Star Wars

The Acolyte Will Confirm an Overlooked Truth About the Force

Everything hangs in the balance.


Star Wars may seem like it’s about glowing laser swords and spaceship battles, but it also has a philosophical side that draws from Buddhism and other Eastern beliefs. That influence is still visible today, almost 50 years since the franchise began, and the next Star Wars series will use it in a brand new way.

In a new interview with Total Film, Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland expanded on her views of the Force. “Honestly, the way I look at it is, there is no light without darkness. No good without bad. So to me — and this might just be a personal thing — the Force is about balance,” she said. “As Yoda says, 'My ally is the Force.' So the idea of a separation from that was really interesting... If you are unbalanced, the Force cannot protect you.”

At first blush, this would appear to contradict something George Lucas once said about the Force: “What happens when you go to the dark side is it goes out of balance, and then you get really selfish.” But really, this quote aligns perfectly with Headland’s statement. The Force is about balance, and while someone can live their whole life by Jedi practices, the Dark Side still exists.

The Acolyte will highlight the relationship between Jedi and Sith.


There’s a reason the Chosen One prophecy promised someone who would bring balance to the Force, not someone who would eliminate the Dark Side. It’s only when there’s no balance that the Force cannot protect you, and you fall to greed and anger. Maybe the Sith just need a little light in them, while the Jedi need a touch of darkness.

The Acolyte is the first Star Wars series to feature the Sith as protagonists, not villains. Hopefully, it will show the nuances of the Dark Side and what makes it a good counterbalance to the Light. It makes sense that Headland, as showrunner, would have a more sympathetic view of the Sith, but that doesn’t mean the show won’t understand how the Force works. That would be a simplistic, absolute conclusion, and we all know what Star Wars has to say about that.

The Acolyte premieres on Disney+ on June 4.

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