Star Wars' The Acolyte showrunner says the franchise is inseparable from politics

Disney Plus' upcoming slate of Star Wars content features one of the most mysterious projects the franchise has ever had. Among the likes of Lando, Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lucasfilm is working on the curious spin-off The Acolyte.

As the first Star Wars project to focus entirely on the Dark Side, The Acolyte has unlimited potential. Set during the fall of the High Republic, The Acolyte is expected to deal with a lot of the universe's politics. For showrunner Leslye Headland, this is an essential factor of the franchise.

The Acolyte showrunner on Star Wars politics

In an interview with The AV Club, Headland explained that she finds a lot of online commenters laughable. Hordes of fans now demand to “keep politics out" of huge franchises like Star Wars and Marvel. To the creators behind these, properties, it’s become an overdrawn joke. She explained:

“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 was always political

For Star Wars especially, that method of thinking is ridiculous. It's well known that Star Wars' Rebels and Empire were derived from real-world politics. George Lucas based the Rebels on the Viet Cong; the Empire is based on an oppressive United States.

Lucas has explained this conflict multiple times in the past. In one interview with ABC, Lucas explained Star Wars' political background.

“When I did it, they were the Viet Cong. For a colonial, you know, we're fighting the largest Empire in the world. And we're just a bunch of hayseeds in coonskin hats that don't know nothing. And it was the same thing with the Vietnamese. The irony of that one is in, in both of those, the little, the little guys won. And the big highly technical Empire, English Empire, American Empire lost. [America] was the Empire during the Vietnam War.”

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