The upcoming Star Wars series, The Acolyte, helmed by former Harvey Weinstein assistant Leslye Headland had an intimacy coordinator as part of its production.
Sara Putt Associates, which describes itself as “the leading UK independent agency representing behind the camera technical and production talent, from Producers and Directors through Heads of Department and Crew,” details on their website that Adelaide Waldrop is the Lead Intimacy Coordinator for eight episodes of the first season of The Acolyte.
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If you are unfamiliar with Intimacy Coordinators, SAG-AFTRA notes the position “is an advocate, a liaison between actors and production, and a movement coach and/or
choreographer in regards to nudity and simulated sex and other intimate and hyper-exposed scenes.”
The union specifically details Intimacy Coordinators “act as an advocate who serves as a liaison between actors and a production; ensure that performers and other production personnel adhere to proper safety protocols; serve as a resource in realizing a director’s vision; assume the role of a movement choreographer if requested by the director enhance believability; strives to build an environment in which actors understand what is expected of them in hyper-exposed scenes to give their informed and continued consent.”
Further the union relays “intimacy coordinators should be hired in scenes involving nudity or simulated sex or upon request for other intimate and hyper-exposed scenes.”
In response to this revelation, YouTuber Open-Airlock Policy declared, “Surprise! Star Wars is not saved. Star Wars is worse and woker than ever. [Kathleen Kennedy], Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and all the rest of them don’t care about real Star Wars fans. They cater to a percentage of a percentage and have thus run real fans off.”
He adds, “[People] who hold out hope for good Star Wars are living in denial. Disney Star Wars is dead. Support real Star Wars, which is pre-2014. Anything less and you are as bad as those ruining the name.”
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Back in 2020, Lucasfilm announced The Acolyte albeit it didn’t have a title at the time. A blog post stated, “Emmy®-nominated writer Leslye Headland (Russian Doll, Bachelorette) is currently developing a new untitled Star Wars series for Disney+. Headland will write, executive produce, and serve as showrunner for the series.”
By December 2020, during Disney Investor Day the project had The Acolyte title and Lucasfilm described the series as “mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”
In the time in between Headland confirmed the show would be female-centric telling 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.”
She elaborated, “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.
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Headland also went on to describe the show saying, “I kind of see like if Star Wars is a religion, which I think we kind of agreed for the purposes of this interview it is. I like to think of my show as a tent revival. You can come over if you want to. We are going to be talking about some cool stuff, there’s going to be some things we haven’t discussed in canon yet, there are going to be some characters you don’t know about.”
“I would love you to join us. I would love you to be interested in it. And if it’s not your thing, the cool thing about Star Wars right now is there is so much you can align yourself with and invest yourself in. And if you don’t like it, that’s fine,” she said.
She went on to compare it to Indiana Jones, “I would say it’s in a pocket of the universe and a pocket of the timeline that we don’t know much about. That’s what I can say.”
“When we were pitching I had my designer create literally that Indiana Jones [map] and then we go here and then we go here. Like the little dotted red line. This is our journey. This is where we are going,” she said.
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In an interview with the AV Club Headland detailed that the writers are all ideologically aligned with herself, ” “First of all, I really wanted people that were different than me. I certainly didn’t want a room full people that were just agreeing with me vehemently.”
She clarified, ““Not ideologically, but artistically—people that kind of had different writing styles or were interested in different things, all that kind of stuff.”
To that end Headland detailed the show would be political, ““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.'”
She continued, “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?”
She concluded, “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.”
The Acolyte is expected to arrive sometime this year on Disney+, but might arrive sometime in 2024.
The official description for the series states, “The Acolyte is a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era. A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated. “
What do you make of the The Acolyte having an Intimacy Coordinator?
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