No, That Acolyte Planet Is Not Where You Think It Is somilla dhani

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Star Wars fans love only one more thing than a mystery: speculating about how that mystery could have connections to other parts of the galaxy far, far away. But for as much as the franchise does indeed share that love of keeping it all connected, it’s not always actually planning on doing that.

Ever since we’ve seen its cluster of islands on The Acolyte, the unknown planet that the Sith Stranger calls home has been speculated by fans as potentially being another key locale: the planet Ahch-To from The Last Jedi. It certainly looks very similar, given the vast oceans and lush, mountainous island outcroppings—although location filming for the planet took place on the Portuguese island of Madeira, rather than Skellig Michael, the Irish island used to film Ahch-To in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. In the latest episode we learned it even has its own Porg-esque local wildlife in the form of the Skura, little beings that look like a mashup of a duck and an anteater. Plus, there would be something incredibly Sith about the idea of dark side users hiding in the shadows where the Jedi would least expect it: the home planet of the first Jedi Temple.

But alas, Star Wars fans craving connection, according to showrunner Leslye Headland, the planet is very much not Ahch-To. “It’s not Ahch-To. I know it’s similar, and it was intentionally supposed to be similar in terms of terrain and feeling isolated and surrounded by water and less lush green and more rocky,” Headland recently confirmed in an interview with Collider. “But the idea is that cortosis is mined on this planet, so I don’t think that’s the case with Ahch-To. Part of the reason this is his home base is that cortosis is a very rare metal. I don’t think we say it explicitly in the show, but that’s a reason it’s not Ahch-To.”

Headland further noted that explicitly only identifying the world as “Unknown Planet” in The Acolyte‘s location cards was an intentional nod to the series’ primary perspective being that of the Jedi Order and the Republic. “It’s an uncharted planet that they haven’t [mapped],” Headland added, touching on an element of the High Republic setting that’s not come up often in The Acolyte, but serves as a major piece of worldbuilding in the transmedia book and comics initiative that established the era: that this is a time period where the Republic and its allies are still expanding territory and charting the galaxy. Just because it’s unknown to them, doesn’t mean people like the Stranger didn’t know about it already—and in knowing it, he got access to a tool like cortosis he could wield against his enemies.

Whether or not the world will remain unknown by the end of The Acolyte‘s first season remains to be seen—the presence of cortosis deposits has had as many fans as those speculating it could be Ahch-To speculating that the world could instead possibly be a canonical version of Bal’demnic, a cortosis-rich ocean world that acted as a base of operations for Darth Plagueis and his master, Tenebrous, in the EU novel Plagueis. For now, sometimes a planet just looks like another planet.


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