Star Wars’ Next Show Will Change What We Know About the Force

What happens when we examine our heroes?


The Acolyte is taking the Star Wars universe in a new direction. Instead of focusing on The New Republic era like the Mandoverse, or filling in the gaps between movies like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor, it goes further back in time than we’ve ever seen on screen. And instead of centering on the Jedi, the epitome of heroic figures in the galaxy, it revolves around the Sith.

In bucking so many standards, The Acolyte is continuing a big risk made in the prequel trilogy and throwing everything we know about Star Wars into question. In conversation with C Magazine, Acolyte star Amandla Stenberg spoke about the series’ setting, describing its High Republic period as a peaceful time that will enhance the show’s dynamics.

Acolyte stars Amandla Stenberg and Lee Jung-jae at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023.

Kate Green/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“It’s also a time of an institution, and it’s a time in which conceptions around the Force are very strict,” Stenberg said. “And I think what we’re trying to explore within our show is when an institution has a singular conception of how power can be used… we try to provide a lot of different perspectives and answers to that question. The idea is to kind of honor the ethos of Star Wars and ideas around the Force and also challenge them, hopefully harmoniously.”

In this era, the Jedi are the most powerful they’ve ever been, but everyone knows what comes with great power. By the time of the prequel trilogy, the Republic has become so complacent that Emperor Palpatine was able to corrupt Anakin and seize power. The movies may not dwell upon this much, but the stagnation of the Jedi is partly to blame for the rise of the Empire.

The Acolyte will attempt to challenge how power is used in the Star Wars story.


The Acolyte has the opportunity to explore the culpability of the Jedi and the Republic, and show a different perspective of the Force. Every Star Wars movie has been the battle between the Light and Dark sides of the Force, and that battle has always been positioned as good versus evil. But if The Acolyte is challenging how we view the power of the Force, we may finally see Star Wars through a new lens. What drives people to the Dark side? How do they view the Jedi? Why do the Jedi sometimes fail? Maybe we’ll find out.

The Acolyte may be the earliest Star Wars story chronologically, but it’s the latest chapter in a long tale about the Jedi and the Sith. Hopefully it evolve our attitudes towards both, and continues the enduring debates around just how the Force interacts with the galaxy.

The Acolyte premieres on Disney+ in 2024.

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