Leslye Headland Reveals How ‘Breaking Bad’ Influenced ‘The Acolyte’s’ Shocking Opening: “You have to say the Jedis are going to take some Ls.”


Disney’s new Star Wars project, The Acolyte, premiered on Disney+ on June 4, 2024, with two episodes. Despite all the controversies and review bombing, it remains one of the most talked-about shows right now. Critics are generally satisfied, seeing a lot of potential in the series, while fans are divided—some love it, and others hate it. The latter group mostly consists of those who dislike the so-called “woke” content, which seems unreasonable. Regardless of where you stand on that issue, all fans agree that the opening scene was a complete shocker. Showrunner Leslye Headland was asked to explain this surprising moment.

Spoiler alert! For those who haven’t seen it yet, the shocking scene involves the death of Master Indara (played by Carrie-Anne Moss), which happens before the show even starts. She fights Mae but is struck down. Fans worry this might be the last they see of Master Indara, which would be disappointing. However, it’s likely she will appear in future flashback scenes.

This was a shocker, something Star Wars fans aren’t used to, and the Internet went absolutely crazy over the scene. Many fans wondered why Headland decided to kill off one of the show’s best characters right away. The showrunner provided an explanation:

“From a filmmaker perspective, I just felt like with the cold open, especially with a new story, that you just have to go hard. 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.

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.”

Source: GamesRadar

Whether or not you agree with this approach, it’s clear that Headland’s stance on the issue was effective in attracting attention and sparking conversation about the scene. As for the inspiration behind this choice, Headland cited one of the best series ever made:

“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?’ And it felt like the best I could come up with was killing Carrie-Anne Moss. It was icing Trinity and just having everyone go, ‘I’m sorry. What’s happening in this?’”

Source: Entertainment Weekly

While The Acolyte may not be on the same level as Breaking Bad, it’s clear that the inspiration was drawn from Gilligan’s masterpiece, and that’s perfectly fine. The Acolyte is one of the hottest shows right now, so stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks!

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