The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland is thrilled that some viewers may draw comparisons between her own take on Star Wars and Andor, which was released in 2022 and charts the backstory of Rogue One rebel Cassian Andor.


"Andor was on when we were shooting, when we were in physical production, and my wife watched it immediately and said, 'Oh my God, you're going to love this. Oh, you're going to love it. Oh, this is so great,'" said Headland.

"And I was like babe, I cannot watch this, I'm going to get too intimidated. All I'm going to do is think about how my show is not at all [like Andor]. So I didn't get to watch it until we wrapped and I absolutely adored it. And I am shocked that you say that [there are similarities there]. I take it as a huge compliment."

The Acolyte is a mystery thriller set in the final days of the High Republic era, before the events of the main Star Wars films.

Amandla Stenberg stars as Mae, a "dangerous warrior" who is pitted against respected Jedi Master Sol, played by Squid Game's Lee Jung-jae, following a "shocking crime spree".

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Stenberg is also playing another character, around which details are scarce.

"For one of my characters, I wanted that person to feel warm and kind of masculine," she said. "I thought about Han Solo, and there's this humour and levity to Star Wars that makes it so joyous and fun, and I wanted that to be a part of her.

"And with the other character, I guess I thought about Anakin, when he goes to the Dark Side of the Force. His story is all driven by his relationship to his family, and like a deep pain that exists there. And it's very similar for one of my characters."

The rest of the cast includes Carrie-Anne Moss, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Charlie Barnett, Dean-Charles Chapman, Margarita Levieva and Joonas Suotamo.

"If Star Wars is about the underdog versus the institution, [in The Acolyte] the Jedi are the institution," Headland said recently.

"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."

Star Wars: The Acolyte will launch on Disney Plus on Tuesday 4th June. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.


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