You feel like for something to be “Star Wars,” there are only two prerequisites. One, set it in the stars. Two, there should be wars. But the upcoming Disney+ show The Acolyte is only embracing one of those staples. It’s very much set in a galaxy far, far, away but, for the first time, it’ll be set in a time of star peace.
The show, which is expected to hit Disney+ in 2024, was created by Leslye Headland and is set near the end of the High Republic era in Star Wars. So, well before the prequels. But even at the start of the prequels, things were relatively peaceful. The Jedi were in power and all was right with the galaxy. That’s where The Acolyte begins.
“We’re looking at a time period where there is peace throughout the galaxy,”Headland told Entertainment Weekly in an interview conducted before the current strikes. “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 answer to that question was to tackle the franchise from the exact opposite direction. If Star Wars is usually about a small team of good guys fighting against a huge group of bad guys what if you told a story about a small group of bad guys trying to survive when the big threat were the good guys?
“Star Wars is always about some version of the underdog versus the institution,” Headland said. “And I just thought it was very interesting to do a show about the bad guys and to set that during that time period made the most sense. So it’s kind of almost flipped. We have more Jedi than you’ve seen in any of the of the Star Wars content, but at the same time, you see more morally ambiguous characters than you’ve seen in other Star Wars content.”
“I think that what makes this show different and interesting is that it’s from the perspective of the villains of Star Wars,” Headland added. “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.”
Now, who exactly are these characters? What will their story add to the overall understanding of Star Wars? We don’t know. But, hopefully, we’ll find out next year. For more from Headland as well as The Acolyte co-stars Amandla Stenberg and Lee Jung-jae, head over to EW.
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