the acolyte
Star Wars/YouTube

A “Star Wars” spinoff is receiving backlash from fans for pushing LGBT ideology in what has become a trend in recent adaptations of popular franchises. “The Acolyte” recently premiered on Disney+, and it’s been clear since before the series officially became available to subscribers that the program was designed to appeal to a progressive audience. In an X post last year, the “Star Wars” fan account The Direct announced that “THE ACOLYTE has cast Abigail Thorn as Ensign Eurus, making her the first transgender actor to appear in a #StarWars series.”

Earlier this year, series creator Leslye Headland openly admitted to the goal behind the show in an interview that surfaced on X. “When I saw ‘Frozen’ as a grown-a– woman, I cried through the entire movie,” she recalled. “There was just something about the relationship between the sisters, the … devillainization of the classic kind of fairytale bad guy, you know, the concept of true love being between two sisters and not a heterosexual relationship … it just destroyed me completely.”

At that point, Headland said her desire was “to make something like this that is, you know, for lack of a better term, Disney, meaning something that like my parents would have allowed me to see when I was younger as a queer person, that I would have been able to understand a queer person.” She asserted that had such a program existed, she “would have had a completely different life.”

She added, “I really was inspired by it, and I was like, ‘God, I would love to make a story like this.’ When I was developing this original idea to pitch to [production company Lucasfilm’s] Kathleen [Kennedy], I thought … you know it can’t just be that you know, when you’re pitching ‘Star Wars, ‘ you have to pull from what you know [‘Star Wars’ creator] George [Lucas] was also interested in.”

Headland saw an opportunity to create her “own new characters” who lived during a time in the “Star Wars” universe known as the “High Republic” or the “end of High Republic into prequels” that preceded the “Skywalker saga” that is at the center of the “Star Wars” franchise. In a text message to The New York Times, Headland proclaimed, “Anyone who engages in bigotry, racism or hate speech … I don’t consider a fan.” A review of the first few episodes of “The Acolyte” warned that the third episode of the series works to “completely redefine what ‘The Force’ is” and highlighted how “two mothers conceive twins” as part of the plot line. The video, posted by the account Geeks + Gamers, featured one fan of the franchise telling the others on the panel to “get ready for pronouns in Star Wars.”

A summary of “The Acolyte” created by the Internet Movie Database describes the show as a “Star Wars series that takes viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”

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