Leslye Headland Comments on Nudity in ‘The Acolyte’ Episode 6: “Lucasfilm really believed in my vision”


Yesterday, Episode 6 of ‘The Acolyte’ was released, and we’re back again to slow-paced storytelling with minimal action. Not much happened in the episode overall except we found some details regarding Star Wars’ newest Sith Lord – Qimir.

Qimir revealed that he used to train as a Jedi, and he decided to utilize both his body and his scars to “seduce” Osha into joining him on the Dark Side. When we say utilize his body, we mean that quite literally, at one of the earlier moments of the show we can see Jacinto’s The Stranger, taking his clothes off and entering the pool, likewise several minutes later he exits the water, once again completely naked.

Nothing graphic was shown, but still, it’s unusual to focus so much on nudity in a show that’s rated TV-14, no matter how much symbolism it carries. This is not the first instance of Headland pushing the boundaries of the rating and the family-friendly franchise, in Episode 5, the Sith Lord in question eliminates almost all Jedi on screen, some in a very graphic way.

As it turns out Headland revealed she did not have much trouble getting this naked scene approved, as she says Lucasfilm believes in her vision and it’s really important for viewers to see Qimir naked and understand his story as well as his vulnerability.

Lucasfilm really believed in my vision. From a narrative perspective, it had to happen. It had to. He did, like, a Steven Seagal neck snap in the [previous] episode. How do you, at all, get from that to humanity? The only way to do that is to show him in such a wildly vulnerable position, and it has to be visual. I can’t think of something more vulnerable than someone holding a lightsaber on someone who’s that exposed. I just don’t. I felt like he was so merciless in the previous episode that he had to stand in front of her and say, “You absolutely can kill me.” Essentially, “I’m at your mercy.” It couldn’t feel like a put-on. It had to feel like he genuinely was like, “Totally. You can do this. There’s nobody around.”

Headland further explained that pretty much every shot in the show that involves Osha and Qimir is intentional.

“No one’s gonna judge you for it, so what’s up?” And again, it feeds in narratively to her decisions of still upholding this. He says, “You’re wondering if it’s honorable to kill me like this. You’re still hanging on to the rules. You’re still hanging on to this code.” Listen, part of it is just decency, and she’s a good person, but I think he’s also starting to teach her. He’s also starting to go, “I deserve this.”

Headland already confirmed that the show is definitely shipping Qimir and Osha, but I guess we’re going to have to watch the last 2 episodes to see how everything develops.

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