Those filling out their Star Wars crosswords this morning will be delighted to hear that the answer to “another seven-letter word for Padawan” isn’t only just 23-Across, but also the name of the next Disney+ series in the Star Wars universe. Titled The Acolyte, the series will continue to tell smaller stories from the expanded canon, while placing popular characters like the Skywalker family aside.
The eight-episode limited series will also send fans further in the past than ever before, even though every Star Wars story technically took place a long, long time ago. Prequels are all the rage right now, thanks to shows like Rings of Power, House of the Dragon, and Lucasfilm’s own Andor. Why not get as prequel as Star Wars can get and enter the era of the High Republic? With a fantastic-looking cast and an intriguing plot for real Star Wars heads, here’s everything we know so far about The Acolyte.
What Is The Acolyte About?
Set before Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the new Acolyte series will take place even before the prequel trilogy. It’s entirely new territory for the Star Wars universe, as many of its shows have been set in-between their already established film trilogies. According to Lucasfilm, the series will be “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.” The Acolyte will follow a former Padawan who “reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated.”
According to CBR, the series has the potential to mark the first on-screen appearance of Darth Plagueis—a legendary Sith figure in Star Wars lore first mentioned by the Emperor in the prequel trilogy for his ability to bring people back from the dead. “The further you go back [in Star Wars history], the better things are,” Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “‘A long time ago actually becomes more futuristic. So while we are creating this type of world, we’re trying to carry George’s concept that the further you go back, the more exciting and new and sleek and interesting things look.” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy also hinted at the possible inclusion of expanded cannon elements, citing that “there are little bits and pieces that [Headland’s] drawing from that no one has explored yet in onscreen storytelling.”
Who Is In the Cast for The Acolyte?
The cast for The Acolyte is arguably the most exciting prospect of the series so far, regardless of the journey that Disney+ plans. Led by Amandla Stenberg (Bodies Bodies Bodies), the series will also star Lee Jung-jae (Squid Game), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Jodie Turner-Smith (After Yang), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix Resurrections), Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll), and Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials).
When Will The Acolyte Premiere?
Though no release date has been officially announced, The Acolyte is set to premiere on Disney+ and run for eight episodes. Filming just began in late October in the UK, which is why we’re finally being treated to exciting casting and synopsis reveals. Filming will likely take place all throughout Spring 2023 however, meaning that we not see the highly-anticipated series until late 2023 at the earliest. Until then, there’s still plenty of Mando and Andor to go around.
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his work can be found at Spin, Insider, Vibe, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.
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