Amandla Stenberg at the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala

Amandla Stenberg Says She's 'So Lucky' To Be Cast In 'Star Wars' Series 'The Acolyte'

Home / Star Wars / Amandla Stenberg Says She's 'So Lucky' To Be Cast In 'Star Wars' Series 'The Acolyte'

By Kristin Myers on October 10, 2022 at 8:30 AM EDT

"The Hunger Games" star Amandla Stenberg is "astounded" that she was cast as the lead in the upcoming Star Wars series, "The Acolyte."

The 23-year-old talent, who identifies as non-binary and uses both she/her and they/them pronouns, is best known to audiences for playing young Rue in the first film of “The Hunger Games” franchise, opposite Jennifer Lawrence. Since that time, Amandla has gone on to star in critically acclaimed projects like “Where Hands Touch,” “The Darkest Minds,” “Everything, Everything,” and “The Hate U Give.”

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Amandla was included on TIME’s Most Influential Teens list in both 2015 and 2016. The accomplished entertainer has also won several awards, including a Teen Choice Award, an NAACP Image Award, and nominations for a Critics’ Choice Award and four Black Reel Awards. Even despite her success, Amandla still described herself as "astounded" and "so lucky" to be cast in a project set in a galaxy far, far away.

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Amandla Stenberg Is 'So Lucky' To Be Cast In The Upcoming 'Star Wars' Series 'The Acolyte'

Amandla Stenberg with Darth Vader
Instagram | Amandla Stenberg

Earlier this year, Amandla announced her casting in the new series by posing for photos alongside Darth Vader and R2-D2 at San Diego Comic-Con.

In an Instagram post announcing the news, she wrote, "Next stop: a galaxy far, far away… I am so excited to finally announce I’m joining Star Wars: #TheAcolyte ! Honored is an understatement. May the Force be with you."

Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy, commented, “Welcome Amandla. The galaxy is better with you in it. ❤️.” Lucasfilm commented, “Welcome to the galaxy!” while Disney+ added, “🤩💫.”

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Amandla Stenberg with Darth Vader
Instagram | Amandla Stenberg
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In an interview with The Face magazine (via Game Rant) Amandla was surprised to hear that Lucasfilm producers had written the lead character of the series with her specifically in mind.

"The Lucasfilm team came to me with this project which was fully conceptualized with me in mind, and I was astounded,” she told the publication. Although some entertainers are not overly familiar with Star Wars when they get cast in the famous franchise, Amandla described herself as a big fan of the movies and TV shows, adding that she is “so lucky” to get to “get lost” in the franchise as part of her job.

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"I get to read, watch, and breathe Star Wars. It's my job to get lost in it, I'm so lucky," she said. "My plans were interrupted by a very different life path, but one that I think is going to be a huge blessing."

Who Else Has Been Cast In The Upcoming Disney+ Series?

Charlie Barnett at the Netflix's "Russian Doll" Season 2 Premiere
MEGA

Actor Charlie Barnett, best known for starring opposite “Orange Is The New Black” alum Natasha Lyonne in the Netflix series “Russian Doll,” is now in talks to join the Disney+ live-action series.

However, if he does join the project, he will be working together with “Russian Doll” co-creator Leslye Headland, who is showrunning, writing, and directing the latest Disney+ live-action series.

None of the characters for any of the actors or actresses in the project have been revealed, but sources told The Hollywood Reporter, who announced the news, that it is likely that he will be playing a supporting role.

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Manny Jacinto at the Amazon Prime Videos Los Angeles Premiere ''I Want You Back''
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Only one day before Charlie Barnett was announced to be in talks to join the series, Deadline revealed that “The Good Place” star Manny Jacinto has been cast in the upcoming series.

Although he is best known for playing Jason Mendoza on “The Good Place,” fans most recently got to see him in the box office success “Top Gun: Maverick.” He also appeared in the Amazon Prime movie, “I Want You Back” and the limited Hulu series, “Nine Perfect Strangers.”

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Lee Jung-Jae at Netflix's 'Squid Game' Los Angeles FYSEE Special Event
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Earlier this year, Deadline reported that "Squid Game" star Lee Jung-Jae had been tapped to play the male lead in the series shortly before his first Emmy win.

Lee has won several major awards for his roles, including a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Critics' Choice Television Award, and six Baeksang Arts Awards.

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Jodie Turner-Smith at the Kering Foundation's Caring for Women dinner
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In addition to Lee's casting, Deadline reported that British actress and model Jodie-Turner Smith will be joining the star-studded cast as well.

She recently appeared alongside another Star Wars star, Adam Driver, in the film, "White Noise," which kicked off the 2022 Venice Film Festival. Driver is best known for portraying Kylo Ren and the redeemed Ben Solo in the Star Wars sequel trilogy from 2015 to 2019.

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Amandla Stenberg with R2-D2
Instagram | Amandla Stenberg

During its announcement at Disney Investor Day in 2020, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy teased, “Leslye Headland, Emmy-nominated creator of the mind-bending series Russian Doll, is a boldly innovative filmmaker bringing her new Star Wars series to Disney+. The Acolyte is a mystery thriller that will take us into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging Dark Side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”

Few details have been released about the project aside from the cast. The series is expected to be released on Disney+ in late 2023, after season 3 of "The Mandalorian" and "Ahsoka."

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