THE ACOLYTE Lead Amandla Stenberg On Exploring A New Time Period And Different Side Of The Force

It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard anything about The Acolyte, a Star Wars TV series which will serve as Lucasfilm’s first live-action story set during The High Republic Era.

The events of this show are expected to play out near the end of that, making it a prequel to The Phantom Menace and a project which likely sheds new light on how the Sith returned to power (rumours and theories that one of The Acolyte‘s leads will be Emperor Palpatine’s one-time Master, Darth Plagueis, continue to swirl). 

C Magazine (via SFFGazette.com) recently spoke with Amandla Stenberg and the actress admitted she’s “been feeling a little more trepidation than I thought” about joining the Star Wars Universe. 

However, The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) pitched the series to her in a way which made it hard to turn her down. “All the artwork was conceptualized with my face, and Leslye was like, ‘So I’ve been working on this for about three or four years for you. I don’t know what I’m going to do if you don’t do it. No pressure.’ So I was sent to the moon, of course.”

The publication’s piece on Stenberg confirms she’s the titular Jedi Padawan The Acolyte is named after and the actress and musician went on to tease the scale of the story the show will tell by suggesting it takes a deep dive into the inner workings of the Force and those who wield it. 

“In the context of the Star Wars universe, it’s a time of great peace, theoretically,” she says of the High Republic era. “It’s also a time of an institution, and it’s a time in which conceptions around the Force are very strict. And I think what we’re trying to explore within our show is when an institution has a singular conception of how power can be used.”

“We try to provide a lot of different perspectives and answers to that question. The idea is to kind of honor the ethos of Star Wars and ideas around the Force and also challenge them, hopefully harmoniously.”

The Acolyte will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era with the story of former Padawan who reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes but discovers the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated. 

The series stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Carrie-Anne Moss, Margarita Levieva and Joonas Suotamo.

In addition to writing and directing, Leslye Headland serves as an executive producer with Kathleen Kennedy, Simon Emanuel, Jeff F. King and Jason Micallef. Rayne Roberts and Damian Anderson produce. As for the rest of the show’s writing team, that’s said to include Jason Milcallef, Charmaine De Grate, Jasmyne Flournoy, Eileen Shim, Claire Kiechef, Kor Adana, Cameron Squires, Jocelyn Bioh, and Jen Richards.

The Acolyte is rumoured to premiere on Disney+ this summer.