Star Wars

The Acolyte is Angling to Become Disney+’s Big Star Wars Series

In an age of light, a series full of darkness rises.

Star Wars

Star Wars television is currently all about the “Mandoverse,” the term coined by Lucasfilm president by Kathleen Kennedy at Star Wars Celebration Europe to define The Mandalorian and its various spinoffs. An upcoming movie entitled The Mandalorian and Grogu will join Ahsoka and The Book of Boba Fett on the list of projects spun off from Disney+’s flagship Star Wars series.

But after the Mandoverse is over, what remains? We may know which show will take on the mantle before it even premieres, and it has the potential to build something even bigger.

In conversation with Collider, Leslye Headland, showrunner of the upcoming Star Wars series The Acolyte, revealed there have already been discussions of a Season 2. “When I pitched it, I definitely pitched it as a multi-season show,” Headland said. “There are a lot of things at the end of this season that I think are narrative threads that are not tied up, for sure.” While the series isn’t confirmed for a second season just yet, according to Headland, she’s already been discussing the possibility with Kathleen Kennedy.

The Acolyte is already planning a second season for its unique High Republic story.


But don’t worry about the possibility of that not panning out — she promises Season 1 will have no shocking cliffhangers (like Ahsoka’s stranding on Peridea). “I am the type of writer that is not interested in an emotional cliffhanger,” she said. “I want you to feel like you've had a particular type of catharsis, and an emotional experience in watching those eight episodes because I like rewarding the audience with that.”

Second seasons in the Disney+ era of Star Wars are few and far between. The Mandalorian and Ahsoka managed to be renewed, and Andor was established as a two-season show from the get-go, but The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi were both one-season wonders.

The Acolyte is different from all these series because it doesn’t have the ready-built infrastructure to work with. While all the other Disney+ Star Wars series take place in between film trilogies, The Acolyte is set in between the High Republic novels and the prequel trilogy.

Book character cameos like Vernestra Rwoh means endless crossover potential.


This means The Acolyte is perfectly set up to become the new centerpiece of the Star Wars live-action universe after the Mandoverse. Season 1 of The Acolyte introduces Vernestra Rwoh, a character from the High Republic books. Headland said she wants to continue this pattern in future series, so it opens up a whole new roster of cameos, much like how the Mandoverse pulled from characters in the Aftermath trilogy and The Clone Wars.

The Acolyte’s setting also makes it perfect for a new Star Wars era. We know next to nothing about what happened in the years leading up to the prequels, so the series has a blank slate to show the chain of events that led to the rise of Palpatine and the fall of the Jedi Republic from its peak during the High Republic.

The Acolyte has the potential and opportunity to define the next chapter of Star Wars and expand what we know as live-action canon. But with the release of the show still a few months away, there’s no way of knowing how it will be received. However, if the people want more of a High-Republic-era murder mystery thriller, it will come.

The Acolyte premieres June 4, 2024 on Disney+.

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