Leslye Headland Credits Rian Johnson's Influence on Star Wars: The Acolyte

“The Acolyte” Draws Inspiration from Rian Johnson’s Filmmaking Approach

In the vast expanse of the Star Wars universe, where every creator leaves their mark, “The Acolyte” showrunner Leslye Headland has revealed a significant influence on her journey: Rian Johnson, the visionary behind “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.” Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Headland shared insights into how Johnson’s demeanor and directorial style have shaped her approach to producing the highly anticipated series.

A Mentor in Calmness and Clarity

Headland’s admiration for Johnson is rooted in her early experiences observing him on set. “He was the first director I ever watched work. So getting to see him work on [her first show] was, oh my god, it was just a dream,” Headland recalls. She praised Johnson for his kindness, quiet confidence, and unwavering clarity about his vision, all while maintaining a stress-free demeanor. “He never seemed stressed out, and I wish I was more like him. He’s like the patron saint of calm directors,” Headland remarked, highlighting the profound impact Johnson has had on her own filmmaking philosophy.

The Divisive Legacy of “The Last Jedi”

Johnson’s tenure in the Star Wars franchise, particularly with “The Last Jedi,” remains one of the most polarizing chapters in the saga’s history. Released in 2017, the film was met with mixed reactions from fans, with some lauding its bold narrative choices and others critiquing its departure from traditional Star Wars themes. Despite the controversy, Johnson’s work has undeniably left a lasting impression on the franchise and its creators.

The Future of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Trilogy

Amid speculation about the status of Johnson’s previously announced Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy provided an update last year. While acknowledging Johnson’s busy schedule with projects like the “Glass Onion” movies, Kennedy expressed optimism about his return to the Star Wars universe. “Rian and I talk all the time,” she said. “But he really wants to step back into the space. It’s a big commitment of time, so that’s really on him.”

“The Acolyte” Awaits

As “The Acolyte” prepares for its exclusive debut on Disney Plus on June 5, 2024, fans are eagerly anticipating the series’ exploration of the High Republic era, set a century before “The Phantom Menace.” The show promises to delve into dark and uncharted territories of the Star Wars lore, with Headland at the helm, inspired by Johnson’s calm and clear directorial approach. With the release of a special trailer alongside the distribution date announcement, the excitement for “The Acolyte” continues to build, promising a new chapter in the Star Wars saga that is both inspired by the past and looking forward to the future.