How Bad Can ‘Star Wars’ Become? The Newest Director Shows Lightsaber Seppuku Is in the Works at Disney


It is almost as if the studio wants this property to become a failure. This summer, a new “Star Wars” series is primed to debut on the Disney+ platform, “The Acolyte.” It was created by and will be directed by Leslye Headland, who pitched this concept to overseer of the franchise, Kathleen Kennedy, years ago, and it is finally coming to fruition. What that fruition will become is unknown, but a guess can be made based on what we have seen so far. Bode well, it does not!

Man…the “Star Wars” franchise. This had been a deeply loved property for generations, but today, it is as hotly contested among fans as much as barroom sports arguments. Lately it has been less of a combative discourse and more of a debate-style of conversation: Did the prequels start to kill the franchise, or was it J.J. Abrams? Was the story diluted by too many side projects? Is Disney+ a factor? Was it possibly when Disney passed on the latest George Lucas trilogy? (And the less said of Rian Johnson, the better.)

Wow. Remember back when the worst thing to emerge in this property was Jar-Jar Binks? (Ah, were we ever actually that naive?)

Despite the bickering over which poison stone was the spark of the demise in quality, one common foe in all of this is Kathleen Kennedy. She is the longtime production partner of Lucas, rising to the presidency of Lucas Film over 10 years ago, and she is pointed at as the cause of the injection of woke sensibilities seen throughout the “Star Wars” offerings. There had been hope with some fans at one point that Kennedy was exiting the company, but her influence continues. 

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The announcement of Headland — a once personal assistant to Harvey Weinstein — as the creative force behind a “Star Wars” entry was met with rolled eyes, as it certainly appeared like yet another Kennedy-esque woke feature would be in the works. Well, that has all but been confirmed. The force behind this project is entirely focused on delivering a woke, agenda-driven series for the LGBT𝜋 crowd; it is unknown if “Star Wars” fans are invited.

This series will cover the era in the “Star Wars” novels referred to as The High Republic, a period set 100 years prior to “The Phantom Menace,” so a new raft of characters and plot lines will be developed as a precursor to that set of a trilogy. This could be compelling, but by all appearances, it will not be. At the fan convention Ex-Cel in London last year, Headland described her vision for this project, and not only does it sound like a departure from what is recognized as “Star Wars” content, it appears that Disney has learned nothing over the past few years of failures.

Let’s grasp what she is saying here. She wants a Disney princess storyline, but from the queer vantage point. She is not looking at fan service or expanding on the canon of this epic story; she wants to create this version for herself. (She uses “I” and “me” in this brief clip over a dozen times.) It is revealing that after her proselytizing, she comes around with an almost “Oh, and there will also be Star Wars stuff in it too” secondary focus. This sounds like a mess already.

Expanding on this is actress Jody Turner-Smith, affirming that girl power is at the center of all of this.

 “My character, you know, she’s a powerful leader. She’s a powerful leader in a very woman-centered world, which I was very excited to kind of be in that because I feel like Star Wars is very patriarchal. So it was kind of cool to have this sort of woman-centered figure. And you know she’s really sort of going through a struggle because I mean that’s Star Wars, right? She’s really kind of like in this sort of quandary and that’s sort of her journey is to kind of go through this struggle between two ideas.”

In another interview she had this to say: “We don’t ever really see these more like matriarchal energies.” Okay, I’m out. Then, as if this The Force Is Female is not woke enough for you, there is a bit of social commentary tossed into this messaging blender. Headland has also indicated a possible plot will show the Sith as the beleaguered class, being lorded over by the more authoritarian Jedi. It seems clear I am not needed for the viewing audience of this effort.

Disney, and especially Kennedy, appear intent on pushing this agenda, despite very demonstrable instances of it failing. The final two films in the final trilogy are centered on Rey (while franchise hero Luke Skywalker is reduced to a cranky old man) and are regarded as disposable. Then there’s the debacle that was “Solo.”

This was the stand-alone origination film of the famed character, and it was to be the first in a series of similar spinoffs centered on individuals from the saga. “Solo” was a can’t-miss proposition, as Han had a built-in backstory; teaming up with Chewbacca, obtaining the Millenium Falcon, his initial meeting with Lando, and the famed Kessel Run all meant the film was a surefire hit. It became a misfire, partially due to the ludicrous nature of a feminist robot that lectured throughout the film and culminated with its artificial intelligence becoming uploaded into the mainframe of the Millenium Falcon.

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This film lost at least $100 million for the studio and derailed those other planned projects. When the Jedi master himself was granted his dedicated storyline on Disney+, “Obi-Wan” was a disappointment, primarily because the featured character was shunted aside in his own series to become eclipsed by the females. 

There is one more reason to at least approach this new series (debuting in June) with a fair amount of skepticism. For inexplicable reasons, one of the primary writers on the show had never seen any “Star Wars” entries before being hired. Read that last sentence again. Now tell us how the fans should be excited for this new product. Said the writer:

Tell us all about the show, if anyone ventures to take it in this summer.





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