April 7, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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Following an intriguing teaser trailer for Andor season two, the Lucasfilm Studio Showcase panel moved on to the mysterious and exciting project created by Leslye Headland, The Acolyte. Headland was introduced to the stage alongside a fully costumed Wookie Jedi (more on him later) to a thunderous applause.

Headland talked a little about the series, not giving much away but emphasised that part of the reason she wanted to tell a story in the High Republic era is because the Jedi are all powerful, and that the Sith are low in numbers, and thus the underdog. Due to there being such a small Darkside threat, Headland said that the wars waged in The Acolyte would be spiritual, and those battles could be between siblings, parents and children, and master and apprentice. Headland went on to say that she actually pitched The Acolyte to Kathleen Kennedy, and that part of her pitch was describing the series as Frozen meets Kill Bill, and that the perspective would be from that of the villains. Kathleen Kennedy jumped in to praise the work of Leslye Healand and revealed that she has now seen four completed episodes of The Acolyte, and that she was simply blown away by what she had seen.

As the panel continued, cast members of The Acolyte were brought on stage. The series lead, Amandla Stenberg (Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) who was dressed as Padme Amidala from Attack of the Clones, Lee Jung Jae (Squid Game), Dafne Keen (Logan), Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll), Rebecca Henderson (Russian Doll), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Jodie Turner Smith (After Yang), Dean Charles-Chapman (1917) and Joonas Suotamo (Solo: A Star Wars Story) took to the stage, with Joonas revealing that he was the Wookie that stepped on stage with Headland at the start of The Acolyte segment, revealing that he plays a character name Kelnacca.

The cast did not reveal many details regarding their characters, Jung Jae was specifically asked the name of his character, but he just referred to him as a Jedi master, before discussing his love of the Star Wars franchise. Jodie Turner Smith revealed that her character is not a Jedi or Sith, but that she does use the force and leads women. Dafne Keen revised that her character is an alien and that she is a Jedi. During Saturdays High Republic panel, it was revealed that Rebecca Henderson’s character in The Acolyte is named Vernestra Rwoh, a character taken from various High Republic media.

As The Acolyte segment started to wind down, Headland revealed that the series is currently still filming and will wrap next month, with plans to release the series sometime in 2024. However, Headland wanted to give fans in the room a first look at the series, despite production ongoing.

The trailer opens with Lee Jung Jae’s Jedi master teaching a group of younglings inside of a Jedi temple. The trailer cuts to a mysterious purple-hooded figure from behind making their way through a bustling town. The mysterious figure walks into a bar of some sort and we see them targeting a character played by Carrie Anne Moss, who appears to be a Jedi. The mysterious figure is revealed to the series lead, Amandla Stenberg, who’s sporting red dreadlocks, black cloth mask, a metal plate on her chest, and what appears to be chain mail beneath as she swings a small dagger in an attempt to kill Moss, but Carrie Anne dodges every swing with ease. The trailer continues and shows us Charlie Barnett’s character using the force, complete in the recognisable white and gold robes of the High Republic era Jedi. We see two Neimoidians aboard a star ship in a quick shot inter-spliced with Stenberg’s character creeping around corners and Jung Jae continuing to teach the younglings. Stenberg whips out her dagger and swings it at an unknown character, as Charlie Barnett ignites a yellow lightsaber whilst exploring caverns. We see an Rebecca Henderson’s Jedi character with white and gold robes opening a door in a Jedi temple with the force and Manny Jacinto’s character looking disheveled peaking around a corner. Jodie Tuner Smith’s character is seen looking regal as what appears to be her followers open their hands in front of her as she walks through them. We see Stenberg swing at Moss once again with her trustee dagger which is blocked by the force. We see Lee Jung Jae, Charlie Barnett and an unknown female character, all Jedi, walking up a snowy mountain in the midst of a blizzard. The final shot of the trailer see’s Lee Jung Jae and seven other Jedi ignite their lightsabers in a forest location.

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