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George Lucas’s Striking Switch: Endorsing the Concept of Wookie Jedi in The Acolyte

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Key Takeaways:
* Originally, decreed a ban against Wookie Jedi.
* Few existing Wookie Jedi characters emerged prior to the ban.
* Lucas eventually allowed the portrayal of a Wookie Jedi in The .
* The turnaround might link to the showcase of Jedi in the prequel trilogy.
* Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo plays the Wookie Jedi character Kelnacca in The Acolyte.

Initially Against Wookie Jedi

Years ago, Wars griped with a perplexing rule from creator George Lucas. A seemingly outlandish decree declared “no more Wookie Jedi” in the expanded universe. This astonishing verdict was reported in a piece from Star Wars Insider #79 making it an official stance.

Lucas expressed his reasons for the verdict during a DVD commentary for Return of the Jedi. He cited difficulty in reconciling “the primitive, Stone Age race needed for the story with 's strong technological know-how.” This discrepancy was likely what fuelled his disapproval of the Wookie Jedi concept.

Pre-existing Wookie Jedi

A few Wookie Jedi did sneak in before this prohibition bonked the Star Wars universe. There are four such characters – Kirlocca, Lowbacca, Tyvokka, and a yet unnamed Wookie character in Edge of Victory: Conquest. These were all created before George Lucas enacted his rule disallowing further incorporation of similar characters.

Randy Stadley, editor and author of the Jedi Council series, provided further insight. In an archive from the Dark Horse forum, he stated, “there are a number of species, lacking either the ability to use the Force, or the subtlety of thought necessary for Jedi training.” This explanation reflects Lucas's initial reason for opposing the inclusion of Wookie Jedi.

Lucas Shifts His Perspective

Interestingly, George Lucas seems to have reevaluated his standpoint. Around the time the prequel trilogy surfaced, it introduced a greater diversity of Jedi. Their continuing presence in the Star Wars universe possibly influenced Lucas to revise his viewpoint on Wookie Jedi.

Kelnacca, a New Wookie Jedi

Excitingly, the new Star Wars series The Acolyte features a Wookie Jedi named Kelnacca. Revealed by showrunner Leslye Headland during a , this news delighted fans everywhere.

Expressing her admiration for Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo's performance in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Headland said she wanted to see him portray a Jedi in The Acolyte. She envisioned him doing more than just the sidekick role – she wanted to see him swing a lightsaber in action as a Jedi.

Successfully convincing the studio and special effects artist Neal Scanlan, she made her vision a reality. Suotamo now portrays Kelnacca, the Wookie Jedi in The Acolyte.

The introduction of a Wookie Jedi in The Acolyte reflects the show's commitment to expanding the Star Wars universe. It also highlights the push to create more diverse character stories in this beloved franchise. In this way, it defies a stance that George Lucas had famously taken in the past, which underlines the dynamic nature of the saga.

The Acolyte series is currently on +. This expansion of the Star Wars universe is going down exciting new alleys, breaking new ground by tapping into areas previously declared off-limits.

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