The upcoming TV series Star Wars: The Acolyte will be taking place roughly 100 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, a period that has been covered in a variety of books and comics in recent years, but showrunner Leslye Headland will reportedly be drawing from elements of the Star Wars Expanded Universe as inspiration. The SWEU was rebranded as the "Legends" corner of the franchise when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, confirming these adventures weren't part of the official canon, though various elements from the world of Legends have been embraced into the official canon across a number of mediums. Star Wars: The Acolyte does not yet have a release date.
"She is a gigantic Star Wars fan," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy shared with Vanity Fair. "What's wonderful about Leslye is she knows it all. I mean, she's read a gazillion books inside the E.U. There are little bits and pieces that she's drawing from that no one has explored yet in the onscreen storytelling."
The outlet also pointed out that Headland "is drawing extensively from what's known as the Expanded Universe, or 'the E.U.,' which is the plethora of books, games, and comics that are now considered unofficial 'legends' instead of narrative canon. When The Acolyte debuts, lovers of those stories may be relieved to see aspects of them become real once again."
While a variety of Star Wars stories are attempting to find ways to connect to well-known and beloved corners of the galaxy far, far away, Headland noted that she was always much more interested in the worlds of the franchise without necessarily inserting herself into those iconic journeys.
"The truth is that I, as a major mega fan, came to them with this idea. And I said, 'I think the best place to put this is in an era you guys have not quite explored yet,'" Headland revealed. "They were very enthusiastic. It wasn't that they didn't want to explore that [existing] world, but I think that they already were because The Mandalorian and a lot of the other television projects were really relying on legacy characters."
She continued, "I was coming at it as a fan who was much more into the RPG that the Extended Universe feeds on. I came hard at that in the '90s, and then got introduced to [Star Wars:] The Clone Wars. I knew the timeline really well. And I was like, 'I think if you want to explore Star Wars from the perspective of the bad guys, the best time to do it is when the bad guys are wildly outnumbered. When they actually are essentially the underdogs, for lack of a better term.' So this would be that era."
Stay tuned for details on Star Wars: The Acolyte.