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Everything to Know About Star Wars: The Acolyte

The Disney+ series stars Squid Game's Lee Jung-jae

Liam Mathews
Amandla Stenberg, Star Wars: The Acolyte

Amandla Stenberg, Star Wars: The Acolyte


Disney+'s Star Wars universe keeps expanding. The streaming service will soon release the new Star Wars TV show The Acolyte, its sixth live-action Star Wars series.

The Acolyte has been in the works for a long time. Shortly after the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker, the final movie of the sequel trilogy, creator and self-professed Star Wars "major mega fan" Leslye Headland pitched the idea to Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy as "Frozen meets Kill Bill." The series was officially announced in April 2020. Now, four years, a pandemic, and two Hollywood strikes later, The Acolyte is finally ready to step out of the shadows.

Much about The Acolyte remains shrouded in mystery, and most specifics about the show's plot and how it connects to the larger Star Wars universe are unconfirmed. But fans are nonetheless excited about what The Acolyte appears to be — a genre crossover that's something new for Star Wars, an emphasis on practical effects instead of LED backdrops, and a general sense that this might be something a little different than what we're used to. Hopefully it's more like Andor and less like The Book of Boba Fett

Here's everything we know so far about The Acolyte.

Star Wars: The Acolyte release date 

The Acolyte will premiere on Tuesday, June 4, with the first two episodes of the eight-episode season. New episodes will be released weekly on Disney+.

Star Wars: The Acolyte trailer 

Disney+ released a trailer for The Acolyte on March 19, and it became the Star Wars franchise's most-watched TV series trailer within 24 hours of its release, according to StarWars.com. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter accompanying the release of the trailer, Headland described the series as "a mystery-thriller." 

"It is a serialized story, so each episode gives you more information about the story," Headland said. "We were obviously influenced by samurai films and wuxia films, but also films like Rashomon, where you see one story and then you see it done a different way. So, what separates [The Acolyte] from some of the other Star Wars series is that it's told in that particular way." 

The trailer plays up the mystery-thriller elements as it introduces what appears to be a detective story, as Jedi Master Sol investigates who is behind a string of murders of Jedi. And it shows off the samurai and wuxia influences in its high-flying, wire-aided martial arts battles.

How does The Acolyte connect to the Star Wars universe? 

The Acolyte is set during what's called the High Republic era, a peaceful time when the Galactic Republic and the Jedi order were at their most powerful. It takes place near the end of the High Republic era, about 100 years before the events of The Phantom Menace, and is chronologically the earliest live-action Star Wars project. It's also the first time the High Republic has gotten a live-action depiction; previous High Republic projects have been novels, comics, and the animated series Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures

Because it's set so long before the events of the Star Wars movies, viewers shouldn't expect any cameos from famous Star Wars characters, Headland told The Hollywood Reporter. But there are references to the movies, the animated series The Clone Wars, and the Extended Universe of novels and other media peppered throughout the series. "You could definitely watch this series without knowing anything about Star Wars, but if you are a Star Wars fan, you will notice all of the things that we've put in there," Headland said.

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Star Wars: The Acolyte plot   

Headland has hinted that The Acolyte will be about how the Sith, the evil enemy of the Jedi who were in hiding during the High Republic, began to reemerge into power. "How did we get to where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate [which Emperor Palpatine does in The Phantom Menace] and none of the Jedi pick up on it? What went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?" Headland said in an interview with Vanity Fair

Basically, Sol is investigating crimes that he realizes mean the Sith are becoming active again. And his investigation leads him to Mae, a former Jedi trainee with whom he has a history. As they work together, they uncover secrets about the dysfunction and corruption in the High Republic that will eventually lead to its downfall.. 

Star Wars: The Acolyte creative team 

The Acolyte is created and executive-produced by Leslye Headland, who is best known as the co-creator of the sci-fi comedy Russian Doll. She wrote the first episode and directed the first two. Other directors include Kogonada, Alex Garcia Lopez, and Hannelle Culpepper, who each direct two episodes. The series' writing staff consists of Jason Micallef, Charmaine DeGrate, Jasmyne Flournoy, Eileen Shim, Claire Kiechel, Kor Adana, Cameron Squires, Jocelyn Bioh, and Jen Richards. Headland said one of these writers had never watched any Star Wars when she got the job on The Acolyte, though she did not name who. 

Lee Jung-Jae and Carrie-Ann Moss, Star Wars: The Acolyte

Lee Jung-Jae and Carrie-Ann Moss, Star Wars: The Acolyte

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Star Wars: The Acolyte cast 

The Acolyte features familiar faces from film and television who are all newcomers to the Star Wars franchise. 

Where to watch Star Wars: The Acolyte 

The Acolyte will be available to stream exclusively on Disney+.