Amandla Stenberg to Lead ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’ on Disney+

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From “may the odds be ever in your favor” to “may the force be with you.” Amandla Stenberg will lead Star Wars: The Acolyte on Disney+. The actor announced their casting in a joint Instagram post with Star Wars during San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 22. While no details of Stenberg’s role have been disclosed, The Hunger Games alum was decked out in Darth Maul gear and posed with Darth Vader and R2-D2 in the photos from SDCC.

“Next stop: a galaxy far, far away… I am so excited to finally announce I’m joining Star Wars: #TheAcolyte! Honored is an understatement. May the Force be with you,” they wrote on Instagram. The photos also included a photo showing off the name “MAUL” written across the back of Stenberg’s jersey-like shirt.

The Acolyte is a Star Wars prequel series set further back in time than any story in the franchise — a full century before the events of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, which maybe explains Stenberg’s outfit. The series is set to debut in 2023 and will depict the final days of the golden age of the Jedi and the High Republic. Sith were believed to be eradicated during this time, but as Disney+ describes, the series depicts “a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers.”

Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) serves as showrunner. She told Vanity Fair in May that The Acolyte will dive into the political climate of the Galactic Republic.

“We’re taking a look at the political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don’t know much about,” Headland said. “My question when watching The Phantom Menace was always like, ‘Well, how did things get to this point?’ How did we get to a point where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? Like, what went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?”

The Acolyte marks Stenberg’s first major franchise role since playing Rue in The Hunger Games. She went on to star in films like The Hate U Give, The Darkest Minds, Everything, Everything, and Dear Evan Hansen. TV credits include Sleepy Hollow, The Eddy, and Mr. Robinson.

The Acolyte joins other Star Wars TV shows Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, Lando, Andor, and The Rangers of the New Republic.

The Acolyte, Series Premiere, TBA, Disney+

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