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‘The Acolyte’: Leslye Headland Talks Qimir, Confirms Including Kylo Ren’s Theme Was “On Purpose”

‘The Acolyte’: Leslye Headland Talks Qimir, Confirms Including Kylo Ren’s Theme Was “On Purpose”

After Episode 5 of “The Acolyte,” Manny Jacinto’s Qimir is revealed as the new Sith in the Star Wars canon. Initially, Qimir was not meant to play a significant role in Season 1, but screen tests changed that. Leslye Headland, the show’s creator, explained:

His character design was a long process. I mean, it was for everybody, but specifically for his character, to create a new Sith. Sith have been done so well, so it was very difficult to say ‘All right, this is a guy in hiding. This is the guy that moves differently. This guy’s helmet has a different purpose…’ and having to unpack that. I remember we were showing him a Qimir costume sketch, and it just showed his arms a little bit, and he was like, ‘No.’ He’s not a guy that says no very often. He’s very collaborative. He’ll do anything for you. I was surprised. But then I saw his first screen test with the whole outfit, and I was like, ‘Ha, ha, ha!

…I saw Manny’s screen test early on in pre-production, and I just thought, ‘There will be riots in the streets if I don’t [go further]. Here we go. I guess I’m rewriting an episode.’ Manny was so impressive in every aspect.”

While the reveal of the Stranger was anticipated, his introduction surprised many by killing characters like Yord and Jecki. 

The Stranger’s use of a cortosis helmet, a rare metal that can disable lightsabers momentarily, was particularly distinctive. Leslye Headland, the show’s creator, discussed the careful consideration behind incorporating cortosis:

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It’s a tricky thing because you respect George Lucas in the sense that you don’t want to weaken the power of a lightsaber. It’s almost hallowed in that sense, not just within the series, but in pop culture. But cortosis was such a great new element, and I had always thought of it as such a cool thing to incorporate. [Lucasfilm lore consultant] Pablo Hidalgo and I worked a lot on the machinations of it before we started designing it. It was very important that it be breakable, that it basically not be super hard. It’s why Jecki can get the helmet off him so quickly. It’s kind of a brittle thing.

Moreover, Headland suggested that more Legends tie-ins are on the way. She remarked:

So that’s the cortosis story, but the other Legends stuff we can talk about after the finale.

So there must be something in the finale of the season one of The Acolyte and that could be part of the legend and they are getting their step into the Star Wars canon. 

Another intriguing question on fans’ minds is why Kylo Ren’s theme appeared in the show. If you don’t recognize it, here’s a comparison of Qimir’s theme with Kylo Ren’s

Headland confirms that this was not a coincidence, saying:

It is there on purpose, but I can’t tell you why, and I can’t go into what it is. But you shall see.

Episode 5’s final twist was the literal switch between Mae and Osha. Mae is now paired with Sol, while Osha is bound to wake up to a lecture on the importance of arm day. These new dynamics are set to change many relationships.

I mean, enemies to lovers, baby. But I don’t even think this is ‘good girl against bad guy.’ I think it’s more like… OK, I’ll put it this way. I always really loved the line in A New Hope when Obi-Wan says ‘Vader was seduced by the Dark Side.’ Always loved that word, ‘seduced.’

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