Leslye Headland Affirms Qimir’s Arms Were Purposefully Designed to Captivate Fans


Disney’s latest Star Wars venture, The Acolyte, debuted on Disney+ on June 4, 2024, and despite facing controversies and review bombing, it remains one of the most discussed shows of the moment. This comes as no surprise given the immense hype and debate surrounding it.

Showrunner Leslye Headland has been at the center of much controversy due to her remarks and reactions, sparking significant online discussion. However, the series has shown signs of improvement following Episode 5, suggesting it may receive better reviews as it progresses, despite the criticism directed at Headland and her creative choices.

With just two episodes remaining in its eight-episode run, Headland hints at exciting developments ahead. In a recent interview with Inverse, she discussed how Qimir’s character was crafted to resonate positively with audiences, suggesting the final episodes will deliver compelling content.

Headland’s remarks on the series and the broader Star Wars universe continue to spark online discussions and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future. Despite a shaky beginning, the series has gained momentum since Episode 5 and now stands among the most popular shows currently airing, alongside The Boys and House of the Dragon.

In her interview with Inverse, Headland delved into various aspects of the series, including the intentional design of Qimir’s character to engage audiences.

You’ve been vocal about making The Acolyte accessible to both core fans and novices. Did you expect Manny Jacinto’s arms to be such a huge draw for the series?

[Laughs] Yes. And Manny did, too. His character design was a long process. I mean, it was for everybody, but specifically for his character, to create a new Sith. Sith have been done so well, so it was very difficult to say “All right, this is a guy in hiding. This is the guy that moves differently. This guy’s helmet has a different purpose…” and having to unpack that. I remember we were showing him a Qimir costume sketch, and it just showed his arms a little bit, and he was like, “No.” He’s not a guy that says no very often. He’s very collaborative. He’ll do anything for you. I was surprised. But then I saw his first screen test with the whole outfit, and I was like, “Ha, ha, ha!”

This is an interesting tidbit: Originally, even up until shooting, The Stranger was not in a lot of the rest of the season. He was much more of a tee-up for a second season arc. But I saw Manny’s screen test early on in pre-production, and I just thought, “There will be riots in the streets if I don’t [go further]. Here we go. I guess I’m rewriting an episode.” Manny was so impressive in every aspect.

So much of Qimir was understanding how to use your body and not just standing there in a suit or being encumbered by a suit. We were like, “We have to get him in something flowy.” As soon as I said he didn’t have armor, everyone lost their mind. “How can you not have armor?” I was like, “Why would you wear armor if you’re not going to get hit?” It’s like the Elden Ring costume. The Elden Bling. When you summon people, you always summon the people that aren’t wearing anything, and it’s like, “These people are fucking crazy.”

Source: Inverse

Clearly, Qimir was strategically crafted to be a prominent and beloved character from the outset, a goal the project’s creators have successfully achieved.

Since his introduction – which, truth be told, wasn’t entirely surprising – Qimir has dominated online discussions and garnered praise for his character growth. Beyond his narrative arc, Qimir’s physical appearance has also sparked considerable fan interest, earning him the moniker “hot Sith” that has captivated audiences.

While the series may have faced challenges elsewhere, Qimir’s popularity is undoubtedly a success story for the creators.

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