Star Wars: Chewbacca Actor Joonas Suotamo Confirmed To Be Playing New Wookiee in The Acolyte

Star Wars Celebration kicked off in London today and one big panel featured the cast of the upcoming series, Star Wars: The Acolyte. During the event, it was revealed that Joonas Suotamo will be in the show, but not as Chewbacca, the character he played in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker after taking over for Peter Mayhew. The Acolyte is a mystery thriller that is set at the end of the High Republic, roughly a full century before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and will be entranced in a world of “shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers.” The series will feature Suotamo as a new Wookiee named Jedi Kelnacca.

“BIG NEWS! I’m playing Wookiee Jedi Kelnacca in #TheAcolyte! That’s right, a WOOKIEE JEDI. I’m beyond thrilled to be returning to #StarWars as part of a new and exciting original story and I can’t wait for you to see it,” Suotamo shared on Twitter today. You can check out a photo of him with the rest of The Acolyte cast below:

Who Stars in The Acolyte?

In addition to Suotamo, The Acolyte is set to star Amandla Stenberg (Bodies Bodies Bodies) and feature Lee Jung-jae (Squid Game), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Jodie Turner-Smith (Murder Mystery 2), Dafne Keen (Logan), Dean-Charles Chapman (1917), Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix), and Margarita Levieva (Revenge).

“A lot of those characters haven’t even been born yet,” showrunner Leslye Headland previously explained. “We’re taking a look at the political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don’t know much about. My question when watching The Phantom Menace was always like, ‘Well, how did things get to this point?’ How did we get to a point where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? Like, what went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?'”

“The truth is that I, as a major mega fan, came to them with this idea. And I said, ‘I think the best place to put this is in an era you guys have not quite explored yet,'” Headland revealed to Vanity Fair earlier this year. “They were very enthusiastic. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to explore that [existing] world, but I think that they already were because The Mandalorian and a lot of the other television projects were really relying on legacy characters.”

She continued, “I was coming at it as a fan who was much more into the RPG that the Extended Universe feeds on. I came hard at that in the ’90s, and then got introduced to [Star Wars:] The Clone Wars. I knew the timeline really well. And I was like, ‘I think if you want to explore Star Wars from the perspective of the bad guys, the best time to do it is when the bad guys are wildly outnumbered. When they actually are essentially the underdogs, for lack of a better term.’ So this would be that era.”

Stay tuned for more updates about Star Wars: The Acolyte.