Leslye Headland Explains Why Jedi Deaths in ‘The Acolyte’ Broke Some Disney Rules: “Your faves are going down”


We’re officially more than halfway through ‘The Acolyte’, and things are finally picking up pace. Plenty of shocking things happened in the fifth episode. First, two major characters have been killed Yord and Jecki Lon. They were ruthlessly eliminated by Qimir – who turned out to be The Stranger aka Sith Lord master of Mae.

Headland already discussed that she was testing the boundaries of what she was able to get away with by including those shocking deaths, and now in her interview with Inverse, she further explained that she had to break some Disney rules to make the scene viable.

Episode 5 was unique since no one really expected that the Sith Lord would kill anyone important besides red shirts. Headland left the “mystery” of who the Sith Lord was obvious, and made the deaths THE big twist in the show, subverting our expectations:

I think the reason I felt like we could get away with so much in Episode 5 was because we had the four episodes before it. […] We were building this understanding of ‘OK, this is what the High Republic is like in live action. This is what the Jedi are like at this time. […]We’re going to kill Carrie-Anne [Moss] so that you know the Jedi are going to take some L’s and that people are going to die,” Headland added. Episode 5, I felt like we could go really hard because we had built all this other stuff.

Although we did theorize that all the Jedi on Khofar might be eliminated, no one actually expected it to come to pass. Headland also explained that she had to break some Disney rules regarding leaving some characters alive:

“There are certain Disney rules like ‘Oh, yeah, you’re not going to kill that character. How could you?’ And not only did we kill that character, but we killed the character in such a shocking and frankly upsetting way — and then didn’t even really give her a hero death either. I mean, she has the hero’s death because she gets Qimir’s helmet off before she dies. […] For me, that’s the reveal, the reveal is that a dead body falls, and you see this guy. The reveal is ‘Your faves are going down. Welcome to your new fave.’

What do you think about Headland’s explanation? Let us know in the comments below!

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