The Acolyte: Vernestra Rwoh isn't that kid in the books anymore

What is The High Republic if not heartbreak and watching characters you love go through traumatic experiences?
Vernestra in The Acolyte. Image courtesy
Vernestra in The Acolyte. Image courtesy /

If there is one thing that fans of The High Republic know oh so well, it is that it will traumatize your favorite characters, no matter how old or young. With the era focused on the Jedi Order falling from grace into the group they are in the prequel trilogy, it's not a happy time for the Jedi. The upcoming series The Acolyte seems primed to explore this more, especially through the lens of fan-favorite character Vernestra Rwoh.

What's always fascinating about characters like Vernestra and others like Yoda and Yaddle, if they pop up, is they're a good indicator of how times have changed. At the beginning of The High Republic, during her first appearance in A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, Vernestra is a prodigy who is nervous but excited to prove herself after becoming a Jedi Knight at 16. However, sharing to Empire, showrunner Leslye Headland discussed what the last 100 years have done to the once bright Jedi, saying that Vernestra has “been through some [expletive]."

"That has resulted in her going from this fun-seeking adventurer character [in the books] to a little bit closer to the [type of] Jedi that we see in The Phantom Menace." Headland added, "I absolutely love Vernestra. You can tell, because I cast my wife!"

The Acolyte: Who is Vernestra Rwoh and why is she so important?. dark. Next. The Acolyte: Who is Vernestra Rwoh and why is she so important?

Headland's wife, Rebecca Henderson, also shared some thoughts on her character with Empire, saying, "Because she has been around for so long, she has basically met everyone that has come through the Temple and seen them all die their natural deaths if they’re living a natural human life. She’s known [Lee Jung-jae’s Jedi Master] Sol since he was a tiny child.”

Long-living characters like Vernestra Rwoh and Yoda have always fascinated me. They carried so much history with them; how that history impacts their actions and choices is so telling. Even Yoda admitted his mistakes over time to Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, saying that his failures were the best teacher. When it comes to someone like Vernestra, who has lost so much over her long life, we'll have to wait and see how those losses shaped her.

Vernestra might not be the only High Republic character appearing later in The Acolyte, either. At the end of the Empire article, Leslye Headland teased that there could be more additions from the books, stating, "I've already talked to Pablo Hidalgo about it." Hidalgo is part of the Lucasfilm Story Group as Senior Creative Executive Franchise Story.

It will be heartbreaking to see how much Vernestra has changed over the years, but The Acolyte's darker storytelling is also part of the excitement. You can see the full interview with Headland and Henderson over on Empire.

dark. Next. The Acolyte: Character breakdown and what we know so far. The Acolyte: Character breakdown and what we know so far