Star Wars: The Acolyte Showrunner Reveals How She Slips Franchise’s Iconic Line Into the Series
Star Wars Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Star Wars: The Acolyte Showrunner Reveals How She Slips Franchise’s Iconic Line Into the Series

Leslye Headland shoots her shot and fights to include this iconic line in Star Wars: The Acolyte.

Star Wars: The Acolyte Credit: Lucasfilm / Disney+

Star Wars: The Acolyte has already begun, with its first two episodes now available to stream on Disney+. The show has taken fans into the High Republic Era, introducing new characters from an unexplored timeline, set about a century before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. However, despite a significant distance between the show and the franchise's main timeline, it still delivers an iconic line after Yord (Charlie Barnett) says, “I have a bad feeling about this.” As this was a surprise, showrunner Leslye Headland revealed how she slipped that line into The Acolyte.

The line has been mentioned several times in the franchise, from the movies to series to comic books. But adding it to The Acolyte wasn’t an easy feat. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Headland admitted that external forces almost stopped her from using that line. However, the Star Wars fan in her knew she had to do it, bravely shooting her shot to make it happen.

“That was hard to get that in,” she said. “I'm going to be honest. I got a lot of feedback that I shouldn't put that in. But I just feel like when you get the opportunity to do Star Wars, you're just going to shoot your shot. And 'I have a bad feeling about this' is incredibly iconic.”

But the series creator didn’t include it to give a nod to the franchise. She even revealed some concern with how they did it, but she believed they had justified using the iconic line and making it feel natural.

“We don't want to just drop it in there and have everyone go, ‘Oh, I see,’” she continued. “But I think we found a good way to justify it and make it feel natural and still be an homage.”

In The Acolyte Episode 2, Revenge / Lost, Jedi Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), Osha (Amandla Stenberg), Jecki (Dafne Keen), and Yord laid a trap to catch Mae (Stenberg) on the planet Olega. But among the four, Yord started to feel uneasy and expressed his true feelings by using Luke Skywalker’s famous line, “I have a bad feeling about this.”


The History of “I Have a Bad Feeling About This” in Star Wars Movies

Star Wars has produced several iconic lines, like “May the Force be with you” and “I am your father.” But among these, “I have a bad feeling about this” is also a well-known phrase in the franchise. It has become a running gag throughout the saga and has been mentioned in several Lucasfilm stories and other works.

It was first said by Luke in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope when he and his friends approached the Death Star aboard the Millennium Falcon. It was also Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first line in The Phantom Menace when he talked to Qui-Gon Jinn aboard the Saak’ak and mentioned the same thing while talking to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Anakin also said, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones while referencing the approaching execution beasts in the arena on Geonosis. Other characters who said the phrase are Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, K-2SO in Rouge One: A Star Wars Story, Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, C-3PO in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, BB-8 in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, and Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.


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With this nod, The Acolyte may feature more franchise references in future episodes. Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson) already told Sol, “May the Force be with you,” as he started his mission, so fans should be on the lookout for more.

The first two episodes of The Acolyte are available on Disney+, while new episodes are set to release every Tuesday.

About the author

Jonnalyn Cortez (1133 Articles Published)

Jonnalyn is a book lover who discovers Netflix and gets stuck on the couch watching all day. If she’s not busy writing about her favorite fandoms, she plays with her Star Wars-inspired-named dogs, Chewie and Wookie.