Leslye Headland Comments on ‘The Acolyte’ Review Bombing: “Does anybody take that seriously anymore?”


‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’ premiered a few weeks ago, and the show caused quite a stir in the fandom. The show has been the source of several death threats, and a review-bombing campaign, during which fans who never planned on watching the show at all left negative feedback.

Some people might not like it, but the show was also at the center of the review-boosting campaign since some critics “praised” elements of the show that don’t even make sense, often contradicting themselves in the same review.

No matter whether you legitimately like the show or hate it, you have to admit that the whole discourse surrounding the show has been insane, and pretty much had nothing to do with the quality of the show itself, which is not such a good thing if you’re trying to check out whether the show is objectively good or not. No one is more aware of these insane “debates” online than the creator of the show Lesyle Headland, who is often a target of personal attacks.

In her latest interview with Collider, Headland actually explained that she was aware that review-bombing would be a thing, but she also doesn’t take it seriously. She admits however that some people who are new to the fandom might take review-bombers seriously and give up on the show without giving it a try.

Oh, yes. Everybody knows what review bombing is like. Truly when the show first came out, my publicist was like, “OK, with the review…” I was like, “Does anybody take that seriously anymore?” Perhaps the average… I understand the point of it, which is that the average viewer would look at the site and say, “Oh, the user review is really low.” But I think that, if you’re in the Star Wars fandom, I think you already know what review bombing is. So I guess if you’re totally new to the fandom and you’re considering watching the show, it could affect you. But I also think that my work in the past has been very word-of-mouth anyway, so I don’t know if it… I think that because behind the scenes, we all know what it is — it’s not that it’s not concerning — but I think it’s pretty expected. I would say.

Headland certainly has a healthy attitude toward it all, otherwise, she would probably lose it. You can’t please anyone, especially not in the fandom of such a massive franchise like Star Wars, people are simultaneously demanding new things, but also holding onto old non-canon works for their dear life.

You also can’t help but notice that there was a massive amount of legitimate criticism online when it comes to the show, especially in terms of the quality of writing, dialogues, and overall pacing of the show. My worry is that legit criticism will be buried underneath the label of “review-bombing” and creators of the show will never actually be forced to fix some lacking aspects. That is if the show ever gets a second season.

Despite all the nasty things online, Headland expressed once again how grateful she is to create Star Wars media and how glad she is to be part of the fandom:

I’m certainly amazed by it. Because that was my type of fandom in adolescence and early adulthood when the prequels were coming out, it was so, “create my own world based on the prompt of Star Wars media.” So the idea that I, first of all, getting to work in Star Wars is my dream, it is my career high. I don’t know exactly what I’m gonna do after this. So being able to be a part of that and create Star Wars media and then have people doing what I did is very surreal and absolutely, like you said, it’s a vote of confidence that this is fitting into the world that I love so much.

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