The Acolyte: What went wrong with the Jedi, explores creator Leslye Headland

The Disney+ show sheds a different light on the age-old Jedi vs. Sith duality.

Mae (Amandla Stenberg) in Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Mae (Amandla Stenberg) in Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /
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The first official trailer for Star Wars: The Acolyte has been released with a premiere date of June 4, 2024.

We get a promising look at the new Disney+ show and its cast, featuring Carrie-Anne Moss, Lee Jung-jae, Dafne Keen, and Amandla Stenberg as the lead. The trailer has some exciting visuals, including the beginning of what seems to be an all-out Jedi vs. Sith showdown. But showrunner Leslye Headland's favorite bit is the scene where Rebecca Henderson's Vernestra Rwoh opens a door.

Headland is a lifelong fan of the franchise - both the movies and the expanded universe of books. To her, it is "a place to live, a place to escape to."

"George [Lucas] had given you enough signposts that it's almost like Narnia," she told StarWars.com. "You could just go [into the Star Wars galaxy] and live there. And then you just have to come out of the wardrobe at some point and go to class."

She even has a tattoo of Princess Leia Organa's original concept art by Ralph McQuarrie on her right hand.

Set at the end of the era of The High Republic, The Acolyte is less about galactic warfare and more about personal conflicts that expose the cracks in the system. Unlike most products of the existing Skywalker Saga, the Jedi Order is not the "underdog" in this story, but rather the "institution", Headland said. The Sith are not as abundant in the show's timeline, which means interaction with one could mean world-altering consequences.

"I was so interested in a storyline where the Jedi were at the height of their power — and I don't mean The Phantom Menace, because, at that point, there's a Sith Lord in the Senate that they're not picking up on."

"What went wrong?” Headland mused. “And if the bad guys are actually the underdog, it just seemed like a cool reversal.”

Despite the imminent danger a Sith inherently brings, both the official synopsis and Headland's words hint that there might be more to the story than the good old duality of good and evil. "Whatever you think The Acolyte is, it’s not that," the creator said.

Next. The Acolyte: 3 questions we have after the trailer. The Acolyte: 3 questions we have after the trailer. dark