The Acolyte has been a long time coming. The series was announced back in December 2020, then promptly vanished into development purgatory. Now, two years after the initial announcement, the series is finally filming, and we’re learning more and more about its cast, characters, and setting.
A cast member has let a key plot point slip in an interview, and they revealed that what we thought was a unique one-off in Andor could actually be the start of a major Star Wars trend.
In an interview with TechRadar, Dafne Keen, who was recently revealed to be in The Acolyte’s cast, revealed some juicy details about the plot. “It's set 100 years before the prequel movies, and it's kind of an explanation of how the Sith infiltrated the Jedi,” she said. “It's a Sith-led story, which has never been done before.”
Much of that information was already known: The “last days of the High Republic” setting has been public knowledge for a while, and the Sith-led story was evident as soon as the title was released. Acolytes are the Sith equivalent of padawans, so a Sith-focused story was the only logical explanation.
But this is the first clue we have about what will actually happen in the series. The Sith infiltrating the Jedi is especially interesting considering the official synopsis for the series includes “A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes.”
Could this former padawan — presumedly played by Acolyte lead Amandla Stenberg — be a secret Sith playing nice with her old teacher to infiltrate the Jedi at the height of their power? If so, this could be the start of the High Republic’s collapse.
With this insight, it looks like The Acolyte will follow a trend established by Star Wars’ latest hit, Andor. Under the careful watch of the Bourne trilogy’s Tony Gilroy, a franchise prone to space opera because a tense spy thriller full of aliases, alter egos, and espionage. Andor was a critical darling, so attempting to replicate its approach makes sense.
The Acolyte is venturing into a lot of new territory: Showrunner Leslye Headland is the first female Star Wars showrunner, Amandla Stenberg is the first non-binary lead of a Star Wars show, and the series marks the first time we’ll see the High Republic in live action. But there’s nothing wrong with recycling a good idea, and Andor’s thrilling spy genre approach is too compelling to ignore.
Andor is now streaming on Disney+.