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The Acolyte is the show that dares to ask 'What is Star Wars without a war?' (And then answers that question, too)

Creator Leslye Headland knows that it's not easy to make a show about war in a time of galactic peace

The Acolyte
Image credit: Lucasfilm

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There’s a certain drawback to exploring stories set during Star Wars’ High Republic era, as Disney+'s The Acolyte is currently doing. Namely, it’s decades before the rise of the Empire, which means that the galactic Empire is… well… worryingly stable for a franchise that’s named after a massive fight spread across space.

"We're looking at a time period where there is peace throughout the galaxy. It was very challenging and interesting to make a Star Wars with no war in it,” Headland has previously said about the show. “So the question became, Well, what should the show be about if it's not going to be about galactic conflict?"

The answer is, as those who have seen the opening episodes of the show already know, to focus on the smaller conflicts happening throughout the galaxy — including some that might, perhaps, potentially, contain the seeds of a larger conflict down the line. (I mean, we all think that there’s some Sith stuff happening in the background, right? Right.)

Of course, for all of the larger political conflicts, Star Wars has always been about the more intimate, human relationships at the heart of the story — even when those relationships happen to reveal that the son of the galactic despot happens to be the leader of the rebellion against him; who could’ve figured? The Acolyte is simply leaning into that element even more… and finding success in doing so.

New episodes of The Acolyte airs weekly every Tuesday on Disney+ 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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