Showrunner Leslye Headland revealed new details about The Acolyte, an upcoming series set in the Star Wars’ High Republic period. Talking to Vanity Fair about the show, Headland confirmed the story is set one hundred years before The Phantom Menace and will explain how the changes in the Jedi Council led to the creation of the Empire.
Starting with The Phantom Menace, the Star Wars prequel trilogy tells the story of Anakin Skywalker’s (Hayden Christensen) descent into the Dark Side of the Force, which ultimately turns him into the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Parallel to Anakin’s tragic story, the prequel trilogy explores how the Sith Lord Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid) infiltrates the Galatic Republic, breeding war and ultimately terminating the Jedi Council. According to Headland, The Acolyte will explain the state of the Galaxy in the prequel trilogy, showing how the Jedi could grow so comfortable as to ignore the presence of a Sith in the Senate. As Headland puts it:
“A lot of those characters [from the Skywalker Saga] 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. 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?”
Headland also underlines how The Acolyte is set in an apparent peaceful era when Jedi Knights are not so used to groveling in the dirt to solve political issues. This change of pace will be reflected in the Jedi uniforms, which as Headland says, shine with the glory of stability.
“We actually use the term the Renaissance, or the Age of Enlightenment [for the High Republic]. The Jedi uniforms are gold and white, and it’s almost like they would never get dirty. They would never be out and about. The idea is that they could have these types of uniforms because that’s how little they’re getting into skirmishes.”
Besides acting as showrunner, Headland also writes for The Acolyte. The series is reportedly led by Amandla Stenberg.
There’s still no release date for The Acolyte. The next Star Wars show to hit Disney+ is Obi-Wan Kenobi, starring Ewan McGregor as the Jedi Master and Christensen as Darth Vader. Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres with two episodes on May 27, exclusively on Disney+.