The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland says the series will be the first for the franchise — a Star Wars story with no war in it.
For the most part, the Star Stars TV shows on Disney+ have largely stuck to the time periods explored in the movies, but Star Wars: The Acolyte will take place hundreds of years before the events of The Phantom Menace. The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland told Entertainment Weekly that the series takes place during a period of peace in the galaxy, which is a first for a franchise with war right in the title.
“The Acolyte stands out because it is the earliest in the Star Wars timeline that we have ever been in live-action,” Leslye Headland said. “We are toward the end of the High Republic, leading into George’s prequels, so we are looking at a time period where the Jedi are at the height of their power… We’re looking at a time period where there is peace throughout the galaxy. It was very challenging and interesting to make a Star Wars with no war in it. So the question became, Well, what should the show be about if it’s not going to be about galactic conflict?“
The series will also flip the script as it won’t always be told from the perspective of the Jedi. “I think that what makes this show different and interesting is that it’s from the perspective of the villains of Star Wars,” Lesyle Headland explained. “These are people who are using the Force in their own way, dipping into the darker sides of the Force and are doing it without being sanctioned by the larger institution, which, in this case, is the Jedi.” Headland added that the series will feature “more Jedi than you’ve seen in any of the Star Wars content,” but also more “morally ambiguous characters” as well.
Just because the galaxy may not be at war during The Acolyte doesn’t mean that it will skimp on the action. “I can say this pretty confidently,” Headland said. “I don’t think you’re going to see action in other shows the way that you see it utilized in our show.” The series will involve a number of elaborate martial arts-themed choreographed fights, and it’s expected that Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae will be taking part in them. “I didn’t know that I’d be playing a Jedi master,” Jung-jae said. “And this is a huge opportunity, which I’m still extremely grateful for. And to be playing in a film that I really enjoyed watching is still surreal for me. I can’t believe I’m playing a Jedi master and I get to use a lightsaber!“
“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,” reads the official synopsis. “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.“
Star Wars: The Acolyte doesn’t have an official release date yet but is expected to debut on Disney+ in 2024.