The Acolyte showrunner's pitch for the Star Wars show was so great, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy cried

Star Wars: The Acolyte
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

The Acolyte is shaping up to be a unique entry in the Star Wars saga, and its initial pitch by showrunner Leslye Headland makes that very clear – as well as being so powerful it had the room in tears. 

"Leslye said it was Frozen meets Kill Bill in Star Wars," producer Rayne Roberts tells SFX magazine in the new issue, which features Doctor Who on the cover. "It immediately communicated a kind of emotional entanglement and also high-octane action. It was like, 'I think I understand what that is,' and it started a conversation that led to me elevating her pitch, ultimately up to Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm president]. Leslye is an amazing storyteller and when she finally pitched Kathy, everyone was crying. It was that kind of meeting."

"The thing I picked up on and got very excited about was Kill Bill," adds producer Simon Emanuel. "One of the things we talked about really early on was action, and I really believe that, in these kinds of shows, action has to be a character. It can't just be, 'Give me a punch, give me a lightsaber fight…' So I introduced Leslye to a guy called Chris Clark Cowan, who was our action designer, and part of the team who worked on the Darth Vader sequence in Rogue One. Leslye and Chris completely fell in love, and action became such a component of this story. For me, it's the best action the franchise has seen – and there’s so much of it."

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The Acolyte releases on June 5. The above is just a snippet from our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX magazine, which features Doctor Who on the cover and is available from Wednesday, May 15. See what you should be looking out for on newsstands below...

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You can keep up to date with the galaxy far, far away with our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows.

Richard is a freelancer journalist and editor, and was once a physicist. Rich is the former editor of SFX Magazine, but has since gone freelance, writing for websites and publications including GamesRadar+, SFX, Total Film, and more. He also co-hosts the podcast, Robby the Robot's Waiting, which is focused on sci-fi and fantasy.