'Star Wars: The Acolyte' showrunner embraces series as 'the Gayest Star Wars'

Leslye Headland and actress Amandla Stenberg discussed the show's LGBTQ themes and the sexuality of Star Wars characters.

'Star Wars: The Acolyte' showrunner embraces series as 'the Gayest Star Wars'
Disney
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Leslye Headland, the showrunner of "Star Wars: The Acolyte," expressed her enthusiasm when an interviewer called the new series "the gayest 'Star Wars'" and suggested that the character R2-D2 is "canon" as a lesbian. During an interview with The Wrap, the 44-year-old filmmaker seemed surprised that infusing the show with LGBTQ themes would be a talking point.

Actress Amandla Stenberg, who stars in "The Acolyte," chimed in, stating, "Because nerds are gay." The interviewer countered that some nerds are "very not gay and are very threatened by gay stuff," to which Stenberg replied, "Well, that's true. But in my world nerds are gay."

When asked if the LGBTQ themes were meant to be a "fun element," Headland responded, "No, I don't think so, and yet people have told me it's the gayest Star Wars, and I am frankly … into it." Stenberg added, "I think Star Wars is so gay already. I mean, have you seen the fits? We'd be like, 'Look how gay this is,' and send each other a reference photo."

The conversation then turned to the sexuality of fictional Star Wars robots, with Headland jokingly questioning whether C-3PO is straight. The interviewer agreed, suggesting that C-3PO and R2-D2 are a couple, to which Headland replied, "I think it's canon that R2-D2 is a lesbian."

This is not the first time Headland has discussed LGBTQ themes in Disney entertainment. At the 2023 Star Wars Celebration, she compared "The Acolyte" to the animated children's film "Frozen," saying it would be "coded queer." Headland expressed her desire to create a story that her younger self, as a queer person, would have been able to understand and relate to.

In a 2021 interview with The Advocate, Headland spoke about representation in "The Acolyte" and her intention to allow her personal experiences as a queer woman to shine through in the finished product. She stated, "There's just no way that me being a queer woman is not going to be reflected in my work. I could try not to do it, but why would I? It just feels like a natural extension of what I do."

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