Leslye Headland Reveals She Made Qimir “Female-Coded” on Purpose: “He cannot seem like an alpha male-y & intimidating”


This week’s episode of ‘The Acolyte’ showed us a completely different side of Qimir aka The Stranger, the newest Sith Lord in the Star Wars franchise. Following the release of episode 5 during which he eliminated almost all Jedi on Khofar, episode 6 delivered him naked and vulnerable to Osha.

Headland already confirmed much of his motivations, and the fact that there is a ship brewing in the show, but she also revealed that she made him “female coded” on purpose.

In her recent interview with Collider the creator of the show sat down and explained the dynamics of Qimir’s and Osha’s current relationship. She explained that Osha will be “seduced” quite literally by the dark side. At one point in the interview, Headland was asked whether Qimir seemed “softer” than Osha on purpose. As an example, the interviewer mentioned Qimir cooking for Osha and Osha wearing pants. Headland confirmed that this was intentional.

Qimir already proved what kind of brutality he was capable of, and now around Osha, he needs to prove that he is also capable of deeper emotion and thought, and apparently, this means showing him wearing white and cooking:

Which works so well. I think that also creates some of the best dynamics in storytelling. Speaking about costumes and symbolism, I love how this ship plays with gender norms. You have this flowy outfit that Qimir has on and Osha is a Mek. I see people starting to pick up on that a little because he’s so femme-coded, and his clothes and the fact that he’s cooking for her, and he’s very soft-spoken. And then you have her wearing the pants and being like, “I’m gonna kill you. I’m gonna shank you.”

HEADLAND: It’s so wildly intentional that I don’t know what to say.

Because it’s just there.

HEADLAND: It’s so clear what’s going on. So anybody that’s picking up on it, congrats, awesome. But again, the dynamics had to be what they are after what he did in [Episode] 5. He cannot seem like an alpha male-y, intimidating — we know he’s capable of that from 5 — but that cannot be his dynamic with her. It wouldn’t make sense! We have to see this other side of him, and we have to see specifically the way he is with her. He never let Mae see his face, and he let her see him naked. You know what I mean? The character design was very, very intentional.

But also this is, again, this is the story of the bad guys. So unlike Rey and Kylo, where Rey is always in these lighter colors, and he’s in black, then the Sith would be in white and the character, really, that’s struggling with both sides would be wearing gray. It just seems like it had to be that way.

I get what Headland is trying to do with symbolism, it’s just hilarious to me that they used the fact that Qimir, a man, is cooking, as a metaphor to show that he is “challenging gender norms,” aka they perceive cooking as something that only women do.

What do you think about this whole exchange, let us know in the comments below!

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