When Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy stepped up to the podium at the 2020 Disney Investor Day, she dropped so many Star Wars facts that it left heads spinning. There are so many in the hopper that keeping track of them is going to take a bit of Disney magic. When it seemed as though Disney was taking a break from Star Wars based on the fiasco that was their sequel trilogy, Kennedy, Lucasfilm, and Disney did an about-face and told the world they are going all-in with everything Star Wars. One of the projects announced was an immediate mystery; Star Wars: The Acolyte.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Disney+ series Star Wars: The Acolyte, so far.
What It’s About
The official description for Star Wars: The Acolyte goes something like this…
“The Acolyte is a mystery-thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”
In Star Wars canon, an acolyte is used sometimes in reference to Sith apprentices, which may clue fans into where the series may be headed. This may allow for brand new characters to be featured and tell a story never seen in the Star Wars universe as it may focus on those who closely adhere to the dark side. With the description of Star Wars: The Acolyte taking place in the “final days of the High Republic”, we already know that this is a good 100-200 years before George Lucas gave us his Skywalker Saga.
The High Republic is going to see a lot of action in upcoming months as Disney also announced that a multi-media blitz is revealing itself in the form of series, comic books, and novels with Star Wars: Light of the Jedi already on the bookshelves. With the goal of the media focus hitting the high times for the Jedi Order and the High Republic, Star Wars: The Acolyte will cover its low point, which would lead into Lucas’ prequel trilogy.
The People Making Star Wars: The Acolyte
Star Wars: The Acolyte is brought to Disney+ by Russian Doll creator Leslye Headland, with the assistance of Lucasfilm’s vice president of film development Rayne Roberts. Headland is also known for her work on SMILF, Heathers, and Black Monday while Roberts has been involved as a creative executive in every Star Wars film that has come under the Disney banner. She also has worked as a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group for Star Wars Rebels.
Hedlund felt it necessary to address the impact her hiring as a gay woman behind one of the biggest franchises in the history of film and television. “It’s shocking to hear that to me. Although I know it’s true because there are so few of us that are allowed to sit at the table, so to speak, and many, many more that are still not allowed,” Headland said to Movie Web. She’s talked a fair amount about how, as a queer woman, that will influence her own viewpoint and therefore the show.
She went on to add to MovieWeb, “It’s an honor in the sense that I feel incredibly grateful and lucky. I also would say that… I think Fran would agree with this, that a lot of this business is luck. A lot of it is.”
Leslye Headland has been doing many interviews sharing things from behind the scenes for Star Wars: The Acolyte. She’s said that Phantom Menace came out when she was a teenager and heavily affected her Star Wars fandom. She also shared that there are writers working on the show that have never seen Star Wars. Yes, that’s right. She explained that having someone there who wasn’t a fan helped them notice gaps in storytelling that they see through knowing Star Wars canon so well.
Casting Star Wars: The Acolyte
The details of Star Wars: The Acolyte are scarce. We don’t know who is in it yet. What we do know is that Hedlund has already made it clear that the series will be female-centric, featuring a female protagonist, though it will not be entirely devoid of male characters.
Right now there’s a rumor floating around that not only will the series be a mystery-thriller but that it will also include some “martial arts elements” in its plot.
The only existing Star Wars character who would be alive during this time period is Yoda, who would be rather middle-aged and probably at the peak of his powers. It’s possible he might show up, though we’ve heard nothing specific yet.
When Kennedy announced Star Wars: The Acolyte, she didn’t give it a release date. Given the fact that the High Republic media blitz is just beginning, it may take some time before fans get to see what Headland and Roberts are cooking up. The series hasn’t even begun production so a Disney+ premiere could easily be a 2022 or even a 2023 thing. Plus, with all the other Star Wars series and movies announced, we just don’t know where the priorities lie when it comes to release dates. We are sure Disney and Lucasfilm have a plan.