With so much set during the Skywalker era, fans were delighted to learn that the Star Wars series The Acolyte would be set during the High Republic era 100 years prior to the events of The Phantom Menace.
Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) is set as the writer and showrunner of the eight-episode series of The Acolyte. Headland described in an interview with Vanity Fair that the series will be a mystery thriller set before war and empires ravaged the galaxy. Headland describes the period as a bit of a Renaissance period, before Jedi became warrior monks, in new costumes with new motives. Set before The Phantom Menace, Headland explained the series would look at how the galaxy became what it became by the time Anakin and his midichlorians showed up on Tatooine.
For those familiar with the eras before the Skywalker saga, the High Republic falls right between what is known as the Old Republic (about 800 years pre-Skywalker) and The Phantom Menace. The High Republic currently has a series of novels and comics set during the time, aptly titled Star Wars: The High Republic. Jedi, at the height of their order, face off against the Nihil, a group characterized to be like space Vikings. The books and comics in this series are broken down into three phases, with each phase containing novels, comics, audio stories, and short stories.
The stories of the Disney Star Wars era have often stuck close to the dependable Skywalker Saga, despite criticism and the desire for more variety. Collider‘s Maggie Lovitt spoke with Kathleen Kennedy, the current president of Lucasfilm, about the potential of The Acolyte series. Kennedy said:
“We actually were intrigued with that because if that show works, then it really gives us an opportunity to expand on that. And that’s what’s so great about television because it gives us sort of this larger playground for experimenting.”
Could this mean that if The Acolyte is successful we will see more stories set in timelines that have nothing to do with the Skywalker Saga? It seems like the series is a litmus test, an experiment for what might come in the future.
Currently, there is very little known about the cast or other details of The Acolyte series. The series, still casting and nearly written, stars Amandla Stenberg in an unnamed lead role. Perhaps eagle-eyed fans will be able to turn to the written stories to glean what might be coming for the Disney+ series.
There is currently no release date for The Acolyte.