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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

‘The Acolyte’ — Everything We Know About the Star Wars High Republic Series

Star Wars has expanded far past the original movies with a massive library of movies and shows already released or currently in production, ranging from political thrillers to action shows and even shows for kids. While Andor has been one of the most “adult” and mature iterations of Star Wars so far, The Acolyte is sure to try and take that title away.




After waiting for several years, the series is almost here, and we now have a much better look at the first live-action Star Wars production set in the High Republic era. This show is definitely something to look forward to, especially for those audiences who enjoy a more mature Star Wars experience. Now that The Acolyte has started filming, here’s everything we know about the series.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on May 4, 2024.

The Acolyte 2024 New Disney Plus Poster

The Acolyte

The Acolyte is 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. A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated.

Release Date
June 4, 2024

Seasons
1

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Studio
Disney+

Franchise
Star Wars


Does ‘The Acolyte’ Have a Release Date?

Joonas Suotamo in 'The Acolyte'
Image via Lucasfilm


The Acolyte is finally set to be released on June 4, 2024. The series airs exactly four months after the Season 1 finale of Ahsoka (the previous live-action Star Wars series) premiered on streaming. The first two episodes will be made available on June 4, with the remaining episodes set to be released weekly. The series will also come a whopping four years after it was initially reported to be in development.

Where Will ‘The Acolyte’ Stream?

A shadowy figure in 'The Acolyte'
Image via Lucasfilm

The Acolyte will also be released on Disney+ as with all of Star Wars. Thankfully for the international Star Wars fanbase, Disney+ has consistently expanded its serviceable locations, so now over 140 countries have access to their favorite Star Wars content through the streaming service and its partners. This will mark the sixth live-action Star Wars series to premiere on Disney+ after The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, and Ahsoka.


Is There a Trailer for ‘The Acolyte’?

Yes, the first official trailer for The Acolyte was released online on March 19, 2024. While the first trailer doesn’t delve too deep into the story, it does give us a hint about what the series will entail as a Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) is ordered to track down a rogue warrior (Amandla Stenberg). The series also teases plenty of lightsaber action, as it ends with a scene showing a group of Jedi preparing their lightsabers and getting ready to fight.


The second trailer for The Acolyte was released on Star Wars Day, May 4th, 2024.

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Everything You Need To Know about ‘The Acolyte’s High Republic Era

Here’s what you need to know before the Star Wars series, ‘The Acolyte’ comes to Disney+.

Who Stars in ‘The Acolyte’?

If you were worried about the cast of the show not being able to pull this amazing mystery-thriller off, you can dispel that fear immediately. One of the absolute superstar actresses involved is Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) who will be playing Indora, a Jedi. The main character, Mae, is played by Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), who will be the former padawan that the show will focus on. The two main male leads are Lee Jung-jae (Squid Game) as Jedi Master Sol and Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) as Qimir a former Smuggler. While we don’t know much about Jacinto’s character, the actor did tell Collider that he won’t be wielding a lightsaber like some of his co-stars:


“He’s a citizen, he’s a guy within this galaxy who gets pulled into this larger mission within the High Republic and the Jedi. So, whether he likes it or not, he’s kinda in this world.”

The show also features actors and actresses of all ages including Dafne Keen (Logan) as a young Jedi named Jecki Lon and Jodie Turner-Smith (After Yang) as Mother Aniseya, the leader of a coven of Witches. Turner-Smith did reveal to Collider an interesting detail about her character:

“Oh, you know what I’m allowed to say? Guess what I’m allowed to say? That I am really powerful. I use the Force, but I’m not a Jedi or Sith […] Do what you will with that information.”


Rounding out the cast, we have Rebecca Henderson (Russian Doll), who will be playing the fan-favorite character Vernestra Rwoh, Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll) as the Jedi Yord Fandar, and Joonas Suotamo (Solo: A Star Wars Story) as the Wookie Jedi master Kelnacca. Margarita Levieva (Adventureland) and Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones) have also been cast in undisclosed roles.

Suotamo spoke about Kelnacca, saying:

Kelnacca is a Wookiee Jedi. He brings his own his own energy and he is taught in the ways of the Force, which has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid. To get to play a character that can wield the Force is beyond any of my dreams.

What Will ‘The Acolyte’ Be About?

Amandla Stenberg in 'The Acolyte'
Image via Lucasfilm

The official synopsis of the show is as follows:


In “
Star Wars:
The Acolyte,” an investigation into a shocking crime spree pits a respected Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) against a dangerous warrior from his past (Amandla Stenberg). As more clues emerge, they travel down a dark path where sinister forces reveal all is not what it seems….

This show is covering a never before seen era from the Disney-created canon, which is the High Republic era. Chronologically, the show will be set 100 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, so many beloved characters such as Count Dooku, Qui-Jon Jin, and Obi-Wan Kenobi were not even born yet. In an interview with Collider, creator Leslye Headland revealed that Vernestra Woh would be the only character from the Star Wars High Republic books that will appear in the series, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see more characters in potential future seasons.


“I’m gonna be straight with you. They do not. Part of that is because I wanted to save some people for Season 2. I really focused on Vern. Vern was a character that really jumped out at me immediately as someone that
I wanted to see as an arc for where we were with the Jedi when we come into this story
. A character that started out as a prodigy, someone powerfully connected to the Force, almost in love with the Force, but also sassy enough to make her lightsaber into a whip. Someone [with] that experimentation, that energy, and then to see who she is in our show, and see what happens over the course of becoming a more and more powerful Jedi, and going from mission after mission, to council meetings, and protocol, and “how do we keep this institution going, how do we check it, how do we negotiate the level of power that we have.” She’s massively respected, and considered to be one of the most powerful Jedi at this particular time period.”


When describing the series, actor Manny Jacinto said:

“I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but I will just say it. There’s a lack of guns, which personally as someone who loves fighting and stunts and stuff, I love. Because it gives you that body-to-body choreography — that dance feeling. It actually looks like a real fight as opposed to just I point and I shoot, which is kind of an easy cop out in a way. We get a lot of that body-to-body.”

Who Is Making ‘The Acolyte’?

Leslye Headland on The Acolyte set with Amandla Stenberg and Lee Jung Jae
Image via Lucasfilm


The Acolyte was created by Leslye Headland, who is best known for co-creating Netflix’s Russian Doll. Headland is attached to the project as a writer, director, and showrunner, as well as one of the executive producers, alongside Jason Micallef, Simon Emanuel, Kathleen Kennedy, and Jeff King, with Damian Anderson and Rayne Roberts also credited as producers. Chris Teague and James Friend are the cinematographers. Headland directed Episodes 1-2 of the series, with Kognada (After Yang) directing Episodes 3 and 7, Alex García López (Daredevil) directing Episodes 4-5, and Hanelle Culpepper (True Story) directing Episodes 6 and 8. Michael Abels, the composer known for his work with Jordan Peele on all three of his films, is behind the score for the series.

Much like Andor, The Acolyte was filmed on physical sets instead of ‘The Volume.’ It is important to note that the production seems to be using more traditional filmmaking techniques rather than the full LED screen that shows such as The Book of Boba Fett made extensive use of. Some people prefer the look of Andor because it uses a more traditional approach, but both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages.


In an interview with Collider, Stenberg spoke about filming with physical sets rather than a volume.

“Something technical that I can speak to, I thought that, because of how
The Mandalorian
was shot, we would be shooting on a volume, but we shoot on practical sets. So probably the thing that’s been the most shocking for me is walking onto these humongous practical sets that have been created just for our world. I’ve never had that experience before. I’ve been on amazing sets, of course, in my career, but there’s nothing like this.”

We got a new look at The Acolyte thanks to Empire Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Check out the images down below:


Dafne Keen addressed the show’s ambitions, saying:

“We want to top the Darth Maul fight – the most iconic fight, I think, in the Star Wars cinematic universe,” Keen said. “It’s such an amazing fight, and we were all so excited about the saber fights. There’s such a skill and a craft to it that it feels so OG Star Wars and feels so impressive when you see it as a viewer.”

How Many Episodes Are There in ‘The Acolyte’?

Lee Jung-jae, wearing a Jedi robe, while teaching children in a Jedi Temple in The Acolyte.
Image via Disney+

There are a total of eight episodes in the upcoming series. These episodes do not have an official length as Disney+ rarely gives out the runtime this far ahead of the release, especially when the show hasn’t even finished filming yet. That being said, we can hope that the series will average about 30 minutes with each episode, which would give us about four hours of High Republic content to explore.


Will ‘The Acolyte’ Have a Season 2?

Amandla Stenberg, wearing a robe, while standing in a doorway, in The Acolyte.
Image via Disney+

The show so far has a lot of elements that are supposed to show the evolution of the republic through its equivalent of the Renaissance, which is essentially what the High Republic period was for the galaxy far, far away. This is a period that Disney has poured substantial resources into, and we can expect that trend to continue. In an interview with Collider, Leslye Headland revealed that she does have plans for future seasons, saying:


“I would say that when I pitched it, I definitely pitched it as a multi-season show. There are a lot of things at the end of this season that I think are narrative threads that are not tied up, for sure. However,
I am the type of writer that is not interested in an emotional cliffhanger.
I want you to feel like you’ve had a particular type of catharsis, and an emotional experience in watching those eight episodes because I like rewarding the audience with that.”

That being said, there has been no official word on future seasons of The Acolyte. That doesn’t mean that it cannot happen, just more of something that may be determined based on the success of the first season of the show.

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