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For fans of the impeccable first season of “Ted Lasso,” the move towards a slightly darker show with more well-rounded, slightly wounded characters in season 3 may feel a little off-brand for a series that prided itself on positivity. Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) and Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed) have personified that gee whiz naivete that became so infectious and endearing. Now that Ted is dealing with panic attacks and Nate has become a sudden rival after heading off to manage the West Ham soccer team, the inspirational tone of “Ted Lasso” has evolved and the show has become more complex. And you know what? It’s more interesting because of it. 

Nate has definitely turned to the dark side in season 3, but showrunner Bill Lawrence and the writing team have been setting up Nate’s sinister arc since season 2. There are a number of visual cues to show his transitions, from Nate’s hair turning grey seemingly before our eyes to his ridiculously intimidating office that looks tailor-made for an authoritarian. Nate is trying to put on airs to appear like he’s in control and really is the wunderkind everyone thinks he is. In his ongoing attempts to look the part, “Star Wars” fans couldn’t help but notice that his over-the-top office resembles the Chancellor’s Suite from the prequels. 

In a recent interview with TV Line, “Ted Lasso” co-creator Brendan Hunt (who also plays Coach Beard), shot down the idea that they intentionally wanted to connect Nate’s betrayal with Emperor Palpatine, even if the production design of the West Ham offices do happen to share a lot of similar imagery with George Lucas’ prequels. 

‘It Doesn’t Suggest Anything At All’

The mythology and story beats in “Star Wars” have become so entrenched in popular culture that almost anytime a character suddenly turns evil or goes through some kind of redemption arc, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that comparisons will be made to the hugely influential sci-fi fantasy saga. Although Hunt was quick to shoot down any direct “Ted Lasso” connections with “Star Wars,” telling TV Line:

“It doesn’t suggest anything at all. How dare you! Hey man, that was just an office we found at London Stadium. Apparently, when they were doing the Olympics, they wanted to put something together like that.”

It sounds like the new sleek and menacing office decor of Nate’s inner sanctum could have been part of a redesign when London hosted the 2012 Olympics. Surely, the contractors must have thought at one point that they were crafting office quarters that looked like something a member of the Sith would take meetings in. 

Hunt did give a shout-out to the set building on “Ted Lasso” but still never confirms or denies if “Star Wars” was on the brain when they placed Nate in his little throne chair:

“Thank you for noticing that office. Paul Cripps, our production designer, has been doing stellar work from Season 1. But that office may be his crowning achievement. Like, I would just hang out in that room when we weren’t even shooting. It’s f***ing great!”

Spending too much time in Nate’s office may, in fact, turn you evil. If there is a “Star Wars” connection in “Ted Lasso,” it’s more easily found in the relationship between Nate and West Ham owner Rupert Mannion. The rule of two between apprentice and Sith Master is pretty evident. For fun, the greying of Nate’s hair reminds me a little of Palpatine suddenly turning into a decrepit, decayed monster during his fight with Mace Windu in “Revenge of the Sith.”

“Ted Lasso” season 3 is now streaming on Apple TV+.

Read this next: The Best TV Episodes Of 2022, Ranked

The post Don’t Worry About Rupert’s Palpatine-Themed Office on Ted Lasso appeared first on /Film.

/Film – Don’t Worry About Rupert’s Palpatine-Themed Office On Ted Lasso
Author: Drew Tinnin
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March 16, 2023

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