The blueprint of Star Wars TV was written by Clone Wars creator and Mandalorian co-showrunner Dave Filoni, and if there’s one thing Filoni likes, it’s reintroducing old, non-canon characters just to see what happens. The best example is Thrawn, who served as the villain of Rebels after being the poster child of the Extended Universe thanks to Timothy Zahn’s novels.
Now, Star Wars TV is branching into the earliest point of the timeline we’ve seen. The Acolyte, Leslye Headland’s upcoming series, is set in “the last days of the High Republic,” about 100 years before the prequel trilogy. With the series looking back, a wild rumor suggests we may see a huge cameo by an actor who could be playing one of the most iconic characters in Star Wars history.
Giant Freakin Robot claims none other than Keanu Reeves filmed a cameo for The Acolyte. Cameos aren’t new to the franchise — from Bea Arthur in the Star Wars Holiday Special to Jack Black and Lizzo in The Mandalorian, they’re a great way to add some star power and grab headlines. However, this particular cameo would have some interesting dynamics.
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Assuming this rumor is true — and again, it’s just a rumor for now — it’s worth investigating who Reeves could play. Fans often suggest casting him as Revan, who lived during the Old Republic, approximately 3000 years before the original trilogy.
Revan is the playable character in the 2003 video game Knights of the Old Republic, and because the game’s story diverges based on player choice, the character has no real official continuity. He served as a Jedi Knight, but fell to the Dark Side and became a Sith Lord. After an injury, the Jedi High Council wiped his memory.
That’s where the game starts, and the player eventually discovers Revan’s true identity. At the end of the game, the player can stay loyal to the Jedi and the Republic, or return to the Dark Side. Loyalty is KOTOR’s central theme: where does morality lead you, and how can you trust your allies?
Loyalty also looks to be a major theme in The Acolyte, which involves a former Jedi padawan who (presumably) becomes a Sith Acolyte. What better way to show this push and pull between the Light and Dark Side than by showing us a character who already dealt with it?
There’s already evidence that Star Wars TV is planning to evoke KOTOR. The next series to premiere is Ahsoka, and there’s a star map in its trailer that looks eerily similar to those Revan must find in the game. And Revan has flirted with canon already, having a legion of cultists in Rise of Skywalker named after him and an appearance in The Clone Wars episode “The Ghosts of Mortis” that ended up on the cutting room floor.
But there’s one big issue preventing Revan from appearing in The Acolyte: the timeline. Revan lived millennia before the TV show, so how could Keanu Reeves bring him to life? There are two possibilities. First, Revan could appear in flashbacks or as a Force ghost. It’s unlikely a show already stretching the limits of the Star Wars timeline would indulge an extended flashback, but Revan could certainly star in a quick allegory as a lesson for the protagonist.
The Acolyte could also simply collapse the Star Wars timeline, allowing Revan to appear without any complications. This would also make it easier to fold in other popular elements from KOTOR without having to invent a new explanation for each one.
Again, this rumor could be unfounded, or Reeves may play a completely different character. But if it’s true, The Acolyte has the chance to use a beloved character and beloved actor to rewrite the Star Wars timeline forever.