The Acolyte actress Dafne Keen revealed the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series features a “lack of guns.”
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the action sequences in the upcoming Disney+ series alongside her costars Charlie Bartnett and Manny Jacinto, Jacinto first attempted to hype them up saying, “If you loved that sequence with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and Darth Maul [in The Phantom Menace], yeah, I think you are going to enjoy this show.”
Bartnett then added, “I will say too — not to shade but we have a lot more tangible physical moves than I saw in that fight as bad ass as it is. There’s a lot more grounded work that goes into our stunt training and our stunt performances.”
He continued, “We have an awesome stunt team. Doing so much without cables, without CGI, without a lot of effects — it makes it, it makes the fight seem so much more visceral. Truly. I mean, I know I’ve been hit on the head a couple times. You’ve been hit in the head a couple of times.”
Keen chimed in, “A bunch of times.” Bartnett then concluded, “That will be reflected.”
Keen then revealed, “There’s a lack of guns, which I personally as someone who loves fighting and stunts and stuff, I love. Because it gives you that body-to-body, that choreography — that dance feeling. It actually looks like a real fight as opposed to just I point and I shoot, which is kind of an easy cop out in a way. We get a lot of that body-to-body.”
“We have a lot of the sabers,” she continued. “And the way Chris Cowan, and Mark Ginther, and Daren Nop, and all these wonderful, wonderful stars we have, have choreographed it in such a beautiful way — it’s like visually stunning. We watched some stuff the other day and it was just gorgeous. And then we have a bunch of fights as well where there are no sabers where it’s just like full on. Yeah, I can’s say much, but it’s also really fun and does look really just gritty and real. It feels like a fight.”
Keen’s revelation that the series will feature a lack of guns or blasters comes in the wake of the series’ creator Leslye Headland telling Entertainment Weekly that the series does not feature an actual war.
She said, “I would say that The Acolyte stands out because it is the earliest in the Star Wars timeline that we have ever been in live-action. We are toward the end of the High Republic, leading into George’s prequels, so we are looking at a time period where the Jedi are at the height of their power.”
“We are looking at a timeline where there is peace throughout the galaxy. And it was very challenging and interesting to make a Star Wars with no war in it,” Headland relayed. “So the question became, ‘Well, what should the show be about if it’s not going to be about galactic conflict?’”
She went on to tease what her answer to that question is, “And I think that what makes this show different and interesting is that it’s from the perspective of the bad guys or the villains of Star Wars.”
“These are people who are using the Force in their own way, dipping into the darker sides of the Force and are doing it without being sanctioned by the larger institution, which, in this case, is the Jedi,” Headland continued.
“I think that Star Wars is always about some version of the underdog versus the institution,” she went on. “And I just thought it was very interesting to do a show about the bad guys and to set that during that time period made the most sense. So I think that’s what sets it apart. It’s kind of almost flipped. We have more Jedi than you’ve seen in any of the of the Star Wars content, but at the same time, I think you see more morally ambiguous characters than you’ve seen in other Star Wars content.”
“And I think I can say this pretty confidently, I don’t think you’re going to see action in other shows the way that you see it used and utilized in our show,” she concluded.
She previously indicated during a separate appearance at Star Wars Celebration 2023 in April, ” think one of the things that would be helpful to kind of put in perspective is that we’re at the end of that [High Republic] era and moving more into George’s era of The Phantom Menace.”
She continued, “So my question became, as a fan, when I initially pitched the show to Kathleen [Kennedy], which was an original idea with new characters and not connecting it to Skywalker Saga or any of the existing characters in the High Republic. What I wanted it to introduce the fans to the concept too was how do you reconcile the Jedi at the height of their power, the Galaxy at the height of this Age of Enlightenment and peace, and who George says they become at the top of The Phantom Menace.”
“And to me that meant why don’t you tell a story about Star Wars from the perspective of the villains, of the bad guys. And if those bad guys are outnumbered at this point then that means that you get this opportunity to see how the Jedi very subtly go from who they were in the High Republic and the Old Republic and who they became by the time you’re watching episodes one, two, and three,” she relayed.
Headland previously told AV Club, “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.’”
Headland elaborated, “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,” she concluded.
What do you make of the fact that The Acolyte will feature a “lack of guns?”