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Taking The Acolyte Into New Star Wars Territory Was 'Freeing'

The Acolyte creator Leslye Headland set the show in the High Republic era for a specific reason.


For longtime Star Wars fans, the latest Disney+ series, The Acolyte, is an exciting prospect. After all, this particular series is set in the final days of the franchise's High Republic era, bringing this period to live-action for the very first time. It's also set over 100 years before the prequel trilogy, as Anakin Skywalker is still a long way's off from being born at this point in the timeline.

For Leslye Headland, getting to explore this all new era of Star Wars was one of the most appetizing elements of the project.

"It was totally freeing. It's one of the reasons I set the show there, so that I wouldn't feel constrained," Headland explained to GameSpot. "However, it was a lot of responsibility for sure to be the first person playing in that time period."

Luckily, Headland says, she was able to glean information from the prequels, allowing her to move backwards in time for the galaxy from there. Of course, it also helped that the High Republic publishing initiative--which has expanded to books, comics, an audio drama, and web series--was announced while she was developing the show.

"It started just after I had pitched the show," she revealed. "So it was nice to then have a reference of things that were before my show. It was a nice bookend."

And while The Acolyte may be at least partially inspired by a popular Star Wars video game, there are still nods to the original trilogy, though more in the craft of making the series, and even a look toward The Phantom Menace and the other prequels.

"We want to make this feel like the first live-action High Republic show, but at the same time, make it feel like that original trilogy in terms of utilizing practical sets, puppetry rather than CGI," Headland said. "But then also make sure that we bring in a little bit of the foreshadowing of where, where we're going to end up in the prequels."

The Acolyte streams Tuesdays on Disney+. Don't miss our Easter egg breakdown from the first tow episodes.

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