The Acolyte’s Jodie Turner-Smith Compares Star Wars To Tron: Ares, Says Jared Leto’s Movie Has ‘Balls To The Wall Physicality’

 Jodie Turner-Smith stands smiling in front of a doorway, dressed in an ornate costume in The Acolyte.
Jodie Turner-Smith stands smiling in front of a doorway, dressed in an ornate costume in The Acolyte.

Fans of the Star Wars galaxy are currently enjoying the franchise’s latest offering on the 2024 TV schedule, upon the Disney+ debut of The Acolyte. Introducing a new era of history in that galaxy far, far away is certainly no easy feat, but neither is reintroducing a legacy series like the Tron timeline. For star Jodie Turner-Smith, her experiences in both realms have exposed her to some vastly different approaches in storytelling. And she was on hand to share those differences with CinemaBlend’s  during the recent press day for the brand-new series. The actress also teased the "balls to the wall" physicality of the Jared Leto-led sci-fi movie.

The Sex Education alum spoke to our own Sean O'Connell about the differences between both productions. In terms of her experience working on this long-awaited entry on the schedule of upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows, here’s what Jodie Turner-Smith had to say:

Completely different production experiences. Even though, same genre and same studio. Star Wars is really its own thing, its very own special universe, no pun intended. I also had the privilege of doing it with… what I did was to work specifically with one director, who I love so much and admire so much. In a way, we were making our own little movie. But yeah, it's just completely different. I think Star Wars, it's so invested in its characters. It's really so much about each character, and you don't often get that kind of special attention to character and story in all sci-fi productions. A lot of times, it's really about the bigger picture and not necessarily about what is granular about each character.

As we’re celebrating The Acolyte's premiere, which occurred earlier this week, creator Leslye Headland’s venture into the High Republic era in Star Wars’ lore is already promising to be very character-oriented. With the Queen & Slim star playing a “Force witch” by the name of Mother Aniseya, her presence on the show is part of a story that fleshes out the Sith/Jedi conflict that brews over the century between this new show and The Phantom Menace.

Far removed from the typical exploits of the many films, or even series like The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, this series uncharted territory for Star Wars fans tuning in. However, if there ever was a “bigger picture” franchise in the Disney stable, at least for the moment, it’d definitely be the Tron saga.

While there’s certainly attention paid to the characters that appear, especially Jeff Bridges’ soon-to-return Kevin Flynn, Tron: Ares is a sequel that’s more focused in on the overall story that started in the franchise's first film in 1982. At least, that’s what it looks like, based on what we know about this three-quel.

While we’re not sure of what Jodie Turner-Smith’s role is within the Tron: Ares cast, she has provided some awesome details to tease her part in this fictional universe. As she continued to speak with CinemaBlend, Turner-Smith described the experience of shooting director Joaquim Rønning’s upcoming film thusly:

I think I got to do a little more action in Tron. Tron was definitely much more action-focused, for me. Uh, it was very, very, very physical. I mean, Star Wars also had its own physicality. But Tron was like balls to the wall physicality.

The status' of both Star Wars and Tron are at rather unique pivot points, which exemplify these differences all the more. As the former franchise has existed so long that the characters are where the true innovation lies, the latter is still getting its potential footing for an even more prosperous future.

So, of course, the story and the battles waged in telling the story of Tron's saga are still at a point where larger scaled stories are the majority. Though, should Ares somehow hit it big on the same level that Star Wars or even the Marvel Cinematic Universe have in the past, then we could be on the right track for very personally focused stories that fill in the gaps of that digital landscape. (Who's up for a limited series about Edward Dillinger Sr.'s rise to power at ENCOM?)

Ares looking back in Tron: Ares.
Ares looking back in Tron: Ares.

For an actor like Jodie Turner-Smith, that sort of exercise is pretty exciting, and it’s equally enticing for audiences. Now that she has laid down the expectations of “balls to the wall” action in the long awaited Tron follow-up, the level of anticipation that fans are currently experiencing may only rise higher.

Readers with a Disney+ subscription can dip their toes in, or dive head first into both of those very unique worlds. The Acolyte’s run has just started with this week’s two-episode premiere, and subsequent episodes will drop on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Tron: Ares will premiere as part of the roster of upcoming 2025 movies, on its intended release date of October 10th.