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'Squid Game' breakout Lee Jung-jae lands lead in 'Star Wars: The Acolyte' series

The star of Squid Game heads to a galaxy far, far away.

By Matthew Jackson
Lee Jung-Jae

On Monday, Lee Jung-jae heads to the Primetime Emmy Awards, where his show Squid Game is up for Outstanding Drama Series, and a Best Actor nod for Lee himself. After that, he's apparently heading to a galaxy far, far away. 

Deadline reports that Lee, who starred in the breakout dystopian Netflix hit last year, is Lucasfilm's choice for one of the leads in The Acolyte, the upcoming Star Wars series focused on a period never before depicted in live-action. We don't yet know what role Lee will play, but he joins a growing cast that already includes Amandla Stenberg (Bodies Bodies Bodies) and Jodie Turner-Smith (Without Remorse) in the upcoming series from creator Leslye Headland (Russian Doll). 

Set in the waning days of the High Republic era (a time period so far only depicted in prose and comics) of Star Wars lore, The Acolyte will focus on a period in which the powers of the Dark Side are growing more active in the shadows of the galaxy, revealing secrets and developments that will eventually lead to the downfall of the Jedi Order years later. Plot details are being kept under wraps at the moment, but Headland has been clear about the kind of questions she wants to explore in her story. 

"I actually was very intrigued by why George Lucas had started us at that particular point," she said last year. "I kind of wondered ... 'What happened to lead up to this?' ... ‘How did we get here? And why are the Jedi like this? When they are in power, why are they acting this way and how is it that they’re not having the reaction that you would think they would to Anakin’s presence and what Qui-Gon Jinn is saying about how passionately he feels about training him and bringing him into the fold?'"

The show does not yet have a release date, but landing Lee for a starring role is a major casting coup for The Acolyte, so we hope to learn more about the series soon. 

The Acolyte may be the first live-action story to take us to the High Republic era, but it's just one of an ever-growing crop of streaming releases in the Star Wars galaxy, including the debut of Andor later this month, the upcoming Ahsoka series, the return of The Mandalorian next year, and Skeleton Crew, a new Amblin-esque series from Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts. 

Looking for more dark sci-fi space adventures? SYFY's acclaimed Battlestar Galactica adaptation is streaming now on Peacock.