‘The Acolyte’ Actress Dafne Keen Teases Series As “An Explanation Of How The Sith Infiltrated The Jedi”

Dafne Keen as Lyra in His Dark Materials (2022), WarnerMedia

Actress Dafne Keen, who will appear in the upcoming The Star Wars series, The Acolyte, from Lucasfilm and Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant Leslye Headland recently claimed the show will be “an explanation of how the Sith infiltrated the Jedi.”

(L-R): Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae and Director Leslye Headland on the set of Lucasfilm’s THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company announced Keen as part of the cast at the beginning of November and described the series in a press release 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.”

The press release added, “A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated.”

The Acolyte logo as shown during Disney Investor Day Presentation 2020

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Speaking with Tech Radar during a press junket for His Dark Materials Season 3, Keen provided some more information about the series.

Keen stated, “I can tease that it’s a prequel!” All jokes aside she then added, “No, I mean, as you know, it’s set 100 years before the prequel movies, and it’s kind of an explanation of how the Sith infiltrated the Jedi. It’s a Sith-led story, which has never been done before.”

Keen concluded, “It’s been really fun to film – the cast is amazing, and the director and crew are just lovely. The whole experience is wonderful, and I’m already excited for people to see it.”

Dafne Keen as Lyra in His Dark Materials Season 2 – Episode 7 (2020), WarnerMedia

If The Acolyte is truly going to show how the Sith infiltrated the Jedi it appears it will be retconning George Lucas’ prequel trilogy. In The Phantom Menace, after Qui-Gon Jinn shares his belief that Darth Maul is a Sith lord, Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi replies Qui-Gon Jinn, “Impossible. The Sith have been extinct for a millennium.”

“I do not believe the Sith could have returned without us knowing,” interjected Mace Windu. However, Yoda noted, “Ah, hard to see, the dark side is.”

Silas Carson as Jedi Master Ki-Adi Mundi, Frank Oz as Jedi Master Yoda, and Samuel L. Jackson as Jedi Master Mace Windu in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Lucasfilm

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Not only does the film note that the Sith had not been seen by the Jedi for a millennium, it also shows Senator Sheev Palpatine of Naboo use the Trade Federation’s blockade of his home planet to run a campaign against Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum.

After Valorum fails to aid the Naboo following the invasion of the Trade Federation’s droid army, Princess Amidala calls for a change in leadership saying, “If this body is not capable of action, I suggest new leadership is needed. I move for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Vaolorum’s leadership.”

Natalie Portman as Princess Amidala in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Lucasfilm

After Princess Amidala’s motion of no confidence it was revealed that Senator Palpatine was nominated to succeed Valorum. Captain Panaka informs Princess Amidala, “Senator Palpatine has been nominated to succeed Valorum as Supreme Chancellor.”

Palpatine would eventually be elected Supreme Chancellor while Amidala fought to free Naboo from the clutches of the Trade Federation alongside Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Gungans.

Ian McDiarmid as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Natalie Portman as Princess Amidala in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Lucasfilm

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Palpatine would further solidify his political power in Attack of the Clones by manipulating Jar Jar Binks into making a motion to grant him emergency powers in order to deal with the alliance of the Trade Federation and the Separatists.

From there he announced the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic that would use the army created by the cloners on Kamino as originally commissioned by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas.

Ian McDiarmid as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode 2: The Attack of the Clones (2002), Lucasfilm

In Revenge of the Sith, he would manipulate Anakin Skywalker into aiding him in defeating Jedi Master Mace Windu, who revealed that Palpatine controlled the Senate and the courts and that a trial would note mete out justice. The argument failed to convince Anakin who had previously been promised by Palpatine that he could help him learn how to cheat death and save Padme from death.

Palpatine would manipulate the Jedi attempting to bring him into custody for orchestrating the entire war with the Separatists into an assassination attempt. He would then reform the Republic into the First Galactic Empire.

Ian McDiarmid as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

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As far as any infiltration of the Sith it was done in the time period leading up to the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo and during the Clone Wars. Jedi Mast Sifo-Dyas commissioned the clone army on the basis of a vision regarding a war ravaging the galaxy. He believed that in order for the Republic to prevail they would need an army.

The Sith discovered the army and quickly sought to not only take control of it, but to hide the creation of it. Palpatine orders Dooku to eliminate Sifo-Dyas and contracts with the Pyke Syndicate to have his ship shot down over the moon of Oba Diah.

Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas in Season 6 Episode 10 “The Lost Ones” of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Lucasfilm

With Sifo-Dyas dead, Dooku became the point of contact with the Kaminoans for the creation of the clone army. He would hire Jango Fett to be the template of the Clone Army and also instructed the Kaminoans to create the Order 66 chips while also ensuring his identity would remain a secret.

None of this infiltration of the Jedi happens 100 years before the prequel movies. It all happens within a decade or so of the beginning of the Clone Wars and is orchestrated by Darth Sidious a.k.a Sheev Palpatine.

Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lucasfilm

What do you make of Keen’s claim about the show claiming to be about the Sith infiltration of the Jedi?

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