Leslye Headland Has a Perfect Response to ‘The Acolyte’ Review-Bombers: “Does anybody take that seriously anymore?”

Leslye Headland Promises a Dark Turn in the Final Episode of 'The Acolyte' Season 1

“Star Wars: The Acolyte” premiered a few weeks ago, sparking significant controversy within the fandom. The show has been in the middle of numerous death threats and a review-bombing campaign, with many negative reviews coming from individuals who had no intention of watching it.

Despite some criticism, the show has also been part of a review-boosting campaign, where certain critics have “praised” aspects of the show that don’t make sense, often contradicting themselves within the same review.

Regardless of whether you genuinely like or dislike the show, it’s undeniable that the discourse surrounding it has been extreme and largely unrelated to its actual quality. This makes it difficult to assess the show’s objective merit. Lesyle Headland, the creator, is acutely aware of these heated “debates,” often finding herself the target of personal attacks.

In a recent interview with Collider, Headland acknowledged that she anticipated review-bombing but doesn’t take it seriously. However, she does express concern that newcomers to the fandom might take the negative reviews at face value and decide against watching the show without giving it a fair chance.

Oh, yes. Everybody knows what review bombing is like. Truly when the show first came out, my publicist was like, “OK, with the review…” I was like, “Does anybody take that seriously anymore?” Perhaps the average… I understand the point of it, which is that the average viewer would look at the site and say, “Oh, the user review is really low.” But I think that, if you’re in the Star Wars fandom, I think you already know what review bombing is. So I guess if you’re totally new to the fandom and you’re considering watching the show, it could affect you. But I also think that my work in the past has been very word-of-mouth anyway, so I don’t know if it… I think that because behind the scenes, we all know what it is — it’s not that it’s not concerning — but I think it’s pretty expected. I would say.

Headland certainly maintains a healthy attitude amidst the chaos; otherwise, she might have already lost her composure. It’s impossible to satisfy everyone, especially within the Star Wars fandom, where fans demand new content while fiercely clinging to old, non-canon works.

Notably, there has been a significant amount of legitimate criticism online regarding the show’s writing quality, dialogues, and overall pacing. My concern is that genuine critiques will be overshadowed by the label of “review-bombing,” preventing the creators from addressing and improving these aspects—assuming the show gets a second season.

Despite the negativity online, Headland has repeatedly expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to create Star Wars content and her joy in being part of the fandom:

I’m certainly amazed by it. Because that was my type of fandom in adolescence and early adulthood when the prequels were coming out, it was so, “create my own world based on the prompt of Star Wars media.” So the idea that I, first of all, getting to work in Star Wars is my dream, it is my career high. I don’t know exactly what I’m gonna do after this. So being able to be a part of that and create Star Wars media and then have people doing what I did is very surreal and absolutely, like you said, it’s a vote of confidence that this is fitting into the world that I love so much.

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