Star Wars fans can be a fickle bunch, not wanting certain artists or voices to touch anything that is considered canon. And who can blame them? There have been certain, well, missteps along the way in recent years with the sequel trilogy specifically and a couple of other productions getting a bit weird. So there was some pushback when it was rumored on a YouTube video by Mike Zeroh (via Pirates and Princesses) that Kevin Smith might be getting a crack at directing some episodes of an upcoming Star Wars series. It doesn’t necessarily feel like the tone this particular show might have been going for.
In the video, Zeroh talks about how Kevin Smith has been in talks to come in and direct some episodes of the upcoming Star Wars series The Acolyte. This is the series created and developed by Leslye Headland and is going to take place during the end of the High Republic Era of this timeline. According to the rumor, Kevin Smith has been in talks with LucasFilm chief Kathleen Kennedy for some time now, looking for the right Star Wars project to take part in.
While not necessarily being considered for any future movies in this space, getting his hands on some episodes of an upcoming, and new series that explores a different timeline in the universe could make some sense here.
That being said, there was some concern that Kevin Smith’s overall aesthetic and directing style doesn’t necessarily line up with what fans want to see from the Star Wars universe especially around this particular timeline and potential theme of the show. The Acolyte had seemed to be trending a darker show from its description, though could end up being more comedic considering Headland’s previous work. There is some confusion here about what they are going for all things considered. Bringing on Smith would seem to start trending the show more comedic (or even campy) hence the Star Wars fan push back.
The Acolyte, by Disney’s own description, is said to deal in the last days of the High Republic Era with the Acolyte typically referred to as a Sith Lord in training. If this were the case, and we were truly getting a first sense of the rise of the Dark Side, does this really seem like something where the studio would want to mine laughs?
Additionally, Star Wars fans were right to be skeptical of Kevin Smith considering the criticism he has received for his handling of Netflix’s Master of the Universe: Revelation which was supposed to be a reboot of the He-Man story. While critically it went down as a success, sitting at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, the fan score told a different story with the audience score ranging all the way down to 39%.
Time will, of course, tell what happens with this Kevin Smith news. There is some chance these are only initial conversations and that different factions within the studio want different people in different roles. Such is the case of things at Disney where it seems to separate camps, Kathleen Kennedy vs. David Filoni and Jon Favreau have set up shop with competing visions for the franchise. If Kevin Smith is a Kathleen Kennedy guy, there is some chance him directing episodes doesn’t make it all the way to the finish line.