Dafne Keen as Jecki Lon in The Acolyte

Dafne Keen Says Her ‘Acolyte’ Character Has Feelings for Another Woman

The Acolyte, Disney+’s mystery-drama set in the world of Star Wars, has gained positive reviews from critics—but unfortunately, angry Star Wars fans have been ranting about it and review-bombing it since it first came out.

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It’s a very female-centric show, you see, and it stars a Black woman and has some queer themes, so it’s become a punching bag for a certain brand of “fan.” But luckily, the actors involved with the show are engaging with the fans who do like it and even adding to those aforementioned queer themes. We all saw the relationship between witches Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Koril (Margarita Levieva), but now, actress Dafne Keen has revealed there’s been another queer relationship going on under our noses—or at least, that’s how she played it.

Dafne Keen believes her character Jecki Lon has a crush on Amandla Stenberg’s Osha. She explained this to Decider during an interview published this June. When asked, “Is The Acolyte continuing its wonderfully queer agenda by introducing a possible romance between Jecki and Osha?” she responded with excitement, saying it was her “favorite question ever.”

“I think, for Jecki, it’s very confusing because as a Jedi you’re not allowed to have feelings for other people,” she said. “And I think … I think she … Hehehe, I think she does. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, but I think she does.”

Well, luckily, Keen was allowed to say it—and she should! She went on:

Jecki’s such a young character. She’s an 18-year-old, but she’s not a normal 18-year-old. Like she hasn’t gone to school and she hasn’t had interactions with other like people. So it’s her first real experience, I think, of those kinds of feelings and almost the guilt and confusion that comes with it. She’s such a controlled, like self-judging, like perfect student, that I think it’s also almost self-hatred that comes from having those feelings and the kind of constriction, but also the inevitable magnetism that she has towards Osha because of that.

Will we see more of Jecki and Osha’s relationship in episodes to come? Hopefully, but bear in mind nothing is actually likely to happen between them. Jedi students are certainly not allowed to get into relationships (RIP, Anakin and Padmé), and also, showrunner Leslye Headland has stated that The Acolyte isn’t a “queer with a capital Q” show.

Leslye Headland on The Acolyte’s queer themes

Headland is queer herself, but she doesn’t necessarily consider The Acolyte to be a queer piece of art. She told the Hollywood Reporter that she believed it was “reductive” to call the relationship between Aniseya and Koril “lesbians.”

However, she went on, “I’m proud of being a gay woman who’s accomplished this feat [of creating the show], and certainly, if my content is called queer, I don’t want to disown whatever queerness is in the show. I would be proud to create something that inspired queer people.”

If only the ranters and review-bombers had such a sensible attitude.

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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.