Star Wars: The Acolyte showrunner explains why she hired writers who haven't seen the movies

Star Wars
(Image credit: Fox/Disney)

Star Wars: The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland has revealed that the writers room for the series includes people who aren't lifelong fans of the movies.

Headland explained to The AV Club that she wanted a range of writers and experiences in the room, and said she was interested in "talking to people who had different life experiences than I did, and had different connections to Star Wars than I did."

She added that one writer hadn't actually seen Star Wars at all: "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.]  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?"

Headland added that the writer in question "did her due diligence and did a lot of background work and research," but was still able to provide a different perspective on ideas.

The showrunner went on to say that "hiring people that are not necessarily the die-hard, cutthroat fan that I am when it comes to Star Wars stuff" was necessary to generate conversation in the writers room. "It is weird to be the person who's going, 'Well, in 325 BBY,' and everyone's like, 'What are you talking about?'" she continued. "'Hold on, I'll send you a link.' Everyone's like, 'Should that be another person that's doing that? Why is the showrunner doing that?' And I'm like, 'Here's a picture, this is what he looks like.'"

Headland previously co-created the hit Netflix series Russian Doll and directed comedies Sleeping with Other People and Bachelorette. Not much is known about The Acolyte just yet, apart from the fact that it will be set in the High Republic era (that's long before the events of the original trilogy) and will be female-led. Star Wars' description for the series reads: "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." 

There's no release date for The Acolyte at the moment, but the next Star Wars installment to hit our screens will be The Book of Boba Fett, which lands on Disney Plus this December. Until then, check out our guide to all the new Star Wars movies and TV shows – and find the best Disney Plus prices and deals.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.