Amandla Stenberg Joins Leslye Headland’s Star Wars Series, The Acolyte

It’s been a long minute since we had any updates on one of Lucasfilm’s more intriguing upcoming projects: The Acolyte, the “female-centric” Star Wars series from Russian Doll co-creator and showrunner Leslye Headland. Details about the series are still scarce, but things may be picking up, as Deadline reports that Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) will star in the series.

Before Darth Bane imposed the Rule of Two—limiting Sith to one master and one apprentice—”acolyte” was a low-level rank among the Sith, the term for someone who had just begun their training. The Acolyte was described by Lucasfilm as a “mystery-thriller” that’s set in the last days of the High Republic era, a time not yet seen on screens. That puts it about fifty years before The Phantom Menace.

Stenberg’s breakthrough role was as the young tribute Rue in the first Hunger Games movie, and since then they’ve appeared on Sleepy Hollow and starred in the YA adaptations Everything, Everything and The Hate U Give (pictured above) as well as the Dear Evan Hansen movie. (I wanted Stenberg for a Star Wars role back in 2016, when I was dream-casting an imagined film adaptation of Star Wars: Bloodline. But this Acolyte role might be even cooler.)

Headland, who co-created the excellent Russian Doll with Amy Poehler and star Natasha Lyonne, will serve as showrunner, writer, and executive producer on The Acolyte, which is expected to begin production next year. It’s going to be a busy year for Star Wars television, with Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the third season of The Mandalorian expected—hopefully with Ahsoka not far behind. That series has also been busy with casting, adding Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren and Ivanna Sakhno in an as-yet unspecified role.

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