Leslye Headland Explains Qimir’s Motivation and Reveals How the Massacre of the Jedi Came to Be

Leslye Headland Explains Qimir's Motivation and Reveals How the Massacre of the Jedi Came to Be
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Disney’s most recent Star Wars project, The Acolyte has been on Disney+ since June 4, 2024, and despite all the controversies and review-bombing, the series is still one of the most talked about shows as of the time of writing, as the fans are actively discussing the series and many theories related to its characters.

Leslye Headland, the showrunner, has been a major factor in the show’s controversy due to her remarks and responses, which generated a lot of discussion online. Despite the criticism aimed at Headland, things seem to be starting to improve after Episode 5, and it appears that the show may receive better reviews before it concludes.

And while the season will only have eight episodes, with two more left to go, it seems that Headland has a lot in store for us and that the final episodes will provide us with a lot of interesting content. That can be deduced from a recent interview for Inverse, in which she commented on Qimir’s Motivation and how the Jedi massacre scene was made.

Headland’s comments on the series and the Star Wars universe in general have been a hot topic online and it seems that they will remain as such for a while. The series had a rocky start, but it’s been picking up the pace since Episode 5 and is now one of the most popular shows currently airing.

During an interview with Inverse, Headland discussed many things related to the series, and one of the topics was Qimir’s Motivation and how the Jedi massacre scene was made in light of that:

So the bloodbath in Episode 5, was that rewritten to accommodate more of The Stranger, or was that always his grand entrance?

He always took over Episode 5. He was always going to kill Jecki and Yord. The red shirts were supposed to be a misdirect. Like “Oh, he’s going to kill all those people.” Nope, he’s killing people left and right. It was just so important to be like “We don’t know who’s going to survive this.” I have so many of my favorite little moments that Manny does in that episode, but when he kicks Mae down and she goes down to her knees, I’m always like, “Jesus.” It still scares me because I know he’s probably not going to kill her because that’s the main character, but because he just killed a main character, I’m also a little scared.

Source: Inverse

She further commented on how, despite knowing what was going to happen, Manny Jacinto managed to surprise her:

It is funny that even you were watching like “What’s going to happen?” I guess that’s a credit to Manny’s work.

As a filmmaker, in my head, I’m like, “I’m positive this is going to work. If I can get Manny Jacinto, this will work. If I don’t, this character won’t exist. We’re going to have to start from scratch and figure out something else.” I was so grateful he did the show, but he surpassed my expectations. There’s some sort of mixture of strength and existential dread and violence in him… And then his little statement of purpose that comes right before that moment, you’re like, “Man, somebody must have fucked this guy… Somebody must’ve tried to take this guy’s freedom.” Because he is not fucking around in terms of protecting himself and what he has to do. He sees Jedi specifically as the faction that is keeping him from being free to the point that he could break a Jedi’s neck while making complete eye contact with another Jedi and just have that be it.

Source: Inverse

Finally, she explained Qimir’s ideology and how it influenced his character:

I read a theory on Twitter about his statement of purpose: Qimir’s desire for freedom and power almost feels like his religion. For him, killing is almost this act of worship. Was that part of how you wanted to break down the spiritual differences between the Jedi and Sith?

I don’t know if it’s exactly like that, but I would argue that Manny’s character is more in-balance than Sol’s character, especially when he says, “I’ve accepted my darkness. What have you done with yours?” Sol is just in full-on repression mode at this point. He’s deluded himself into thinking that he has achieved balance. As Qimir says in Episode 2, “The Jedi only think they’ve found peace.” Maybe that’s not true for all Jedi, but that’s his point of view. That’s what allows him to do what he did to survive and to keep his way of life. Not just a way of life. His actual life.

One thing Chris Cowan and I talked about a lot when we were doing the fight choreography was when you’re fighting for survival, it’s never a fair fight. Cowan didn’t give me this note, but somebody was like, “God, that’s so dirty to kill Jecki in that way,” and my thought process was: Well, if you’re fighting for your life, is it dirty? I think for the audience, you’re supposed to be like, “Holy crap. What an evil dude.” But I think for Manny’s character and the character work that we did around him, it was all about “I know that I’m doing the right thing for me. This is how I’m going to protect myself and keep myself in hiding. The only reason I’m coming out of it is because there’s this thing I really want,” which is the pupil.

Source: Inverse

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