‘The Acolyte’ Star Lee Jung-Jae on How Jedis Learn From Their Mistakes, Leslye Headland’s Approach to the Show’s Characters

At the Monte-Carlo TV Festival Saturday, Lee Jung-Jae, one of the stars of new Disney+ series “Star Wars: The Acolyte,” spoke with Variety about how he prepared for his role as Jedi Master Sol, the strengths of Leslye Headland, the show’s creator, as a showrunner, and the relationship between Sol and Amandla Stenberg’s characters.
Lee, who won a Primetime Emmy for “Squid Game,” says that for 50% of “The Acolyte” role he drew inspiration from previous depictions of the Jedi Masters, and “for the remaining 50% I tried to find something that was appropriate to Sol – something that would only incarnate him.” He also consulted with an expert in “Star Wars” lore at Lucasfilm.
In “The Acolyte,” the Jedi Masters are shown to be flawed. How does the show present this? “In ‘The Acolyte,’ what it tries to say is that anyone can make mistakes, but you have to accept the mistakes that you make, and put effort into correcting them or developing yourself, because any human being has some unstable thinking,” Lee says. “So, we all make mistakes, but you have to accept them, and if you make some really good efforts, you can move toward something good.”

Lee says of Headland that she is someone who “just thinks that every human being is precious, so that’s why she also has an approach to each character that makes them very important and precious.”
He adds: “Each of the characters has their own past and their own reasons [for doing what they do]. She’s really dedicated to the characters, and you can feel it reading the screenplay.”

More from Variety

Lee apologized for not being able to go into detail about Sol’s relationship with twins Mae and Osha, both played by Stenberg, as that would be a spoiler, but he did say that “the mystery [of their relationship with Sol] is revealed episode by episode so the fact that you’re following all these mysterious things is one of the things that you’ll really enjoy watching in this series.”
He added though that Sol does give each girl equal consideration and “gives them the same opportunity,” although he finally choses Mae to be his Padawan, an apprentice Jedi.



Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.