Monday, July 22

‘The Acolyte’ Cast and Crew on That Iconic ‘Star Wars’ Line, Character Influences, Fight Choreography, and More

Following the release of yesterday’s two-episode premiere of The Acolyte, cast and crew sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about their characters and some of the surprising or perhaps not so surprising dialogue elements in the first two episodes. If it wasn’t already clear to fans that showrunner Leslye Headland is a major Star Wars fan herself, it’s abundantly clear after watching the first couple episodes, which include all sorts of homages to the films from an “opening crawl-like” initial set up to wipe transitions and a thematic score at times very similar to John Williams’ music, just to name a few.


Regarding the dialogue, she also included none other than the famous “I have a bad feeling about this” line, and apparently, had to fight quite a bite to keep it in the show. She said:


“That was hard to get that in. I’m going to be honest. I got a lot of feedback that I shouldn’t put that in. But I just feel like when you get the opportunity to do Star Wars, you’re just going to shoot your shot. And ‘I have a bad feeling about this’ is incredibly iconic.

It’s such an iconic line that I think there was some concern of, ‘Well, we don’t want to just drop it in there and have everyone go, ‘Oh, I see.’ But I think we found a good way to justify it and make it feel natural and still be an homage.”


While I did shake my head a bit when I heard the line, I agree that it was placed organically. It doesn’t feel shoehorned into the dialogue and Charlie Barnett does a great job of delivering it in a subtle way. The line is campy enough without any additional theatrics. In my opinion, it strikes a nice balance.


(L-R): Jedi Padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen) and Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett) in Lucasfilm’s THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.


One aspect of the show that I believe most viewers would agree on is Lee Jung-jae’s stellar performance as Master Sol. He described his thought process and influences for the character:


“I didn’t really want to be influenced by anything outside of the Star Wars world…I definitely was inspired by a lot of the past Jedi Masters and the wonderful actors that played them. And one of my favorite characters was Qui-Gon Jinn, played by Liam Neeson. I really kind of tried to find the connective tissue between him and my character, Master Sol.”


Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace
Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace


I can absolutely see the influence of Qui-Gon on Sol. Even from the first two episodes he demonstrates a similar level of empathy and practicality combined with both respect and frustration for the Jedi Order. Jung-jae elaborated further:


“He is a Jedi master, but the more I saw the script, I realized that there were more of these humanistic elements to him. His emotions are constantly in flux. And also, when he’s in battle, he actually does feel that element of fear. And I think because of that, [showrunner Leslye Headland] really created a Sol that was extremely humanistic. And she did that with the other characters as well — they all embody such a diversity of emotions, just like regular people. And in each character, you see those elements really clearly.”


Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae) in Lucasfilm’s THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.


Speaking about the fight choreography, Jung-jae commented:


“I’ve actually done a lot of action in my previous projects in Korea, so when I entered the two months of training camp, I noticed that the fight choreographers, they started teaching for the basics. And a part of me was like, ‘Oh, I kind of know all of this already.’ But then I realized that as the training continued, those basics that we practiced over and over again, it really helped doing these stunts and the fight choreography on set.”


I thought the fight choreography was an element where Headland really ensured The Acolyte stood apart from the larger canon. I enjoyed all of the fights so far, but the two actors that particularly jumped out at me were Lee Jung-jae and Carrie-Anne Moss. Obviously, between Jung-jae’s extensive experience on Korean projects and Moss’s experience with The Matrix, these two have likely received the most training over the years and it shows.


What did you think of the fight scenes in last night’s premiere? And how do we feel about the inclusion of “I have a bad feeling about this”? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget to check out our review of the episodes!


New episodes of The Acolyte drop every Tuesday at 6pm PT/9pm ET on Disney Plus.


When she isn’t watching her friends and family’s eyes glaze over at the mention of The Clone Wars, she’s at the park with her dog, Melvin, or on the couch with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. Physically, she lives in Ohio; spiritually, she lives in Naboo.