Lee Jung Jae Reacts to Racism Issues in ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’: ‘There Are Also Aliens’

Lee Jung Jae expressed his thoughts regarding the racism issue in the newly released “Star Wars: The Acolyte.”

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Before the film’s official premiere, “Star Wars: The Acolyte” was getting the attention of netizens and media after the show became a center of discussion due to the racism context raised by the fandom. 

It was after the MCU cast South Korean star Lee Jung Jae as Jedi Master Sol. While this is his first Hollywood project, not to mention his first English-speaking role, racist fans are complaining about whether he will give justice to the role and if the actor will be able to deliver his line. 

In addition to this, other fans seemed disappointed that Master Jedi was played by an Asian. 

To recall, the previous installment featured Liam Neeson as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn from “The Phantom Menace” sequel. 

As for Lee Jung Jae, he is the first Asian to play the coveted role. 

During the movie’s press conference in Seoul, Lee Jung Jae, who is part of the highly anticipated sequel, reacts to the controversy surrounding the movie. 

Lee Jung Jae Claps Back at Racist Comments Towards His ‘The Acolyte’ Character

As mentioned by a local media outlet, the award winning actor expressed the director’s vision of casting people of different races and ethnicities. 

“The director’s intention was for there to be a variety of races,” he said, adding, “There are a variety of characters in ‘The Acolyte’. There are also aliens.”

Star Wars: The Acolyte
(Photo : Disney Plus)

In addition to this, Lee Jung Jae also mentioned the premise of “Star Wars: The Acolyte.”

According to him, it is set during the era of the Old Republic, which features “a much older generation than the Jedi that have appeared so far.”

“So, if you think about where the Asian appearance came from, I think it would be natural for the older generation to have a Jedi with an Asian appearance. That’s why I think I was chosen as a cast ,” the actor added. 

Other than Lee Jung Jae, “The Acolyte” director Leslye Headland also expressed his stance regarding the movie. 

Star Wars: The Acolyte
(Photo : Disney Plus)

In an interview obtained by a media outlet, The New York Times, she admitted that the movie faced controversy, especially with racism. 

Moreover, the female director also pointed out that individuals who engage in hate speech, bigotry, or racism are “not considered true fans of “Star Wars.”

On the other hand, “Star Wars: The Acolyte” officially hit Disney+ on June 4, 2024, with the streaming platform releasing its first two episodes. As for the other six episodes, they will be released weekly.