The Acolyte Title Explained: ‘It’s A Position That Someone Is Going To Fulfil’ – Exclusive Image

The Acolyte – exclusive

by empire |
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The Acolyte is a Star Wars project filled with mystery. For one, it’s an actual mystery series – set 100 years before The Phantom Menace, with a spate of Jedi murders prompting an investigation into the culprit behind those mysterious deaths. Then, there’s plenty of mystery surrounding Amandla Stenberg’s Mae – a shadowy assassin figure whose role in proceedings is being held tightly under wraps. Even the show’s title is something of a mystery: who, or what, even is ‘The Acolyte’?

As series creator Leslye Headland tells Empire, it’s a term that originates in Extended Universe lore – Legends novels which aren’t considered canon, but from which Star Wars creators often draw inspiration. “It’s a position, essentially, that someone is going to fulfil, or step into,” Headland hints in our world-exclusive cover feature. “We know with the Sith that there is a Master, we know that there is an Apprentice. But in deep EU [Expanded Universe], there’s a concept of an Acolyte, which is underneath Apprentice. So that is where I got the title from.” As a deep Star Wars acolyte herself, Headland drew inspiration from the likes of The Clone Wars animated series and fellow EU anthology book Tales Of The Bounty Hunters when devising the series.

The idea of an Acolyte, in itself, presents another mystery: who will that be? And who are they serving? Could it possibly be the mysterious Mae? “It’s a lot more complicated than that,” Stenberg tells Empire. “Which is the point of the show. Hopefully, if we did our job right, the show makes it an interesting interrogation into what it means to be on the light side or the dark side.” Let the investigation begin.

Empire – The Acolyte – June 2024 issue newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full The Acolyte cover feature – going deep on Star Wars’ boldest streaming series yet, speaking to creator Leslye Headland and stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joonas Suotamo, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Rebecca Henderson, Manny Jacinto and Jodie Turner-Smith – in the June 2024 issue, on sale Thursday 11 April. Order a copy online here. The Acolyte streams on Disney+ in the UK from 5 June.

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