“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.”
This one immortal line, uttered by Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, has stuck in the minds of many Star Wars fans for decades. It raises more questions than it answers, and with their recent announcement of the new star wars series The Acolyte, Disney is beginning to shine a light on the old glory days of the Jedi.
The Acolyte will be set in the days of the High Republic, a time where the Sith were in hiding and peace, not the Empire, ruled the galaxy. Disney has begun an ambitious multi-platform project to build a whole new universe within this era, with an array of novels and comics for both adults and children hitting shelves early in 2021.
Announced by Disney president Kathleen Kenndey in the spring of 2020, the new High Republic stories are set 200 years before A Phantom Menance, with the events of The Acolyte coming towards the end of this era, when the Sith are attempting to gain a foothold on galactic power.
Details on the show are scant at the moment, with Kennedy describing it briefly as ‘a mystery-thriller that will take us into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side power in the final days of the High Republic era.’
As expected, speculation about the show and the details of the events of the High Republic is rife. The time frame means we’re likely to see a whole new cast of characters, but there are some lines that can be drawn from existing canon.
Yoda, for example, revealed in The Return of the Jedi that he is 900 years old, meaning at the time of this story he would be at the high of his prime.
The title also suggests we’ll be following a character who perhaps leans closer to the Dark Side of the force, leading fans to suggest that we might see more flesh added to the shadowy character of Darth Pleguis, the one time master of Emperor Palpatine.
With no release date officially announced, it doesn’t look likely we’ll see the show hit Disney+ screens until 2022 at the earliest. Directed by Russian Dolls showrunner Leslye Headland, the buzz around this project is already beginning to grow.