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Star Wars: The Acolyte ushers in "inclusion and safety for Black nerds," according to star Amandla Stenberg

Diversity on screen was an important part of the show for those responsible for making it

The Acolyte
Image credit: Lucasfilm

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When The Acolyte debuts on Disney+ June 4, it will mark the start of the most diverse era of Star Wars yet — and that’s not an accidental thing.

Those involved in the creation of Leslye Headland’s new drama set in a galaxy far, far away have spoken about what it means to create a Star Wars story featuring a cast that reflects the real world, including Amandla Stenberg, who plays lead roles in the new series.

“When it comes to the world of fantasy and sci-fi in general, it hasn't felt like a safe space always for people of color,” Stenberg told Entertainment Weekly. “And it's been a world that I've always deeply loved and been invested in. So to be in any way, shape, or form a part of the wave that is ushering in inclusion and safety for Black nerds, it's my dream come true.”

Related: Was Disney's 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm a good deal?

The diversity of the cast in The Acolyte was “definitely something I noticed and was really excited about, and was one of the reasons that I chose to step into the world,” according to Jodie Turner-Smith, with Charlie Barnett saying, “I don't think I could have ever imagined myself as a Jedi, because I was not reflected for so many times throughout these films in the past. So to see such a diverse group now, I think it's going be a really impactful.”

The issue of diversity in Star Wars has been a hot button topic for certain fans over the past decade; Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy has recently said that she believes that the franchise should “be reflective of all people” wherever possible, despite fan complaints.

The Acolyte debuts its first two episodes June 4 on Disney+, and will continue weekly through July 16.


Turn back the clock 100 years before the earliest Star Wars movie and enter the era of the Disney+ series The Acolyte. We have everything you need from guides on the cast, the episodes (and their release dates), it's not-for-kids rating, where it fits in the Star Wars timeline, how the show asks who 'deserves' to use the Force, as well as bigger picture things such as a complete Star Wars watch order, and a comprehensive guide to the Star Wars timeline, and all the upcoming Star Wars movies & TV shows on the horizon.

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