We discuss whether Darth Plagueis or Palpatine will be in The Acolyte when it comes to Disney+ and will contain spoilers for the Darth Plagueis novel.
The Acolyte has officially begun production and has announced its cast list. While the roles of the actors are unknown, one of them might have been cast to play the prominent Sith Lord Darth Plagueis the Wise. He is a prominent Sith around the time the show will take place, and even trained Palpatine.
Another, albeit more unlikely possibility, is that Palpatine might appear in the show. The master of evil in the Star Wars universe, he might appear in the show to help create the conspiracy that brings about the fall of the Jedi. This is less likely as Plagueis, simply due to timeline issues.
What is The Acolyte about?
The Acolyte was announced all the way back in November 2020, along with many other Star Wars projects. Per the description on the official Star Wars website,
“The Acolyte is 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. 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 will take place roughly a century before The Phantom Menace, meaning that it will take place at around 132 BBY. The High Republic is the period where the Republic and Jedi are both in their heyday. The period is currently the focus of a publishing initiative, with books and comics fleshing out the era. This will be the first time the period will be seen in live-action.
The mystery-thriller tone isn’t too different from the tone of Andor, which the show has received much praise for.
Who is Darth Plagueis?
Darth Plagueis is a Muun Sith Lord that taught Palpatine the ways of the Dark Side. The character is introduced in a monologue Palpatine gives to Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, where he explains the Sith legend, the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise.
Plagueis is an extremely powerful Sith, able to create life and stop those he loved from dying. He taught Palpatine everything he knew, and Palpatine follows the Rule of Two and kills Plagueis in his sleep. It’s ironic that Plagueis could save others from death but not himself.
Not much more is known about Plagueis in canon, but in Legends, a novel about the character detailed the actions of Plagueis and Palpatine right up to Plagueis’ death at the time of The Phantom Menace. Plagueis’ master in the novel is called Darth Tenebrous and is a Bith (the same species as the Cantina band in A New Hope). Plagueis kills him early in the Darth Plagueis novel.
Will Darth Plagueis be in The Acolyte?
So will Darth Plagueis be in The Acolyte? Since the show will be exploring the rising Dark Side at the end of the High Republic, many have asked if Darth Plagueis will appear in the show. There’s been no official confirmation either way, but it’s probable that the character will be featured, as in Legends, he and his master Darth Tenebrous are the two Sith Lords alive at this time.
The Darth Plagueis novel starts at 67 BBY and shows how Plagueis and Palpatine set the plan of the Sith to take over the galaxy in motion. The book takes place over several years and finishes during the time of The Phantom Menace. While The Acolyte takes place around 132 BBY, it might recognize some of the earlier parts of the book and change them slightly to fit the show. Alternatively, it might ignore the book entirely and include a slightly younger Plagueis with his master. It’s fitting a show focused on Dark Side users would finally tell the story of Darth Plagueis, as it isn’t a story the Jedi would tell you.
The Acolyte might go a completely different route and ignore Plagueis, but since he is still a part of the canon (even if his novel isn’t) and is widely known by fans to exist at the time of The Acolyte, it’s highly likely that he will at least get a mention.
Tenebrous is less likely as he is less well known and only features in reference books. In fact, Colin Trevorrow’s original script for The Rise of Skywalker replaces Tenebrous with an alien called Tor Valum, so Lucasfilm might revisit this idea for The Acolyte.
Will Palpatine be in The Acolyte?
Since The Acolyte will be focusing on the actions of the Sith and Dark Side to bring down the Republic, people have been asking if the show might include Palpatine. But while Palpatine has a key role in executing the plans of the Sith, he doesn’t create them, at least not during the time of the High Republic, when the show is set.
The Acolyte takes place around 132 BBY, and Palpatine isn’t born until 82 BBY, a full 50 years after. While the show might cover some of Palpatine’s early life or retcon his age, it’s far more likely that the show will focus on the actions of other Sith and other Dark Side forces before Palpatine’s birth. This means that the main antagonist of Star Wars won’t be a part of the show, but this allows for other Dark Side users to take to the spotlight.
You can watch The Acolyte when it comes out on Disney+ in 2023.