At Disney’s Investor Day, the company made the unexpected announcement that it was abandoning the Star Wars franchise. I’m kidding! They announced more new Star Wars properties than you can shake a sonic mine at. One of the most intriguing new additions is a new Disney+ series called The Acolyte.
During her presentation at the event, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced the series as one of several new shows set in the Star Wars universe. Leslye Headland, co-creator of the critically acclaimed Netflix time loop series Russian Doll, is behind the series, which Kennedy describes as a “mystery-thriller that will take us into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”
That was the only information viewers had about the upcoming series. However, as with everything Star Wars, a few nuggets of information can reveal a lot. Here’s everything we know about The Acolyte so far.
The Acolyte Release date
The Acolyte was one of several series that received only a brief mention during Kennedy’s speech. There was no word on how far along the production is currently or when fans can expect to see it.
One piece of information we do have about The Acolyte’s production can help us make an educated guess about a possible release date.
Before announcing the title and premise at Disney Investor Day, the show was only known as a new Disney+ live-action Star Wars spin-off series developed by Headland. Variety reported in April 2020 that the show was in the process of staffing, citing sources. That’s not a lot of information, but it does indicate that production on the series has most likely begun in the first half of 2020. However, it is most likely still early days.
Without any other information, it’s difficult to predict when The Acolyte will premiere on Disney+. Based on what we do know, we expect the series to premiere in 2022 at the very least.
The cast of The Acolyte.
Kennedy did not reveal any specifics about The Acolyte casting during her presentation as a release date. At the time of writing, no casting rumors or speculation had surfaced. However, there are two hints about what the series’ cast might look like.
First, when Variety first revealed the existence of The Acolyte, they noted that insider sources described the show as “female-centric.” Those familiar with Headland’s previous work will not be surprised, as her films and TV shows frequently focus on women’s lives. Of course, “female-centric” is a comprehensive definition, but it does indicate that there will be more female characters than in previous properties in the franchise.
We’ll be watching to see if any actresses from Headland’s previous work, such as Natasha Lyonne, Kirsten Dunst, Greta Lee, Lizzy Caplan, or Isla Fisher, appear in The Acolyte.
Another interesting fact is that the series takes place “in the final days of the High Republic Era.” This doesn’t necessarily tell us who will be cast in the series. Still, given that the show is set several hundred years before the events of the movies or The Mandalorian, it does limit the characters who may cross over from other parts of the franchise.
The Acolyte: The origins of a powerful Sith lord.
There is some room for speculation when it comes to The Acolyte’s plot. The only official information we have about the series is the logline by Kennedy at the Disney Investor Day presentation. Still, because Star Wars has such a deep well of lore, we can do some extrapolating.
The High Republic Era, in which the series takes place, is notable for being a “golden age for the Jedi,” according to Wookiepedia. Given that the series is to take place at the end of that era and is as a “mystery-thriller” that delves into “shadowy secrets” and “emerging dark side powers,” some have speculated that it might feature the rise of the X-Men. Den of Geek assumed that the series’ timeline could point to it featuring Darth Plagueis. Plagueis was a powerful Sith lord best for mentoring Darth Sidious, now known as Emperor Palpatine, who eventually killed his master. Palpatine is too young to overlap with the High Republic Era, but depending on how Disney hammers out the canon timeline, the final days of the High Republic Era could coincide with Darth Plagueis’ early years. It’s an intriguing prospect.
Aside from that, we’re still mainly in the dark about The Acolyte. However, the series’ teased dark tone, intriguing choice of showrunner, and historical setting should pique the interest of Star Wars fans.
“The High Republic is so golden in so many ways,” Headland told VF, explaining how the show will explore the period’s dark underbelly. “What are we ignoring that could lead to the rise of someone like Palpatine a century later?” Yes, there is one bad guy, but he is the bad guy who completely undermines the entire government system… If everything goes well, you can’t end up with George [Lucas]’ Phantom Menace situation.”
Exploring villains is a fascinating part of the Star Wars mythos for Headland. The Acolyte creator was by the Extended Universe of Star Wars novels, and she hopes to incorporate some of those elements into this new show.
Headland revealed that while pitching The Acolyte to Lucasfilm, she admitted to writing fanfiction based on Timothy Zahn’s novel Heir to the Empire, which introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn. She is well good in the universe. “I really got into it in the ’90s, and then I was introduced to the Clone Wars animated series,” she explained. “I was very familiar with the timeline.”
According to Headland, they are delving into a period such as the High Republic allows her far more freedom than trying to tell another story in the already crowded Skywalker Saga period. She asserts that The Acolyte is first and foremost a mystery, which is much more challenging to accomplish in a setting that fans have been studying for 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 be available on Disney+ in 2023. In the meantime, the next Star Wars show, Obi-Wan Kenobi, premieres this Friday.
Will Darth Revan serve as an acolyte?
Darth Revan, the dark side of the Force, is ready to make his Star Wars debut on a Disney+ series. Darth Revan, a Jedi-turned-Sith, will make his debut in the upcoming Star Wars: The Acolyte series, which Leslie Headland is currently developing for Disney+, according to TheDirect.com.
What exactly will Acolyte be about?
According to Disney and Lucasfilm, ” “The Acolyte” will take place in the final days of the “Star Wars” timeline’s High Republic era and will focus on the emergence of mysterious dark side powers.
Is the acolyte position vacant?
The Illuminerdi reported that The Acolyte’s production had been pushed back to October. Filming will last eight months, with a completion date of May 2023.
Is the Acolyte an animation?
With several live-action and animated series set in a galaxy far, far away. The future of the Star Wars universe is flourishing on Disney+. One of the most intriguing series to join that lineup is Star Wars: The Acolyte, a live-action show set during the fall of the High Republic.
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