The Acolyte: Amy Tsang Talks Joining the Star Wars Universe

We spoke with Amy Tsang about Star Wars: The Acolyte!

Star Wars: The Acolyte has taken fans into a different era within the Star Wars franchise, specifically The High Republic, and in doing so has introduced new locations and characters to the expansive world as it tells the story of Osha and Mae and unravels the mystery surrounding a string of crimes against the Jedi. Among those characters are the witches on Brendok. The Force-using coven plays a major role in Osha and Mae's story and among the coven is Ensign Rane. ComicBook recently sat down with Tsang, who plays Ensign Rane, to talk about how she came to be part of the latest Star Wars series, her favorite Star Wars characters, and what it was like bringing the magic of the witches of Brendok to life on screen.

Nicole Drum, ComicBook: Star Wars is a really iconic franchise, and I really have enjoyed The Acolyte. With it being such an iconic franchise and a huge part of pop culture, it's a big deal to be a part of it. Were you a Star Wars fan before coming onto the series?

Amy Tsang: I was a huge Star Wars fans' friend. My best friends were always talking about it growing up, and everyone around me just loves it. So, by association I feel like I'm a fan, but it wasn't until I got the role that I really started to dive into the world and find out what amazing stories and characters there are. So, I'm considered a new Star Wars fan.

Now that you are a part of the universe and are becoming a fan, who's your favorite character so far in the Star Wars universe?

I'd say Darth Vader. The Dark Side.

How did you come to be involved with The Acolyte as a new Star Wars fan, getting into it now that you're on the show? How did this process happen? Because to be part of Star Wars is a dream for a lot of people.

So, I never thought I would be in a Star Wars series. And my friend at the time, he is the executive producer of the show, and he watched my indie film on his own accord. I happened to be promoting it at the time, and he just thought, when he was reading The Acolyte script, that character, he just thought of me and he asked me, Hey, do you want to audition for this? And I was like, of course I would love to audition for this. This is Star Wars. Of course. So even having a shot at auditioning for it was a huge deal for me because I don't think I would've gotten the opportunity, and so I read for it and I didn't hear back for three months.

Yeah, so I forgot about it and I was like, well, I gave it my best shot, and when it came through and they said that I got the role, it was just unbelievable.

What's really cool is you're not just in Star Wars, but you're playing what I think is one of the coolest things in Star Wars. You get to play one of the witches. Given that this series is set in a time period in the Star Wars franchise that a lot of people are less familiar with, these characters are rich and interesting from a viewer perspective, but as a performer perspective, what did you find most interesting about this role?

I always loved witches. Growing up, I watched TV and films about witches, and I just loved being able to play a witch on Star Wars. It's incredible. When I got the role, I was just diving into all the things that I loved before witchcraft, I was into the mystical, and so I didn't really have a lot of restriction on what I could do and what I couldn't do because it's a new character.

I think what's really neat about the witches too is that you said someone who's interested in witches and fiction and witchcraft and all that thing, the series has a really good job of portraying these rituals. We see them doing that ritual and it's just such a cool thing and it's one thing I appreciate about Star Wars is that it's very immersive and they take from different real cultures and real experiences, and they create this beautiful immersive environment. What is it like being on set for that?

It was so cool, Nicole. We had a movement coach, which I've never had in all the productions I've done. So, they were very detailed in creating this ceremony that you saw on screen. Her name is Alex Reynolds, and she worked with me privately to make sure my character moved in a certain way. So, there's distinction between all the witches and we rehearsed the Ascension Ceremony dance for days, and we had the music composer already composed a song for that chant that you saw on screen, and while we were filming, we had it playing in the background and it was out in the open and it was all the witches in their costumes, and the full moon was above us, and it just felt real. So, when we were doing it, it was all there and we didn't really have to try that much. It was incredible.

Were you guys given any specific references? I know literature and things like that sometimes when making a project, so it would be, think about this or what do you know about this? Before you go into that, were there any specific references you were given for that particular ceremony scene?

Yeah, so there was the ideas of the African Tribe dances, and there were things that were images that the director showed us and the movement coach showed me, and so there were these things to draw from. And myself personally, I just looked at a bunch of my own references that made me feel a certain way, and I went from that.

How have your friends and family responded to you being part of Star Wars and part of this legendary franchise that has literally changed the world in many ways?

Yeah, I think I've had some scream in my face. They're so excited for me, and like you are in Star Wars and I'm taking it in. I'm like, oh yeah, I'm in Star Wars. I don't realize until I get these reactions from my friends and family because they've been lifelong fans and they're telling me; you need to know about this. You need know about this storyline. You need to know about this character. And yes, I love that Disney+ has it on chronological order, so that's great. So, I watched the first three, and then I watched Andor just loved it. And I don't know, the most impactful for me is my goddaughter seeing me on screen and being so excited and with her eyes wide, and she asked her mom, who is my best friend, she was like, can Aunt Mimi teach me how to be a witch? So yeah, so it is really wonderful because growing up, I didn't have someone to look up to on screen and now my goddaughter.

About The Acolyte

Set during The High Republic, Star Wars: The Acolyte delivers an investigation into a mysterious string of crimes, which pits a Jedi master against his former apprentice in a race to uncover the truth. The more that the pair learn about the situation, the darker their journey becomes, as they confront things that darker than either of them could have imagined.

The series stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Joonas Suotamo, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Star Wars: The Acolyte premiered on Disney+ on June 4th.