Star Wars Series The Acolyte Was Pitched As 'Frozen Meets Kill Bill,' First Matrix-Like Footage Revealed

Star Wars Celebration is happening right now in the U.K. and we are learning an awful lot about the future of a galaxy far, far away, both on the big and small screen. The opening day panel was all about the future of "Star Wars," and those in attendance were treated to a first look at the upcoming series "The Acolyte," which is set in The High Republic era, long before the beginning of the prequels. We're going back hundreds of years in the timeline, and the furthest back we've ever seen in live-action.

/Film was in attendance at the panel, and we've got all the details shared by the cast and crew, as well as a description of the footage that was shown. Showrunner Leslye Headland stepped out on stage to share what she could about what they're cooking up. "This is when the bad guys are outnumbered, they are the underdogs" she explained, also adding that there will be "lots of Jedi" and that it was pitched as "Frozen" meets "Kill Bill." For those familiar with The High Republic era from the books over the past few years, this should not come as a surprise. We also learned that this show will feature the first-ever Wookiee Jedi master in live-action, named Kelnacca.

"There isn't really a war for our 'Star Wars,'" Headland intriguingly added, saying that she went back to George Lucas' inspirations, such as Samurai movies and Akira Kurosawa. Shaw Brothers movies like "Come Drink With Me" were cited as an inspiration for the stunts in the show as well. The cast joined Headland on stage, including Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Rebecca Henderson, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Joonas Suotamo.

'We're doing Star Wars, baby!'

Of note, Suotamo, who took over the role of Chewbacca for the late Peter Mayhew, is playing the new Wookiee Jedi. "Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a Jedi, and a while back I was called and informed and told they want to try me on for this new role, and I immediately said (Wookiee noises)," Suotamo said. Stenberg, who plays the lead character, said that Headland "has a really emotionally profound way of approaching the darker sides of ourselves." It was also explained that the show will have "magical realism" episodes.

"To step into this world that is held so sacred, I'm excited, I want to vomit a little, and I just hope you love it," Smith said before Jacinto chimed in with an enthusiastic: "We're doing Star Wars, baby!" The actor then added, a bit more seriously, "This is unreal, this is crazy, this is so cool, it's a huge honor to be able to do this with this cast... it's a dream, I cry every day just being on set."

Going back to the stunts, it was also explained that Wuxia martial arts will be used. Lastly, Keen spoke, saying "We're children, basically, so we're playing with sticks and they light up." Then, the lights came down and the first footage from the show played for the crowd. Get ready for lots of lightsabers.

The Acolyte Star Wars Celebration footage

The footage opened with a glimpse at some Jedi younglings while Jung-jae's character says "Close your eyes. Your eyes can deceive you, we must not trust them. The Force is powerful — it is power we must respect." Shades of Obi-Wan Kenobi in that dialogue. The footage being shown was described as "The Matrix" in tone, while also looking "amazing." Sadly, we can't get more specific than that for the time being. 

We also see a yellow lightsaber, which we only saw for the first time with Rey at the end of "Rise of Skywalker." But this is much further back in the timeline. "This isn't about good or bad, this is about power, and who is allowed to use it," Smith's character adds. The footage concludes with a lot of lightsabers (again, the show is going to feature a lot of Jedi), green and yellow blades among them. And with that, this portion of the presentation met its end.

"The Acolyte" is set to hit Disney+ sometime in 2024.