The events of Star Wars happened a long time ago. But in the very near future, they’ll be all over Disney+. Lucasfilm has a full slate of live-action shows coming to the streaming service. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka, and Andor will soon join The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett in the site’s library. But it turns out we’re getting even more Star Wars than we thought. Two other series are in development. One, titled The Acolyte will explore how the Jedi started to lose control a century before Sheev Palpatine put his plan in place. And we’ve just learned who will star in it. And the other Star Wars series, “created and executive-produced by director Jon Watts and writer Chris Ford,” will bring an ’80s-style Amblin coming-of-age adventure to the galaxy far, far away.
A new deep dive by Vanity Fair into the current state of the live-action Star Wars series came with some unexpected news. Amid all the updates on the shows we already know about was information that Lucasfilm is currently developing these two other series as well. The first, The Acolyte, is a mystery thriller that we know now will star Amandla Stenberg (Rue from The Hunger Games). The show will take place one hundred years before The Phantom Menace.
Showrunner Leslye Headland (co-creator of Russian Doll) has worked on the series for two years. She told Vanity Fair the show will “look at the political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don’t know much about.” That time period will be towards the end of The High Republic, an era Star Wars publishing has been bringing to life. The Acolyte will seemingly serve as a bridge between that time and the time of the Skywalker saga. Headland said her show will try to understand how the Jedi let things get so out of control that not long after a Sith Lord secretly took down the Order and the Republic.
Don’t expect the Jedi to come across heroically on the show. The High Republic was one of grandeur and peace, but that doesn’t mean its guardians were perfect. “The Jedi uniforms are gold and white, and it’s almost like they would never get dirty. They would never be out and about,” Headland said. The Jedi of her show will try to stay out of “skirmishes,” let alone serve as generals.
Could the titular character of The Acolyte turn out to be a Jedi who becomes disillusioned with the Order? Or a Sith apprentice who puts the wheels in motion for Sheev Palpatine’s eventual rise a century later? Or maybe both?
While there are countless unanswered questions about that first series, it at least has a title. Lucasfilm’s other new live-action Star Wars show in development, set in a post-Return of the Jedi galaxy, only has a code name: Grammar Rodeo. But, as mentioned, it does have a big name attached to it. This new Star Wars series comes from Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts. He created the show with Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Chris Ford. And the show’s code name is anything but random.
Grammar Rodeo comes from The Simpsons‘ season seven episode “Bart on the Road.” In that episode, Bart and his friends rent a car to go on a road trip alone. And since Watts’ series is currently looking to cast four actors around 11 or 12, it sounds as though it will have a similar premise. Grammar Rodeo will also take inspiration from ’80s Amblin films.
Watts’ Star Wars series sounds like the complete opposite in terms of tone and plot to The Acolyte. But with so many Star Wars shows coming to Disney+ Lucasfilm can tell any kind of story it wants. And that’s apparently what the studio is doing.