Star Wars: The Acolyte Becomes A Russian Doll Reunion As Charlie Barnett Joins Cast

Every announcement regarding the cast of "Star Wars: The Acolyte" further proves that Leslye Headland's new series is going to be a collection of Film Twitter favorites. The series is led by "The Hate U Give" and "Bodies, Bodies, Bodies" star Amandla Stenberg with "Squid Game" star Lee Jung-jae, "Queen & Slim" star Jodie Turner-Smith, and "The Good Place" favorite Manny Jacinto also appearing. Today's announcement has us praying we're not caught in a time loop, as "Russian Doll" star Charlie Barnett joins the cast.

Barnett has been working for quite some time, with his breakthrough role on "Chicago Fire" before nabbing roles in "Valor," "Tales of the City," "Arrow," and "You." Headland is also the co-creator of "Russian Doll," which makes "The Acolyte" a bit of a reunion for the duo. Details on Barnett's character have not been released, but sources for The Hollywood Reporter believe the role will be in a supportive capacity. Not much has been made available regarding the series' plot, but we do know it will take place in the diminishing days of the High Republic, viewed as the golden age for Jedi.

This time period has been canonically traversed through "Star Wars" novels, but has yet to be shown on-screen. There's a high probability the prequel series will explore the return of the Sith and the development of their Dark Side powers, as "Star Wars" lore sees the Jedi as having apprentices, while the Siths have acolytes. If this means we'll get to see the wholesome cinnamon bun human of Alan Zaveri join the Dark Side, count me in.

Are we the baddies?

Based on other information, we know that "The Acolyte" will also draw on Chinese wuxia martial arts films. Headland's decision was based on advice she received from "The Mandalorian" creator Jon Favreau, who told her "When you're working in this world, you want to go back to what George [Lucas] was inspired by," citing westerns, the films of Akira Kurosawa, and an acknowledgement of Lucas originally offering the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi to legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune

It's impossible at this stage for us to know how the wuxia films will be incorporated in "The Acolyte," but I like to imagine that Stenberg, Turner-Smith, Jung-jae, Jacinto, and now Barnett are all in a training center somewhere training with jian swords in place of a lightsaber. Unfortunately, If the show is, as anticipated, centering on the rise of the Sith, we're all going to have to get used to our faves playing baddies real quick. Perhaps they'll all being playing Jedi, but it's best if we start preparing ourselves accordingly in anticipation.

"The Acolyte" is still in the early stages of production so no release date has been made available, but the next "Star Wars" series for Disney+, "The Andor," heads to the streamer on September 21, 2022.