The Acolyte: First details about upcoming Star Wars show revealed

Photo: Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi - Book Cover.. Image Courtesy Disney Publishing Worldwide
Photo: Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi - Book Cover.. Image Courtesy Disney Publishing Worldwide /

The information on Lucasfilm’s upcoming slate of Star Wars television series has been plentiful of late, thanks to Vanity Fair’s latest deep dive issue. We’ve already heard more about the Rogue One spinoff Andor, as well as the struggles of creating Baby Yoda and release windows for AhsokaThe Mandalorian season 3, and more.

Now we’re hearing more about The Acolyte, the Star Wars show being created by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll). Details have been kept under lock and key about the series; until now the literal only thing we’ve known is that it’s set during the High Republic era of Star Wars history. That’s the olden days of the Republic, around a century before Palpatine first came onto the scene, a time period Lucasfilm is currently exploring in an interconnected run of novels and comics.

In The Acolyte, we’ll see the High Republic era make the leap to the small screen. This is when Jedi wore golden outfits, the forces of good ruled the galaxy, and the government was creating “Great Works” for future generations. It sounds pretty utopian.

So naturally, The Acolyte will show this time period from the perspective of the Sith.

The Acolyte will show the rise of the Sith

“The High Republic is so golden in so many ways,” Headland told VF, explaining how the show will explore the the dark underbelly of the time period. “What are we turning a blind eye to that could lead to the rise of somebody like Palpatine about a century later? Yes, it’s one bad guy, but it’s one bad guy that completely undermines the entire system of government … you can’t just end up with George [Lucas]’ Phantom Menace situation if everything is going well.”

For Headland, exploring villains is a fascinating part of the Star Wars mythos. The Extended Universe of Star Wars novels were a huge influence on The Acolyte creator, and she’s looking to bring some of those EU elements into this new show. Headland revealed that when she was meeting with Lucasfilm to pitch The Acolyte, she admitted to writing fanfiction based on Timothy Zahn’s book Heir to the Empire, which introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn. She really knows this universe. “I came hard at that in the ‘90s,” she said, “and then got introduced to the Clone Wars animated series. I knew the timeline really well.”

According to Headland, delving into a period like the High Republic provides her a lot more freedom than, say, trying to tell another story in the already crowded Skywalker Saga period. She puts forth that The Acolyte is a mystery first and foremost, which is much harder to pull off in a setting that fans have been studying decades.

“You could not pay me enough money to try to be in the Luke Skywalker timeline,” Headland laughed. “There’s too much iconography and intensity with those particular characters … I think I’m telling a story that’s more about a timeline we don’t know much about. Let’s hang out here for a little bit and check out what Star Wars looks like when the good guys are actually in charge. What happens? We know what it eventually leads to, so let’s explore. What are the holes that we can poke into what happened?”

The Acolyte will premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2023. Until then, the next Star Wars show, Obi-Wan Kenobi, comes out this Friday.

Next. Karl Urban isn’t replacing Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian. dark

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h/t Gizmodo