With a single Tweet from San Diego Comic-Con, LucasFilm confirmed the casting of actor Amandla Stenberg for the lead in the upcoming Disney+ series, “Star Wars: The Acolyte.”
We first posted in December 2021 that Stenberg was in talks to appear in the series, but there was radio silence from LucasFilm until this weekend about it.
The actor first broke out in the “The Hunger Game” movies as the character Rue. They later went on to receive critical acclaim for their lead role in “The Hate U Give,” which earned them the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.
Stenberg most recently appeared in the film adaptation of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Not much is known about the series other than this casting, but according to Star Wars lore, an acolyte is one who trains under an experienced Sith Lord. It’s the Dark Side of The Force equivalent of a Jedi Padawan.
When the project was first announced during Disney Investor Day in 2020, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy first announced the series saying,”‘The Acolyte’ is a mystery thriller that will take us into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging Dark Side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”
The High Republic era of the Star Wars timeline ended about 50 years prior to the events of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”
This puts the series in the extremely early days of the Star Wars Universe, when the Galactic Republic was said to be at its height. It was also a golden age for the Jedi, who were significantly more active throughout the galaxy.
The High Republic Era was first mentioned in the 2019 audiodrama “Dooku: Jedi Lost,” but there is now a series of comic books that go into greater detail. “Star Wars: The Acolyte” will be the first on-screen production set in this era of the timeline.
Kennedy also mentioned that Leslye Headland, Emmy-nominated creator of the mind-bending Netflixseries “Russian Doll,” was attached to write and direct, but that was two years ago, so it’s not known if Headland is still with the series.
No projected release date has been announced either, but I would say look for a late 2023/early 2024 debut on Disney+.
Using a snapshot of Stenberg in a Darth Maul shirt with legendary Star Wars character R2-D2, the official Star Wars social media accounts officially announced the casting, saying: “Join us in welcoming Amandla Stenberg to the the Star Wars galaxy.”
Stenberg used the same photo to co-announce, saying, “Next stop: a galaxy far, far away… I am so excited to finally announce I’m joining Star Wars: #TheAcolyte! Honored is an understatement. May the Force be with you 🖤”
I’m looking forward to learning more about the series, which looks to explore the Siths, and to see what Amandla Stenberg will do with the role.