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Star Wars: The Acolyte showrunner says the series is inspired by The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Star Wars: The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland has revealed how The Phantom Menace inspired the series.

The Acolyte is set in the High Republic era, which is around 200 years before the prequels. Headland talked about why she was interested in that time period in particular, telling TheWrap that The Phantom Menace released at a formative time in her life, and detailing the questions the movie raised for her. 

"I actually was very intrigued by why George Lucas had started us at that particular point," she explained. "I kind of wondered, but what happened to lead up to this? That's kind of where my Star Wars fan brain went was like, 'How did we get here?' And why are the Jedi like this? When they are in power, why are they acting this way and how is it that they're not having the reaction that you would think they would to Anakin's presence and what Qui-Gon Jinn is saying about how passionately he feels about training him and bringing him into the fold."

She continued: "It's like, even the discovery of Darth Maul is kind of met with this like, 'Hm, interesting' kind of feeling. So I just think for me, my brain has always buzzed around that area and wondered what's going on here – or what has been going on here."

Not much is known about The Acolyte just yet, though we do know it will be female-led, and is described as "a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era."

Headland has also recently talked about hiring the writers for the series, explaining that it was necessary to recruit people who "are not necessarily the die-hard, cutthroat fan that I am when it comes to Star Wars stuff" to generate conversation in the writers room. 

There's no release date for The Acolyte at the moment. The next Star Wars series to arrive to our screens will be The Book of Boba Fett, which is set to land this December. Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is filming now, and The Mandalorian season 3, which will reportedly go into production at the end of this year or beginning of next year, are both due to follow.  

While you wait for more from the galaxy far, far away, check out our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows to get excited about, and find the best Disney Plus prices and deals

I'm an experienced online writer with articles published on film, TV, and pop culture. I am currently working at GamesRadar+ as a freelance Entertainment Reporter. I previously worked on the Disney team and freelanced on CBeebies magazine with Immediate Media.