By Kieran Burt.
In November 2020, Disney announced several new Star Wars TV shows, and one of the more intriguing ones is Star Wars: The Acolyte, which will be based in the High Republic era of the Star Wars timeline. There is quite a lot that’s known about the series so it’s worth going over it.
The premise of the show is what makes it the most interesting. Set around 100 years before Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace, the series will explore the events that kickstarted the plan to take over the Republic and destroy the Jedi. An official synopsis from Disney says:
“The Acolyte is a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era. A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated.”
The High Republic is an era yet to be explored outside of novels and comics, meaning that audiences will get a completely new look at the galaxy. The mystery-thriller genre is new for Star Wars as well, though it likely will be tonally similar to Andor.
At the end of November, cast member Dafne Keen revealed to Tech Radar that the story will be an explanation of how the Sith infiltrated the Jedi. The story will be Sith led, she says.
Which Sith the story will focus on is unknown right now. But many have speculated that Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s master, will make an appearance, as in Star Wars Legends he is the Sith Master that begins the plot against the Jedi.
As far as the cast goes, Lucasfilm announced that the series will star Amandla Stenberg, and has since showcased eight other actors and actresses that will be part of the series.
The other cast members are: Emmy Award-winner Lee Jung-jae (Squid Game), Manny Jacinto (Nine Perfect Strangers), Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim), Rebecca Henderson (Inventing Anna), Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll), Dean-Charles Chapman (1917) and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix).”
While the main cast of the show is known, who they are playing is still a mystery. A set photo of Stenberg and Jung-jae has been released, but it’s not clear what’s happening.
Behind the scenes, Leslye Headland will write and produce the show. Headland is most famous for her show Russian Doll on Netflix, but is a Star Wars super-fan. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has praised Headland’s credentials, saying she has “read a gazillion books in the EU (Extended Universe, now known as Legends),” and that she’s drawing from areas no one else has yet.
Other than Headland, no other writers or directors have been named.
A release date for The Acolyte has yet to be confirmed, but it’s unlikely to be 2023. The show began production in November 2022, meaning that it will last for a few months yet. There will be a mix of practical set filming and The Volume, and will be filmed in the UK.
The next Star Wars show to hit Disney+ will be the animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which begins on January 4 2023.