The Star Wars universe just got a little bigger. Lucasfilm has confirmed that Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) will star in the upcoming Disney+ live-action series, The Acolyte. While chatting about their upcoming A24 horror movie Bodies, Bodies, Bodies with Den of Geek at San Diego Comic-Con, Stenberg shared what it’s like being cast in a new Star Wars project.
“So excited, are you kidding me?” says Stenberg, and it’s easy to see just how long they’ve been waiting to talk about The Acolyte. “I’ve been on the edge of my seat for months. I’ve been attached for a long time.”
Stenberg is not just the latest star to join the galaxy far, far away. They’re also a massive Star Wars fan and has spent the last few months taking a deep dive into everything the universe and the fandom has to offer.
“My whole life is Star Wars,” Stenberg says. “I wake up and I think about Star Wars. I watch Star Wars before I go to sleep. I read Star Wars. I listen to Star Wars podcasts. My life has been transformed to be dedicated to this one universe, which is actually really fun and liberating. To finally be able to share it with people who love the universe so much, especially because they contribute so much to it…I’m just so excited!”
While Lucasfilm only announced the casting today, rumors of Stenberg’s involvement in the project go all the way back to last year. Yet, the actor had to keep quiet through it all. Why was now the right time to announce the news?
“When the Star Wars folks found out I was going to be at Comic-Con, they said, ‘Alright, we think it’s time, we’re going to unleash you upon the world.'”
Now that The Acolyte has its star, the question is: what is the show about? Set about 100 years before The Phantom Menace, the series takes places during the High Republic era of Star Wars, a golden age for the Jedi when it’s believed the Sith have been all but eradicated. We of course know that isn’t true. The dark side of the Force is just biding its time, and the series seems to focus on the darkness hiding just beyond the light of the Jedi during this age of peace. Disney describes The Acolyte as “a mystery-thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers.”
Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland is leading the project, developing the series with Lucasfilm’s Rayne Roberts.
When asked by Vanity Fair how she would describe the show, Headland said, “My question in watching The Phantom Menace was always like, ‘Well, how did things get to this point?’ Do you know what I mean? How did we get to where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? What went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?”
That sounds very intriguing, indeed. And with a talent like Stenberg attached, we’re very excited to see what Lucasfilm comes up with this time.
No release date has been announced for The Acolyte as of yet. In the meantime, you can check out the full schedule of upcoming Star Wars movies and TV series here.