The Star Wars franchise has been growing in different mediums since the first film's release in 1977 which resulted in Lucasfilm making an official proclamation on which stories are part of the official canon and which are part of the non-canon also known as the Expanded Universe (or now officially called Legends). There are fans who are wondering if there are current Star Wars films and TV shows that will actually acknowledge some of the EU lore. Now, it looks like an upcoming series will take some inspiration from it.
Speaking with Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy praised The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland for being a "gigantic Star Wars fan" and confirmed that the upcoming series will have "little bits and pieces" of inspiration from the Expanded Universe.
"She is a gigantic Star Wars fan," Kennedy said. "What’s wonderful about Leslye is she knows it all. I mean, she’s read a gazillion books inside the E.U. There are little bits and pieces that she’s drawing from that no one has explored yet in the onscreen storytelling."
Headland also discussed in the interview why she decided to have The Acolyte set in a different timeline and avoid relying on the legacy characters which is what current shows such as The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi are doing.
"The truth is that I, as a major mega fan, came to them with this idea. And I said, ‘I think the best place to put this is in an era you guys have not quite explored yet.’," she said. "They were very enthusiastic. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to explore that [existing] world, but I think that they already were because The Mandalorian and a lot of the other television projects were really relying on legacy characters."
Headland also shared that she "knew the timeline really well" from the Expanded Universe content like the video games that she played during the 90s and it became her inspiration for the idea on The Acolyte.
"I was coming at it as a fan who was much more into the RPG [role-playing games] that the Extended Universe feeds on," she said. "I came hard at that in the ’90s, and then got introduced to [the animated series] The Clone Wars. I knew the timeline really well. And I was like, 'I think if you want to explore Star Wars from the perspective of the bad guys, the best time to do it is when the bad guys are wildly outnumbered. When they actually are essentially the underdogs, for lack of a better term.' So this would be that era."
Based on her quotes, it sounds like The Acolyte is in good hands since it comes from a Star Wars fan who is very familiar with the lore and is aware of the Expanded Universe content. While we're not expecting her to adapt stories from the era, the fact that she looked at them as inspiration speaks a lot about how serious and knowledgeable she is in telling her Star Wars story.
There is no release date set yet for The Acolyte, but production is set to begin this year.