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Amandla Stenberg in talks to headline Star Wars: The Acolyte series

Lucasfilm and Disney+ may have found their Acolyte. Variety is reporting that 23-year-old Amandla Stenberg is in negotiations for a leading role in Star Wars: The Acolyte, an upcoming live-action series for Disney+.

For the uninitiated, The Acolyte will take place in a relatively unexplored period of Star Wars history. All we know for sure is that it’s a female-led action thriller set during the late High Republic era, 50 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. Within the Star Wars universe, the term “Acolyte” is usually reserved for a warrior who is training to become one of the Sith, with the series said to be an exploration of the rise of dark-side power. News about The Acolyte first broke in April 2020 before it was confirmed by Lucasfilm in December of that year during the Disney Investor Day 2020 presentation. Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland is the writer and showrunner.

Stenberg, who identifies as nonbinary, made their screen debut 10 years ago in Colombiana, which was followed by a memorable role as Rue, the young but clever tribute from District 11 in The Hunger Games. Stenberg’s later credits included a recurring stint on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and a starring role on the sitcom, Mr. Robinson. More recently, Stenberg has garnered acclaim for starring turns in The Hate U Give, The Darkest Minds, Where Hands Touch, and Netflix’s miniseries The Eddy.

Amandla Stenberg in The Eddy.

So far, Lucasfilm hasn’t shared any additional info about The Acolyte. But if the casting process has already begun, it could be ready to start filming in 2022. A similar situation is currently unfolding with the Star Wars: Ashoka series. That Rosario Dawson-led show recently cast Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren while landing Ivanna Sakhno for a mystery role. Star Wars: Ashoka is also likely to begin production next year.

In the more immediate future, there are two live-action Star Wars series slated to premiere in 2022. Ewan McGregor will headline Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, a miniseries that revisits the Jedi Master nearly ten years after he went into exile on Tatooine. Hayden Christensen is also reprising his role as Darth Vader for the show. Additionally, Star Wars: Andor, a prequel series to Rogue One, will debut next year with Diego Luna stepping back into the part of Cassian Andor, a ruthless warrior and spy for the Rebellion.

Fortunately, fans won’t have to wait until next year for new Star Wars stories. The Book of Boba Fett will premiere on Disney+ on Wednesday, December 29.

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