A new exclusive from DiscussingFilm has indicated that the series is set to start filming in February 2022. The show will make use of the Volume technology that made a production like The Mandalorian possible, which is currently being used by Peyton Reed (the sole director for multiple episodes of the second season of The Mandalorian) during the ongoing production of his third Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The plan seems to be that Star Wars: The Acolyte will start filming after principal photography on that movie is complete. DiscussingFilm also reports that The Acolyte‘s lead actress will be a woman of color.
The Acolyte is set near the end of the the High Republic era and will move toward the Fall of the Republic era as the series progresses. Little details are known about the story, but it will involve a female lead in a story exploring the Dark Side in a time when the Sith are believed to be extinct, but are in hiding. However, it has not been stated of the title character is a Sith, or perhaps a member of another group like the Nightsisters (which would certainly be befitting of the show’s “female-centric” premise). The series will be the first live-action entry to the Star Wars canon set before the events of The Phantom Menace. The genre described is a mystery with martial arts elements, with some speculating that the narrative’s timeline and focus on the Dark Side could tie in with the origins of Darth Plagueis, the enigmatic man who would become the future Sith Master of Emperor Sheev Palpatine.
This report follows recent news that The Acolyte has assembled a writing team under showrunner Leslye Headland (who previously served as a writer, producer, and director for the first season of Netflix’s Russian Doll). While Headland has stated that she’s very familiar with the ins and outs of Star Wars and has assembled of team of other Star Wars die-hards, she has also chosen to hire one writer who isn’t completely familiar with the universe before signing on to bring in an outsider’s perspective. (Said writer has since familiarized themselves with the world, even if she did not grow up with it.) The writers are said to represent a variety of cultural and creative backgrounds, which when combined should make The Acoylte a truly original Star Wars experience whenever it’s ready.
The Acolyte is in active development at Lucasfilm for the Disney Plus streaming service for an unspecified release date. Lucasfilm’s slate of Star Wars shows includes the likes of The Book of Boba Fett, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka, Lando, A Droid Story, and The Mandalorian, which is preparing a third season, along with The Bad Batch, which is currently airing. One previously-announced project, Rangers of the New Republic, is currently not in active development.