Star Wars

No, The Acolyte Didn’t Just Ruin the Prequels

Only social media deals in absolutes.


The Acolyte is bridging the gap between two different eras of Star Wars, both in its universe and ours. The upcoming Disney+ series, which takes place between the prequel trilogy and the recent High Republic novels, is set about 100 years before The Phantom Menace. Those are two very different chapters of Star Wars history, which gives The Acolyte a tall task.

Despite the large time gap, the series looks like it will manage to weave its way into the canon established in the prequels. And while it may seem like The Acolyte is directly contradicting what’s said in The Phantom Menace, that’s actually the whole point of the series.

The Acolyte trailer revealed the Sith were alive and well 100 years before the events of the prequels, which caused some fans to note an apparent contradiction. In The Phantom Menance, Jedi Council member Ki-Adi-Mundi says, “the Sith have been extinct for a millennium,” which is obviously no longer true.

With The Acolyte making it clear the Sith have been lurking in the background this whole time, concerned fans took to social media to speculate that the new Disney+ show was blatantly ignoring established canon. But the point of that scene was that Ki-Adi-Mundi — and the Jedi in general — were out of touch and blind to the growing Sith threat. In the final years of the Republic, the Council was so preoccupied with running the galaxy that they didn’t notice the villains hiding under their noses.

Somehow, the Sith survived.


The galaxy is massive, so it’s likely other Sith escaped the notice of the Jedi too. James Luceno’s non-canon novel Darth Plagueis showed how Palpatine’s master was able to groom a young Palps to be his Sith apprentice without disrupting Naboo society, and it appears The Acolyte will tell a similar tale.

The Acolyte’s showrunner has made it very clear that in the constant push-pull of the Jedi and Sith, their show is rooting for the bad guys. “If Star Wars is about the underdog versus the institution, [in The Acolyte] the Jedi are the institution,” she told They’re the ones who have to hide, just as the Jedi would hide from the Empire years later.

With that in mind, it’s likely the Sith will stay hidden from the public eye through The Acolyte. That doesn’t make Ki-Adi-Mundi’s line a contradiction; it makes it a delicious moment of dramatic irony. Fans will soon know exactly how the Sith survived, and how they stayed hidden from the oblivious Jedi Council.

The Acolyte premieres June 4 on Disney+.

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