Star Wars planets love an extreme. Maybe it’s extremely cold, like Hoth, or extremely hot, like Mustafar. Maybe the planet is extremely populous, like Coruscant, or extremely depopulated, like Alderaan.
But if there’s one planet that’s extremely popular, it’s the desert planet of Tatooine, the childhood home of both Luke Skywalker and his father, Anakin. While Andor might turn out to be an exception, it’s appeared in every other series of the Disney+ era: Both seasons of The Mandalorian, its spinoff The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi have all given us looks at the supposed backwater. Could the upcoming Sith prequel The Acolyte maintain this streak? A set photo leak suggests as much.
In photos obtained by Star Wars leakers The Bespin Bulletin, we see our first glimpse of a desert village being built in a soundstage for The Acolyte, which is ramping up towards filming. While an appearance of Tatooine in yet another Star Wars series wouldn’t be groundbreaking, its appearance in The Acolyte would be.
The Acolyte is set in the last years of the High Republic, 100 years before the events of the prequel trilogy. If this leak is accurate, this wouldn’t just be yet another visit to Tatooine — this would be the earliest depiction of Tatooine we’ve ever seen.
What would Tatooine 100 years before Anakin even look like? It might be akin to the pioneer days of the western United States, when Americans had to settle the land and build a country from scratch (while using military force to push out the indigenous population). If Tatooine was in a similar stage of its development, we could see its colonists clash with the native Tuskens and Jawas on a scale larger than we already have.
This “Wild West” mentality survives later into the Star Wars timeline in some of the more remote areas of Tatooine. As seen in the Book of Boba Fett, the cities of Tatooine resemble seedy urban centers run by crime lords, while places like Mos Pelgo are sleepy towns that can run themselves; and deal with interlopers.
The Acolyte may be focused on the Sith Order, but Star Wars always has room for other storylines and viewpoints. Maybe Sith training requires fieldwork that brings them to Tatooine, or perhaps one of Anakin’s ancestors explores the Sith themselves.
We’ve seen Tatooine so often in the Star Wars universe, but there are centuries of its history that still remain unknown. The Acolyte could be our first glimpse of the most iconic Star Wars planet’s early nature.