How 'The Acolyte' On Disney+ Will Fit Into The High Republic Era
The latest Star Wars literature initiative called The High Republic began its publication run earlier this year. The books and comics focus on a less explored time period before the Skywalker story arc. These stories aim to highlight a time when the Republic was at the height of its power. The Jedi Masters are a well-respected and mighty force. There is peace throughout the galaxy prior to the start of the story.
Steering the Series
The ideas in these stories proved to be popular even before any hit the market. They were not going to be limited to print for long. Disney and Lucasfilm announced a new series in development on Disney's Investor Day in late 2020. The new series, The Acolyte, is slated for the Disney+ platform.
Leslye Headland will helm the series. Headland is the Emmy Award-nominated creator of the Russian Doll series on Netflix. The series will be a female-led show supposedly focusing on the Sith and the Dark Side of the Force. Rayne Roberts joins Headland as co-creator and executive producer.
With Headland at the helm, fans will likely get some sharp-witted, dark humor along with their dark side fix. While Headland is new to writing and working with the Star Wars franchise, Roberts is not. She has a great deal of experience with Star Wars since she is the current Vice President of Film Development at Lucasfilm. With their powers combined, this show has every chance of being a breakout hit.
Timelines and Tie-ins
The Acolyte series is set toward the end of the High Republic era and approximately 50 years before the start of the Skywalker Saga. Recently, an interviewer asked Cavan Scott if the idea of this show influenced the other writers and him on their High Republic material. His reply is revealing since he is a current writer of the Star Wars: The High Republic comic book series for Marvel and has a novel set in the same era ready for release this summer.
"No, because I think we predated that because we've been working on this for a good number of years now. So what happened was people were getting excited about the High Republic as we were creating it, which was great to see, and there have been all these other plans as well, but the great thing that Star Wars is so good at is taking the 'Things been worked on over here. This thing's been worked over on here, so let's bring it together.' And I mean the High Republic as an era goes on for an awful long time, because, you know, it's that period of time before the fall of the Jedi. And so, it's been really exciting to sort of see other threads of Star Wars coming in as they've been developed as well and, and see us all working together to get to that for those final points. But yeah, it's going be exciting, isn't it?"
While the show is not directly tied to the books and comics, we should feel their influence for the sake of continuity. Since the High Republic lasts for centuries, there is little chance we may see some of the same characters with a few notable exceptions. More on them below.
For the Dark Side
Based on the title, it is probable that the series will focus on the Sith. The new hope is that we will finally get a show that is more about the dark side. Everything else thus far focused on the light side of the Force. While the good side is the light side, it has its share of problems discussed in past articles.
Kennedy noted that the show would focus on a mystery, hinting at a potentially serialized story. While that is tantalizing, fans are really eager to explore the lore of the dark side. Many, including yours truly, want to see Sith legends brought to life. Such explorations will help tie the show to the existing canon. It may also help bring back other stories into the fold, such as the Book of Sith.
Female Dark Side Characters
One of the highlights of this series is that the show will be female-centric. Of the nine Star Wars shows announced on Investors Day, only two are known to for sure feature female protagonists. The other show is Star Wars: Ahsoka.
The women of the light side of the force are well known and loved by all. There is a growing roster of female anti-heroes. There is a plethora of dark side male characters. However, there have been just a handful of dark side female characters of note, such as a few of the Inquisitors, Asajj Ventress, and the Nightsisters. This show would be an excellent opportunity to introduce some new female antiheroes into the Star Wars universe.
Headland said that this series is a "female-driven action thriller with martial arts elements." She stated that while the show will feature a female protagonist, it will not disdain or alienate male characters. She has always felt a kinship with any male characters she invested in personally. She believes the same can happen for male fans of a female lead.
There are a few dark side male characters everyone wants to see: Darth Venamis, Darth Plagueis, and their master, Darth Tenebrous. Some of this Sith lore would undoubtedly be exciting to see, even in flashback form. By exploring the Sith perspective, fans may finally understand what draws intelligent, powerful people to the Dark side.
The hype of The Acolyte series continues to grow alongside The High Republic series' immensely popular books and comics. It is exciting to speculate on how the failing Republic will look in the series, given the exquisite detail in those publications. What do you want to see in this series?
Written By Leana Ahmed
Syndicated From Culture Slate