Amandla Stenberg to Lead Star Wars Series The Acolyte on Disney+

Amandla Stenberg will star in The Acolyte, a Disney+ series set in the Star Wars universe that will begin production this fall. Back in December, rumors circulated about Stenberg’s participation in the project, but the news was confirmed today, when the official Star Wars account took to twitter to welcome Stenberg to the Star Wars galaxy.

The Acolyte will go back to centuries before Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menace, during the height of the High Republic, when Jedi were at peak strength and the Sith were eradicated. The upcoming series is being described as a live-action mystery-thriller but Stenberg’s role and plot details remain unknown.

Leslye Headland who co-created Netflix’s Russian doll, will act as showrunner, executive producer and writer for The Acolyte. Headland is drawing some inspiration from the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing effort, which launched throughout 2021 with comic books, novels, web series and audio dramas. In an interview with Vanity Fair Headland also discussed other sources of inspiration for the upcoming series:

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“I actually went more toward martial arts films, and storylines that are a little bit more personal and less global and galactic.Those warriors were on missions that were deeply personal, with people feeling wronged and having to make it right. Wuxia Films and martial arts films from King Hu and the Shaw Brothers, like Come Drink With Me and Touch Of Zen. They’re monks that are also martial arts heroes.”

Amandla Stenberg’s Career

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Stenberg, who identifies as non-binary, made their film debut in 2011’s The Colombiana. Their breakout role came in 2012 as Rue in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. Stenberg has also appeared in films including The Darkest Minds, Everything, Everything and The Hate U Give. The Hate U Give earned Stenberg the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Stenberg recently co-starred in Dear Evan Hansen, a film adaptation of the musical by the same name. They will appear in Bodies Bodies Bodies an A24 dark comedy slasher film set for release August 5. The film, which premiered at South by Southwest in March, has received positive reviews.

Stenberg’s television credits include Sleepy Hollow, Ziwe, Mr. Robinson and The Eddy, but The Acolyte will mark their first lead role in a series. Stenberg is also a musician, and in 2015, made their musical debut with Honeywater. The duo’s single Let My Baby Stay was included in Everything, Everything.