Star Wars

The Boldest Star Wars Show Is Inspired by Hitchcock In the Weirdest Way

Will this be our first live-action Star Wars noir?


Modern-day Star Wars owes a lot to The Clone Wars. Dave Filoni, the mastermind behind the “Mando-verse,” got his start in Star Wars as the showrunner of The Clone Wars and created Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s spunky padawan who would go on to helm her own live-action series starring Rosario Dawson.

But that inspiration spreads beyond just The Mandalorian and its spinoffs. The next Star Wars show — set almost a century before Ahsoka was even born — was also influenced by the series, one episode in particular. It may just signal what fans have to look forward to in just a few weeks.

The Acolyte was inspired by a key episode of The Clone Wars that could reveal more than you think.


In conversation with IGN, Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland revealed she’s a huge fan of The Clone Wars, with one episode in particular being her favorite. “The Clone Wars [inspired The Acolyte], a lot being inspired by Nightsisters,” she said. “We don’t have any Nightsisters in this show, but being inspired by them, being inspired by Asajj Ventress. My favorite episode is ‘The Wrong Jedi.’ I definitely took some inspiration from that.”

This is a fascinating inspiration for The Acolyte, but it makes a lot of sense after some thought. “The Wrong Jedi” follows Ahsoka as she faces trial for the Jedi Temple bombing after being framed by turncoat Barriss Offee. It’s the episode that follows Ahsoka as she realizes the Jedi, the community she has grown up with and idolized her entire life, may not be the bastion of justice she thinks.

That directly echoes The Acolyte’s focus on the last days of the High Republic, the era where the Jedi transition from benevolent rulers of the galaxy to the bureaucratic council that leaves them ripe to be overthrown by the end of the prequels.

The Acolyte is inspired by the classic noir thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock — if only through association.

Warner Bros.

But there’s yet another layer to this inspiration: “The Wrong Jedi” itself is inspired by the films of Hitchcock — the title is a reference to his 1956 movie The Wrong Man. The entire arc depicting Ahsoka’s arrest and trial was, essentially, a Hitchcockian noir thriller in the same vein as the movies the episodes are named after.

If The Acolyte is inspired by “The Wrong Jedi,” then by association, it’s also inspired by Hitchcock. Viewed through that lens, the themes become plenty clear — every trailer for The Acolyte so far has set up a vast Jedi murder mystery.

Noir influences in Star Wars aren’t anything new — fans have called Attack of the Clones a noir because of its tone and Obi-Wan’s detective adventure looking for the planet Kamino. But this would mark the first time this classic cinematic genre would be featured in live-action Star Wars TV.

The Mandalorian has flirted with different genres from pirate stories to Westerns, but never something so hard-boiled. There’s nothing more Star Wars than incorporating classic cinematic genres — except maybe incorporating them second-hand from yet another Star Wars project.

The Acolyte premieres June 4 on Disney+.

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