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Star Wars: The 7 Words Lucasfilm Tried To Ban From The Acolyte

Contains spoilers for "The Acolyte" Episodes 1 and 2.

After months of anticipation, Lucasfilm has finally debuted "The Acolyte." Set a century before "The Phantom Menace," the Star Wars series introduces audiences to a simpler, but complex time in the galaxy far, far away. The show goes deep into the franchise's lore, with "The Acolyte" potentially resurrecting one of Star Wars' most controversial Force powers. While it takes major swings in expanding the universe, it also sticks true to established Star Wars dialogue. In a chat with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Leslye Headland revealed that Lucasfilm tried to ban her from using one of the property's most famous lines: "I have a bad feeling about this."

Those seven words are first said by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in "A New Hope" and have since appeared in every subsequent mainline Star Wars film. One of the most quoted lines from the series, Headland fought Lucasfilm to keep it in her series. "That was hard to get that in," she explained to the outlet. "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." 

Headland ultimately got her wish, as the line is said by Jedi Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett) in the show's two-episode premiere. Within the context of "The Acolyte," the line's use is appropriate and doesn't feel like a cheap fan service. 

The iconic Star Wars line makes sense for The Acolyte

It's not surprising that Lucasfilm was hesitant to use "I have a bad feeling about this" on "The Acolyte." While the line shows up throughout the franchise, its inclusion can feel indulgent and winky, meant to purely illicit nostalgia. On the show, Yord says the line while laying out a trap for Mae (Amandla Stenberg). It feels completely earned, as viewers are already aware that Yord knows how capable of a warrior Mae is. After all, Mae (aka the Acolyte) killed one of the Star Wars project's most interesting characters within minutes.

Leslye Headland admits that the line carries a certain amount of weight and should be used sparingly when it's absolutely needed. "It's such an iconic line that I think there was some concern of, 'Well, we don't want to just drop it in there and have everyone go, 'Oh, I see.' But I think we found a good way to justify it and make it feel natural and still be an homage," she said. 

The use of the iconic dialogue on "The Acolyte" makes it one of the earliest examples within the expansive Star Wars timeline. Following Yord, the next canonical on-screen instance of it would be in "The Phantom Menace," when it's uttered by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). With two Jedi Knights expressing this statement decades apart, it could be implied that "I have a bad feeling about this" is a sentiment engrained deep into the Jedi culture. 

To read more about the Star Wars series, check out our post on if Yoda is alive during "The Acolyte."