Star Wars promises to expand significantly over the next several years on Disney+, with Leslye Headland's The Acolyte being among the most intriguing projects on the horizon. Set about 100 years before the events of The Phantom Menace during the waning days of the High Republic era, the series will explore the dark side of the Force in a time when the Sith are believed extinct.
Headland, serving as writer and showrunner, has been working on the project for at least two years, and cameras will finally begin rolling this fall. Though an official release window remains to be determined, production is anticipated to wrap next May. When filming starts in London, it's rumored that Loki director Kate Herron will be behind the camera, though whether she'll be overseeing the entire season is unknown.
With the October start date quickly approaching, Lucasfilm is in the midst of casting for the series. A male codenamed "Paul" and young twin girls have reportedly been sought out as guest stars for the season, with the potential to appear more as the show goes on. The biggest question has naturally been who will be playing the titular acolyte, someone capable of carrying the weight of a Star Wars story. It turns out, the answer has somewhat been known for months, and the performer is already a fan of the dark side.
Amandla Stenberg Officially Joins The Acolyte
The official Star Wars Twitter has announced that Amandla Stenberg has joined the cast of The Acolyte:
Join us in welcoming Amandla Stenberg to the the Star Wars galaxy. #TheAcolyte
Stenberg took to Instagram to comment and share her excitement about the casting:
Next stop: a galaxy far, far away…I am so excited to finally announce I’m joining Star Wars: #TheAcolyte !Honored is an understatement. May the Force be with you
Included in the post are images of Stenberg sporting a Darth Maul shirt while posing with Darth Vader:
The Acolyte has a soft spot for the light, enjoying the company of R2-D2:
Stenberg Brings The Dark Side
Rumors of Stenberg's involvement as the lead for The Acolyte have persisted for months, making the announcement unsurprising. The Hunger Games star will be up for a very physical task, as the character is said to be involved in heavy martial arts sequences. If the lead is a Sith or a person who will end up becoming one, flips and tricks will just be the beginning of the abilities put on display.
Given the images shared with the announcement, Stenberg seems to be a big Star Wars fan already. The actress may be as well-versed in the lore as Leslye Headland, who's gone to lengths necessary to incorporate Legends material into the project. Starring in a project in the galaxy far, far away can be equal parts exciting and terrifying for performers, but Stenberg appears thrilled to be joining what could be one of the most fascinating entries into the franchise.
The timing of the announcement is interesting, as Lucasfilm had the opportunity to do so at Star Wars Celebration during the Studio Showcase panel. While the reveal will certainly be the biggest to come from San Diego Comic-Con weekend, there may be more at play. With the series rumored to begin shooting in a few months, the Stenberg announcement may be the first in a long line of official reveals leading up to production.
The countdown is on for the production of The Acolyte, which will bring Amandla Stenberg to the dark side this fall.