Star Wars: The Acolyte will soon begin streaming on Disney+, bringing Star Wars movie and TV fans into The High Republic Era for the first time. That era spans several centuries, and within its lore are stories of how the Jedi were but one of several Force-based religions, who each had their own views on how, when, and why the Force should (or should not) be used by mortal beings.

However, by the time The Acolyte takes place (in the latter part of the High Republic Era), it’s clear that the Jedi are the dominant Force religion in the galaxy… until that dominance is suddenly challenged.

The story of The Acolyte will center on a Jedi Master named Sol (Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae) who investigates a warrior named Mae (Amandla Stenberg) who is hunting down Jedi on behalf of her dead sister (a former padawan), and a coven of Force witches, led by Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith).

In talking with ComicBook, Amandla Stenberg explained what the rise of a different kind of Force user does to the Jedi’s sense of power:

“I think we live in a time in which there are a lot of conceptions around the Force and different communities that utilize the Force. And in our point in the timeline, the Jedi are kind of the ones dictating how the Force is utilized,” Stenberg said. “And so I think it’s so fascinating for there to be the introduction of this character who utilizes it in a different way, and comes from a different community – almost a different spiritual community. And because of that, she’s more of a danger to them, because her kind of way of utilizing it differs from what they’re used to.”

What Is Star Wars: The High Republic About?

(Photo: Lucasfilm)

Star Wars launched The High Republic line of novels and comics in 2021; the earliest stories of The High Republic are set about 350 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, at a time when different groups of Force users split into opposing factions (like the Jedi and Path of the Open Hand), and how that conflict became a minor war at points, before the Jedi emerged victorious.

A century (or more) later, 200 years before the Skywalker Saga, The Republic and Jedi Order expanded into the Outer Rim territory, after having to negotiate some difficult socio-political-spiritual minefields in the region. The Republic launches “Starlight Beacon” in the Outer Rim, only to have their presence stir dark, deadly threats long dormant in the galaxy. One of those threats is the Nihil, a gang of galactic raiders who have secret technology at their disposal (like the “Path” hyperdrive), as well as ancient species of Force-consuming monsters that are set loose, like the plant monsters the Drengir, or the Force-eating monsters known as the “The Nameless” (or “Shrii Ka Rai”).

In the current story arc of Star Wars: The High Republic (still ongoing at the time of writing this), The Jedi find that expansion is deeply costly: The Nihil blow up Starlight Beacon, and between their raids on Republic settlements and use of the Nameless, even some of the most powerful and prominent Jedi of the time are killed in battle. The Nihil go a step further, as their master, Marchion Ro, uses his unique tech to block off a section of the Outer Rim Territories behind a Nihil energy barrier, claiming it as “Nihil space.” The Jedi are still working on infiltrating that “Occlusion Zone,” hoping to free these civilians, Jedi, and allies trapped inside, while stopping the Nihil once and for all.

The Acolyte will be set 100 years (or so) after the war with the Nihil – a war the Jedi clearly manage their way through, to maintain light and peace in the galaxy. However, it’s just as clear that the series will also reveal how cracks of darkness reappeared along the way – including the Sith’s return.

Star Wars: The Acolyte will begin streaming on Disney+ on June 4th.


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