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The Acolyte’s Amandla Stenberg on Playing John Williams’ Famous Score

The Acolyte’s Amandla Stenberg on Playing John Williams’ Famous Score

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Amandla Stenberg is not just starring in new Star Wars series The Acolyte, but she has also tapped into her musical side to play some of the franchise’s iconic score.

Stenberg, who has been playing the violin since she was in the third grade, recently played John Williams‘ famed Star Wars score in a promotional video for the series; Williams wrote a solo violin arrangement of it just for her.

At the Los Angeles premiere of The Acolyte on Thursday, the star spoke about the experience, noting it was “one of those opportunities that I will hold with me for the rest of my entire life.”

“I listened to the score so much when we were filming, and then when Disney came to me and said ‘Hey, we’d love for you to play it,’ I thought, ‘OK, that’s terrifying.’ But then I worked on the sheet music and John [Williams] agreed to it and gave me a version that was just for solo violin,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are just certain circumstances in life that are just so bizarre that bring you to blessings that you would never anticipate and that was such a special moment in my life.”

The Acolyte is set approximately 100 years before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, making it the earliest-set project in the Star Wars universe. The show follows a respected Jedi Master (played by Lee Jung-jae) investigating a series of crimes that bring him into conflict with his former Padawan (Stenberg). Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith and Rebecca Henderson also star in the show, which was created by Russian Doll showrunner Leslye Headland.

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“We are establishing a lot of stuff in live-action that hasn’t been established in live-action, but absolutely [are] influenced by the prequels,” Headland explained. “When I started working on the show, one of the things that really appealed to me was George [Lucas] tells the story of the fall of the Jedi — he tells the story of what happens to a well-meaning order that was the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, and how they got embroiled in politics and then got embroiled as a military presence. So to me it was interesting to move backward in time and see how do we get there? Where are the cracks? Are the termites in the wood? Is the call coming from inside the house?”

Star Wars: The Acolyte starts streaming June 4 on Disney+.

Ryan Fish contributed to this report.

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