Star Wars Showrunner Reveals How The Mandalorian Inspires New Show The Acolyte

By Nathan Johnson Updated:
The Mandalorian and The Acolyte logo

It is no secret that The Mandalorian has set the precedent for Star Wars' future.

Since the debut episode of the series on Disney+, Star Wars fans have been in love with the post-Empire setting as well as the core group of characters, led by the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin and the adorable Grogu.

The show's creator, Jon Favreau, implemented the captivating magic of the Star Wars universe in the series' first two seasons, but more importantly, crafted each episode in a way that allowed any viewer to enjoy spending time in a galaxy far, far away.

Leslye Headland, showrunner for the upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte, recently spoke about the road she has taken to creating her series, which will be set at the end of the High Republic era and focus on the emergence of the Sith and their dark side powers.

Headland revealed that when putting together her writers' room, she wanted to include a diverse group of people, ranging from writers who loved Star Wars all the way down to someone who had never even watched one of the films prior to working on The Acolyte.

After saying that she believes it is important to work with people that have different views of the franchise, Headland has gone on to also explain how The Mandalorian has inspired her and how she wants fans to have the same type of experience that they have had with Din Djarin and Grogu.


Star Wars

In a recent interview with The Wrap, Leslye Headland sat down and discussed exactly how she felt while watching The Mandalorian, saying that it "really paid off" for people that are fans of "other parts of Star Wars' media." The writer expressed how The Mandalorian's creative team "perfectly" made the series accessible to both hardcore and general audiences, an effort that she hopes to continue with The Acolyte:

"Jon Favreau did this perfectly with 'The Mandalorian.’ That was a show that, in the second scene especially, really paid off if you’re a ‘Clone Wars’ fan and if you’re a fan of the IP and of other parts of ‘Star Wars’ media. You’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s great. Oh, my God, that’s great. Oh, my God.’ And then the end of Season 1 with the Darksaber, you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s amazing. So it’s going to go in this place.’ You start to know where it’s going or you start to anticipate where it’s going."

The Acolyte's showrunner also went on to talk about her mother "who has a passing understanding of what 'Star Wars' is," saying that even she can "really get invested" in the story because of how inclusive The Mandalorian is:

"But also, my mom can watch ‘The Mandalorian.’ My mom, who has like a passing understanding of what ‘Star Wars’ is, can watch ‘Mandalorian’ and really get invested in the central connection between the main two characters, because it’s universal, because it’s deeply, deeply emblematic, I think, of what George Lucas wanted to to bring to the world when he created it."


Like all of Headland's recent comments about The Acolyte, this recent statement is nothing but positive.

Any and all franchises should not only focus on pleasing one group of people but everyone. It is extremely easy when writing a piece of media to create a product that all viewers can understand and grow to love and still implement Easter eggs that will pay off to hardcore fans.

For example, in The Mandalorian's "Chapter 14: The Tragedy," Boba Fett meets Din Djarin for the first time and says the line "I'm a simple man making his way through the galaxy. Like my father before me."

This line is a direct homage to Attack of the Clones, where Jango Fett, Boba Fett's father made a similar statement. The beauty of the scene in The Mandalorian is that it provides die-hard fans who love the prequels with an Easter egg that they can be pleased with while not confusing newer viewers or making them feel left out of the Star Wars fandom.

Hearing Headland praise The Mandalorian is exciting, considering how popular and well-loved the show has been in its first two seasons.

The Acolyte is already in terrific hands with Headland serving as the showrunner, and if she can be inspired by Jon Favreau and George Lucas, Star Wars fans are in for a treat when the series launches on Disney+. 

- In This Article: The Acolyte
Release Date
June 04, 2024
Amandla Stenberg
Dafne Keen
Jodie Turner-Smith
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.