The latest addition to the extensive Star Wars franchise is upon us in the form of Star Wars: The Acolyte.

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With the universe created by George Lucas constantly expanding, the timeline can appear quite confusing.

There’s the prequel, original and sequel trilogies - known as the Skywalker Saga - and the animated series, as well as several new shows released on Disney Plus, including Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Andor, Ahsoka and now The Acolyte.

The multiple series have meant we can explore worlds and eras within Star Wars which were previously only referenced briefly, with The Acolyte, starring Amandla Stenberg, taking us back further than ever before.

But when specifically is The Acolyte set? Read on for everything you need to know.

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When does The Acolyte take place in the Star Wars timeline?

The Acolyte is set at the end of the High Republic era, roughly 100 years before The Phantom Menace. It's set earlier than anything else we've seen in the Star Wars franchise so far, which meant that showrunner Leslye Headland could, really, have had a lot of artistic licence to do what she wanted with it.

However, considering what a huge fan Headland is of Star Wars in general, she mostly wanted to pay homage to the franchise.

She told RadioTimes.com: "I just went nuts. I crammed every single thing I could into the show, which is maybe a good thing or maybe a bad thing. I love Star Wars so much that getting the opportunity to work on one, I was just like, 'I'm gonna put everything I have into this.'"

Within the canon of Star Wars, dates are a little different than our own. Generally speaking, fans count years forwards and backwards from the original 1977 Star Wars film, specifically the Death Star assault at the film’s conclusion, aka the Battle of Yavin.

In other words, every Star Wars movie, book, spin-off game or TV show is either set a number of years before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) or after the Battle of Yavin (ABY).

Due to The Phantom Menace being set around 32 BBY, we can estimate that The Acolyte is set around 132 BBY.

Amandla Stenberg as Mae in The Acolyte
Amandla Stenberg as Mae in The Acolyte. Lucasfilm Ltd/Disney+

That means the Star Wars timeline now looks a little like this:

  • The Acolyte – 132 BBY
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – 32 BBY
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones – 22 BBY
  • The Clone Wars movie and TV show – 22-19 BBY
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – 19 BBY
  • The Bad Batch - 19 BBY
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story – around 10-13 BBY (estimated – Solo has never officially been confirmed within the Star Wars timeline)
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi - 9 BBY
  • Star Wars Rebels – 5 BBY-1BBY
  • Andor – 5BBY-0BBY
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 0 BBY (in other words, this film takes place the same year as the original 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – 0 BBY/0 ABY (as the Battle of Yavin occurs during the film, this is a little confused)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – 3 ABY
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – 4 ABY
  • The Mandalorian seasons 1 and 2 – 9 ABY
  • The Book of Boba Fett – 9 ABY
  • The Mandalorian season 3 – 9 ABY
  • Ahsoka – 9 ABY
  • Star Wars Resistance – 34 ABY
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – 34 ABY
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – 34 ABY
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker – 35 ABY

What is the High Republic era in Star Wars?

The High Republic era the period of time from around 500 BBY to 100 BBY. The Galactic Empire was at the height of its power, with the Jedi Order being spread out across the galaxy.

During this time, the Galactic Empire was focused on exploration and expansion, and it was a time of peace in the galaxy.

The Jedi Order, meanwhile, was also in an age of prosperity and was incredibly accepting, open, and diverse.

Headland recently hinted at the ways she could use The Acolyte to set up the events in The Phantom Menace, telling RadioTimes.com: "I feel George told the fall of the Jedi perfectly – as they got embroiled politically, they became more militaristic and couldn't see the threat right in front of their eyes... this is more about the cracks in the system and how an individual can portray a larger problem within an institution as opposed to telling the story of the institution.

"That's how I would hope to start leading into [The Phantom Menace]. But there are some things in the last few episodes that I can't tell you about."

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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Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.

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