Lucasfilm President Speaks to The Acolyte Backlash from Fans

Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, has addressed the backlash from some Star Wars fans regarding the upcoming Disney+ series, The Acolyte. Kennedy insists on the importance of inclusive storytelling and supports showrunner Leslye Headland, who contests that bigotry and hate speech have no place in the fandom.

Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to Star Wars fans and her support for Leslye Headland as a female storyteller in a “male-dominated” fandom. Less than a week before the streaming series The Acolyte premieres, Kennedy revealed that she believes “storytelling needs to be representative of all people.”

Leslye Headland’s Perspective

“Operating within these giant franchises now, with social media and the level of expectation — it’s terrifying. I think Leslye [Headland] has struggled with it. Many women who enter *Star Wars* struggle with this due to the fan base being so male-dominated. They sometimes get personally attacked. My belief is that storytelling should be representative of all people. That’s an easy decision for me.”

As the old cliché goes, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. Showrunner Leslye Headland is navigating an area of interest close to her heart: exploring more about the Sith within the confines of her Disney+ show.

Headland said in an interview:

“As a fan myself, I know how frustrating some *Star Wars* storytelling in the past has been. I’ve felt it myself. I stand by my empathy for *Star Wars* fans.”

Differentiating True Fans from Haters

Despite some negativity from fans, many are excited to explore what happens 100 years before *Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace*. The final trailer of *The Acolyte* received positive reception. Headland wants to emphasize that she doesn’t consider those generating hate on social media to be true *Star Wars* fans. She said:

“Anyone who engages in bigotry, racism, or hate speech… I don’t consider them a fan. This notion that ‘This is what people want from *Star Wars*. This is what people don’t want.’ It can mess with your head. During the creative process, I had to allow myself the forgiveness, as an artist, to make mistakes — as long as I got back up. That was my promise to myself.”

Early Reactions and Expectations

The first reactions to *The Acolyte* have been positive, despite the backlash. However, a Rotten Tomatoes score has not yet been posted due to an embargo. Leslye Headland said in a recent interview:

“I was interested in examining the Sith.”

The two-episode premiere of The Acolyte is set to debut on Tuesday, June 4 on Disney+.

Wrapping Up

For more updates on The Acolyte and other Star Wars content, visit HitPlay.

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