‘Star Wars’ Series ‘The Acolyte’ Sets Amandla Stenberg to Star

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The “Star Wars” series “The Acolyte” will officially be led by Amandla Stenberg.

The announcement came Friday, with the official “Star Wars” account tweeting out a picture of Stenberg. Going farther back in time than any live-action “Star Wars” title before it, “The Acolyte” is set a century before the events of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” The series promises to depict the galaxy at the peak of the era of the High Republic, when the Jedi were at their strongest and the Sith were believed to have been eradicated from the galaxy.

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Stenberg was rumored for the role in a report from December 2021, but the news is now official.

“Russian Doll” co-creator Leslye Headland is showrunning the series, with Stenberg set to star (“The Hate U Give”). Headland is drawing at least in part from Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The High Republic” publishing effort. Announced in February 2020 and launched throughout 2021, the “High Republic” series spans comic books, audio dramas, web series and novels. They’ve served as a kind of R&D department for where Lucasfilm could next take “Star Wars” storytelling.

Stenberg, who identifies as non-binary, broke out in the role of Rue in the 2012 feature adaptation of “The Hunger Games.” They have since gone on to star in films like “The Hate U Give,” “The Darkest Minds,” “Everything, Everything,” and the recent feature version of “Dear Evan Hansen,” playing Alana Beck. Stenberg has also appeared on television shows such as “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Eddy,” and “Mr. Robinson.”

“We’re taking a look at the political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don’t know much about,” Headland told Vanity Fair in May. “My question when watching ‘The Phantom Menace’ was always like, ‘Well, how did things get to this point?’ How did we get to a point where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? Like, what went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?”

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