"The Acolyte" Showrunner Describes the Series as "'Frozen' Meets 'Kill Bill'"
We now know a bit more about Disney+'s next Star Wars series, "The Acolyte." At London's Star Wars Celebration on April 7, audiences were shown an unreleased clip from the series and learned that the show is due out sometime in 2024. At the event, showrunner Leslye Headland described the series as "'Frozen' meets 'Kill Bill,'" and shared that it will take place during a time when the Jedi are thriving and "the bad guys are outnumbered," per Entertainment Weekly. Joining Headland was Joonas Suotamo, who played Chewbacca in the latest trilogy and who will appear as a Wookie Jedi master in the upcoming series.
The Star Wars franchise confirmed that "The Acolyte" was officially a go on Nov. 7, 2022 via Twitter and included some very exciting additions to the cast, such as Manny Jacinto and Jodie Turner-Smith. They join previously announced leads Amandla Stenberg and "Squid Game" star Lee Jung-Jae.
On July 22, 2022, Stenberg announced the casting news on their Instagram, sharing photos of themself with R2-D2 and Darth Vader while wearing a Darth Maul shirt. "Next stop: a galaxy far, far away . . . I am so excited to finally announce I'm joining Star Wars: #TheAcolyte !" Stenberg wrote in the caption. "Honored is an understatement. May the Force be with you 🖤."
"The Acolyte" is one of eight announced Star Wars series coming to Disney+, including "Ahsoka" and "Andor," which premiered in September 2022. The "Acolyte" creative team is led by "Russian Doll" creator Headland. Back in 2020 when it was announced, Disney described the project as "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."
Headland also told Vanity Fair in May 2022 that the show was mostly written and that they were currently casting the series at the time. The show takes place a century before the events of "The Phantom Menace."
"A lot of those characters haven't even been born yet. We're taking a look at the political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don't know much about," Headland told Vanity Fair. "My question when watching 'The Phantom Menace' was always like, 'Well, how did things get to this point?' How did we get to a point where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? Like, what went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?"
Stenberg's Darth Maul shirt seems to be a hint that they'll play a character on the dark side, if not one of the Sith, but it's unclear what character Jung-Jae will be portraying. As we wait for more details, read on for everything we know so far about "The Acolyte."
"The Acolyte" Cast
"The Acolyte" stars Stenberg and Jung-Jae. Joining them are Jacinto, Turner-Smith, Dafne Keen, Rebecca Henderson, Charlie Barnett, Dean-Charles Chapman, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Joonas Suotamo, who played Chewbacca in the latest Star Wars trilogy, will play a Wookie Jedi master called Kelnacca.
"The Acolyte" Plot
"The Acolyte" is described as a mystery thriller. Headland told Variety that during the time period the show is set, the galaxy is prosperous and peaceful. Even the Jedi is different than fans are used to: "The Jedi uniforms are gold and white, and it's almost like they would never get dirty. They would never be out and about," she told the outlet. "The idea is that they could have these types of uniforms because that's how little they're getting into skirmishes."
"The Acolyte" Time Period
"The Acolyte" takes place 100 years before the events of "The Phantom Menace," which was previously the earliest movie or show in the Star Wars timeline.
"The Acolyte" Release Date
"The Acolyte" will premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2024.