Star Wars welcomes its first out trans actor in the form of The Acolyte’s Abigail Thorn

Abigail Thorn

Actress Abigail Thorn stars in the new Star Wars Cinematic Universe (SWCU) show The Acolyte, which drops on Disney+ this week.

Thorn plays ensign Eurus in The Acolyte, which is set at the end of the High Republic era – approximately 100 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.

According to Deadline, the new show is a “mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers… [when] a former padawan reunites with her Jedi master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated.”

Thorn will be appearing alongside Lee Jung-jae of Squid Game fame, Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games), and Carrie-Anne Moss, who featured in The Matrix franchise.

Not much is known about Thorn’s character or how she fits into the wider narrative of the show, but as she is also known as a prolific YouTuber and a trans trailblazer, we thought it would be a good time to revisit what we know about her.

Who is Abigail Thorn?

Thorn is a British YouTuber, actress and playwright, best-known for producing and starring in PhilosophyTube.

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She started her channel in 2013 to provide free philosophy lessons for people after the increase in university tuition fees in England. It now has 1.5 million subscribers.

Thorn previously said that a philosophy teacher at school encouraged her to take the class for her A-Levels after she needed to study a third subject (her other two were biology and chemistry).

“More than anyone else, [the teacher] was responsible for starting me down the philosophy path. I discovered that not only did I like philosophy but I had a knack for it too,” she told What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher.

Thorn later branched out into acting and began auditioning for TV and film roles, landing a part in BBC’s Ladhood and a TV remake of the 1966 film Django.

She also voiced Nocturne, a secondary character in the video game Baldur’s Gate 3, and wrote and starred in a play called The Prince, staged at London’s Southwark Playhouse, in which Shakespearean characters became self-aware and tried to escape being part of the bard’s tragedies.

Following the release of The Acolyte, Thorn is set to star in Dracula’s Ex-Girlfiend, a short film she wrote about a dinner attended by two of the vampire’s former partners.

When did Abigail Thorn come out as trans?

Thorn came out publicly as trans in January 2021, posting a video, Coming Out As Trans – A Little Public Statement, on her YouTube channel and social media.

Not only did she discuss her own transition and gender identity, but Thorn also explored issues such as access to trans healthcare, poor media representation and a lack of transgender politicians.

“Trans people, especially trans people of colour, are hit hardest by unemployment, homelessness and domestic, sexual and police violence, but the conversation always focuses on wealthy white cis women tweeting about toilets,” she said.

She had come out to family and friends “ages ago” but now wanted to tell her subscribers, she added.

A few months later, Thorn again lamented the lack of access to healthcare and civil rights for trans people in the UK. On Twitter (now known as X), she said she was “torn” over whether she should stay in the UK or move to New York.

“I do love my country. It’s beautiful, the people are interesting and it’s my home but if I can’t get proper healthcare or equal rights then, England, it feels like you don’t love me back.

“The US isn’t perfect and in many areas is worse, but there are pockets of it where I could live more freely than in Britain, that’s how bad things are here. I want to stay but something has to change.”

Abigail Thorn at the London premiere of The Acolyte wearing a white dress and smiling
Abigail Thorn can be seen in the latest Star Wars spin-off on Disney+. (Getty)

Where can you watch The Acolyte?

The Acolyte drops on Disney+ on Tuesday (4 June) in the US and at 2am BST on Wednesday (5 June) in the UK with a two-episode premiere, followed by weekly releases.

There are many other shows and films within the SWCU but it isn’t necessary to have watched all of them before tuning in to The Acolyte, although people might want to do some preliminary research on the Star Wars saga.

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