further into that, but like, ‘Oh, I haven’t had this experience yet, and because I think it’s weird that I haven’t had this experience yet.”
Not only is the writer’s room not inclusive, but it features at least one writer who apparently had no clue about Star Wars whatsoever.
Headland revealed, “I literally had one writer that was like, ‘I have never seen any of them. I’ve never seen any Star Wars media.’ And she’s texting me before we started the room, she’s like, “Luke and Leia are brother and sister, what the…?’ [Laughs.]”
She further explained, “And it was so great, because I would really love to know from someone who is not fully immersed in this fandom, what do you think about the pitch we just made? So while she did her due diligence and did a lot of background work and research, at the same time, she was somebody that we would kind of talk to and say, ‘Okay, so if we take all the kind of signifiers out of it, and this is Star Wars version of X, what does it mean to you?’ She would be able to give some feedback: ‘Well, I’m kind of wondering what’s going on with this character. And in this scene, I’m wondering why so-and-so isn’t saying this.'”
What do you make of this new rumor about Headland’s The Acolyte? Are you really surprised?