Star Wars: The Acolyte title card from Disney+.

Truly BRILLIANT Cast of Star Wars’ ‘The Acolyte’ Just Added a Breakout ‘The Good Place’ Star

It’s truly a feat when a show we know very little about can get fans excited, and Star Wars: The Acolyte is doing so with ease—mainly because of the absolutely stacked cast that is shaping up for the Leslye Headland series. With previous announcements of Jodie Turner-Smith, recent Best Actor in a Drama Series Emmy winner Lee Jung-jae, and Amandla Stenberg, The Acolyte is now adding Manny Jacinto to its ranks and oh boy are we in for the most beautiful cast of Star Wars characters yet.

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Jacinto, who was recently in Top Gun: Maverick, became everyone’s favorite himbo in the hit series The Good Place, and his sweet and naive take on Jason Mendoza still has fans screaming “BORTLES” when throwing things (just hopefully not Molotov cocktails). But with this casting comes a fascinating breakdown in the cast and what each new actor brings to the table.

Since we don’t know much about the series as a whole (other than it is taking place long before even the prequels), let’s talk about this cast and what they are bringing to the series as performers.

Jodie Turner-Smith’s power

Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya in Queen and Slim.
(Universal Pictures)

It takes a powerhouse to play Anne Boleyn, and that’s exactly what Jodie Turner-Smith is. She has power because she, as a performer, captivates you and has you just in awe of her talent. And, you know, it also takes power to play literal royalty in things. She starred recently as Boleyn in the series Anne Boleyn and has also made star turns in things like After Yang and Queen & Slim.

So whatever role she ends up tackling in the world of Star Wars, we know she’ll bring the radiance and beauty she does to every one of her projects to it, and if you wanted to make her a queen of Naboo so she can wear the beautiful gowns like they wore in the prequels, I wouldn’t be mad about it.

Lee Jung-jae’s charm

Lee Jung-Jae with his Emmy
(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

After winning an Emmy for his work in Netflix’s Squid Game, it’s no surprise that Lee Jung-jae is continuing to get work, and having him in the world of Star Wars is a gift! His performance in Squid Game brought us through the story and made the series’ deadly “games” feel that much more real because we knew what he had to lose if he didn’t make it out alive. We cared about his character Seong Gi-hun even though he wasn’t perfect and made plenty of mistakes, and it is all thanks to Lee Jung-jae’s charm onscreen.

He’s captivating to watch and has a smile that takes over the screen when you’re watching him, and it will be truly wonderful to see who he ends up playing in the series.

Amandla Stenberg’s joy

Amandla Stenberg in The Hate U Give.
(Fox)

There’s a reason we all hated Jack Quaid for years, and it’s because he killed Rue in The Hunger Games. (This is a joke. We love him, but you get it.) Stenberg, who played Rue in the franchise, worked in the role because she was so sweet and young, and Katniss instantly wanted to protect her. She brought the joy and the hope that Rue did in the book to life onscreen and it has carried her throughout her career. When Amandla Stenberg smiles, you do too just because of the joy it radiates.

She can also play the horror and fear of a situation so well (thanks, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) and has a range that is unparalleled! Having someone as talented as Stenberg in Star Wars as a whole is brilliant and having her in The Acolyte definitely has the gears working in my brain to what kind of character she could be playing.

Manny Jacinto’s humor

THE GOOD PLACE -- "A Chip Driver Mystery" Episode 406 -- Pictured: Manny Jacinto as Jason -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)
(Colleen Hayes/NBC)

That all brings us to the hilarious and wonderful Manny Jacinto. Since many of us met him in The Good Place, he’s gone on to play hilarious love interests in movies like I Want You Back and more. He’s so funny and quick-witted that watching him onscreen is mesmerizing, and whether or not that humor will be displayed throughout The Acolyte is one thing, but we know that he will have us captivated.

Whatever we end up getting with The Acolyte, we know it’s going to be brilliant, and I can’t wait!

(featured image: Colleen Hayes/NBC)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.