Leslye Headland‘s venture into a galaxy far, far away looks like it’s shaping up to be one of Star Wars‘ most impressive ensembles to date. With The Acolyte now in production the upcoming series has been steadily adding to its already impressive cast list. As production begins on the new series, Disney revealed that The Matrix‘s Carrie-Anne Moss, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, and Dafne Keen will be joining Amandla Sternberg in the upcoming series set during the late High Republic era.
Keen got her big break in the gritty superhero film Logan, where she played young mutant Laura opposite Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine. She can currently be seen playing Lyra Belaqua in HBO‘s fantasy series His Dark Materials, based on the Phillip Pullman novels of the same name. The third season of the show is set to premiere in December. Henderson is best known for her work in Inventing Anna. Chapman got his start on the West End in Billy Elliot, and has most recently appeared in Game of Thrones and Sam Mendes‘ 1917. Moss is perhaps the most well-known of the trio of newcomers to the series, with her most notable role as Trinity in The Matrix franchise.
The Cast of The Acolyte
Sternberg was first attached to lead the production in December 2021, but Lucasfilm didn’t confirm their casting until they were at SDCC this year to promote the A24 horror flick Bodies Bodies Bodies. A few months later, a slew of casting announcements arrived, with Jodie Smith-Turner in talks to board the project, which also includes Squid Game‘s Emmy-winner Lee Jung-Jae joining in a lead role, as well as Manny Jacinto and Russian Doll alum Charlie Barnett. While details about the series are still sparse, one thing is certain: it has a gorgeous and talented cast.
In May, Collider spoke with Lucasfilm‘s President Kathleen Kennedy about the expanding Star Wars universe, and she seemed positive about the doors that The Acolyte might open up, saying “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.”
Given that Headland is also more interested in engaging with the geography of the Star Wars universe, rather than existing visuals, it definitely has the potential to be unlike previous ventures into a galaxy far, far away. She is looking to create a female-centric Star Wars series, which is a great deviation from the male-centric stories of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Andor—all of which are named for their titular male characters. Ahsoka is another female-centric series on the horizon as well. While all of the Disney+ series to date have had diverse leads and, in the case of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a diverse ensemble cast, The Acolyte seems to be striving towards becoming the most diverse entry into the Star Wars universe. Which makes sense when The High Republic publishing initiative has similarly been a source of diverse representation.
In addition to the casting, Disney shared the first synopsis for the series:
“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.