With Star Wars TV series like The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett, Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Andor, and Star Wars: Ahsoka featuring characters that connect to established corners of franchise lore, we know the fate of many of these figures based on ancillary appearances. In Star Wars: The Acolyte, however, the setting of The High Republic means no one’s fate is known to the audience, allowing the series to open with an entirely unexpected death. Series creator Leslye Headland broke down the decision for that death and how it helps motivate not only the narrative, but set the audience up for what to expect throughout the rest of the series.

WARNING: Spoilers below for the series premiere of Star Wars: The Acolyte

Fans were looking forward to seeing Carrie-Anne Moss join the Star Wars franchise as Jedi Master Indara, only for her to be killed by Amandla Stenberg‘s Mae in the opening sequence. Headland expressed that she wanted to establish that the Jedi were going to face some serious losses in the show, despite the characters being known for being so powerful.

“From a filmmaker perspective, I just felt like with the cold open, especially with a new story, that you just have to go hard,” Headland shared with GamesRadar+. “You have to say the Jedi are going to take some Ls; you’re not going to know who the good guys and the bad guys are. And it’s going to feel very visceral.”

Headland continued, “Even if you already know it’s going to happen, it doesn’t have to be a big gotcha moment. It just has to be a moment where the emotional and the physical — meaning the fights — melt together. Carrie-Anne, not just being an action legend, is also a phenomenal actress. She was able to play all those beats within the fight as well as, of course, her death scene”

The creator also noted how Breaking Bad was a major influence on not only this series, but every other project she develops.

“Not to compare myself at all to Vince Gilligan, but the cold open to Breaking Bad is one of the best cold opens ever. So whenever I sit down to write anything, I’m like, ‘Well, I won’t be able to top that, but in my show, what’s the version of that?'” Headland pointed out to Entertainment Weekly. “And it felt like the best I could come up with was killing Carrie-Anne Moss. It was icing [The Matrix‘s] Trinity and just having everyone go, ‘I’m sorry. What’s happening in this?'”

Set during The High Republic, Star Wars: The Acolyte delivers an investigation into a mysterious string of crimes, which pits a Jedi master against his former apprentice in a race to uncover the truth. The more that the pair learn about the situation, the darker their journey becomes, as they confront things that darker than either of them could have imagined.

The series stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Joonas Suotamo, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Star Wars: The Acolyte premiered on Disney+ on June 4th.

What did you think of the opening scene of the series premiere? Contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter or on Instagram to talk all things Star Wars and horror!


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