Star Wars: Reason Why The Acolyte Creator Leslye Headland Chose to Make the Show a Prequel to The Phantom Menace is Actually Quite Simple

The Acolyte takes place roughly a hundred years before the events of The Phantom Menace and creator Leslye Headland has a good reason for it.

Leslye Headland, The Acolyte
Credits: KeiraTheFabulous/ Wikimedia Commons


  • The Acolyte will explore the High Republic era of the Star Wars universe and creator Leslye Headland revealed the reason behind its setting.
  • In an interview, Headland revealed that she wanted to explore the rise of the Sith, which could only be done by setting the series before The Phantom Menace.
  • During the same interview, Headland also firmly ruled out the possibility of Master Yoda making an appearance in The Acolyte.
Show More
Featured Video

The Acolyte is an upcoming series created by Leslye Headland, which will take place during the High Republic era of the Star Wars universe. Ripe with fresh storytelling opportunities the series marks the first live-action depiction of the era which will take viewers roughly a hundred years before the events of The Phantom Menace.

Amandla Stenberg in a still from the upcoming series.
The Acolyte will take place roughly 100 years before The Phantom Menace (Credit: Lucasfilm).

During a recent interview, Headland spoke about the show’s setting and revealed the reason she decided to make the series a prequel to The Phantom Menace. Headland had a surprisingly simple answer when she was asked about the show taking place during the High Republic era as the showrunner explained why the period was perfect for the story she wanted to tell.

The Acolyte Creator Leslye Headland Reveals Why the Star Wars Show Is Set Before The Phantom Menace

The Acolyte starring Amandla Stenberg and Lee Jung-jae will take place during the High Republic era. The series is set roughly a hundred years before The Phantom Menace directed by George Lucas. Ahead of the show’s premiere early next month, creator and showrunner Leslye Headland sat down for a conversation with

Leslye Headland in an interview with | YouTube
Leslye Headland explains why The Acolyte takes place in the High Republic era (Credit: | YouTube)

During the interview, Headland was asked whether it was her or Lucasfilm who decided to set the series during the High Republic era. Headland revealed that it was a bit of both as the period in Star Wars history was ideal for the story she wanted to explore.

It was the rise of the Sith. I mean how did the rule of two continue through all of this time until Sidious and Maul reveal themselves in The Phantom Menace.

Headland made the above statement explaining what excited her the most about telling a story set in the Star Wars universe. Given that the series takes place a hundred years before the events of The Phantom Menace, the time period is perfect for Headland’s exploration of the Sith Order and its rule of two.

Headland added that towards the end of the High Republic era, the Jedi were in an extremely comfortable position and did not anticipate any threat coming at them. The same idea plays out during The Phantom Menace, which eventually leads to the downfall of the Jedi. As a result, a series exploring the rise of the Sith naturally needed to be set before the prequels era.


Leslye Headland Rules Out One Popular Star Wars Character Appearing in The Acolyte

During the same interview, Headland was also asked about the possibility of popular characters from the Star Wars franchise appearing in the series, who were known to be alive near the end of the High Republic era.

Master Yoda in Revenge of the Sith.
Master Yoda was known to be active during The Acolyte‘s timeline (Credit: Lucasfilm).

Headland was directly questioned about the chances of a Master Yoda appearance, who is canonically known to be roughly 764 years old during the show’s timeline. However, for fans hoping for a quick Master Yoda cameo in the series, Headland had some disappointing news.

Can you imagine if they were like no problem you can use Yoda. Not a big deal. Go for it. No there is not.

Headland made the above statement ruling out the possibility of a Yoda appearance in the series, implying that an appearance from the iconic Jedi Master would have been hard to get approved from the Lucasfilm top brass.


Nonetheless, Headland reassured fans that the series will draw plenty of cool characters from existing Star Wars lore. Headland revealed that familiar faces from the franchise’s Expanded Universe media and the High Republic multimedia project will appear in the series. Therefore, fans need to keep their eyes peeled for those cameos.

The Acolyte will debut with two episodes on June 4, 2024, on Disney+, with the rest released weekly. 

Pratik Handore

Written by Pratik Handore

Articles Published: 639

Pratik is a writer at FandomWire, with a content writing experience of five years. Although he has a Bachelors in Hospitality, his fascination with all things pop culture led him to writing articles on a variety of topics ranging from latest streaming releases to unheard movie trivia. When not writing, you can find him reading manga, or watching classic TV shows.