How Dafne Keen's Lightsaber Training for “The Acolyte” Led to a Hotel Evacuation: 'It Was Embarrassing'

Keen takes on the role of Jecki — a half-human, half-Theelin apprentice to Master Sol — in the Disney+ series

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Dafne Keen


Dafne Keen

Dafne Keen takes her Jedi training very seriously.

While preparing for her role as Jecki — a half-human, half-Theelin apprentice to Master Sol — on Disney+'s new series, The Acolyte, the actress, 19, recalled a moment where she accidentally pulled a fire alarm while practicing her lightsaber moves for the part.

“I was staying in a hotel,” she told Entertainment Weekly. "I was underage, so I was staying in a hotel and my chaperone was staying in another room, and I would go train in the hotel gym. The hotel gym was quite low. It didn't have high ceilings, and I was doing this thing that you do over your head, and I hit a fire alarm.”

“The entire hotel started going ‘BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!'" she recalled. "And then they evacuated the whole hotel.”

Related: The Acolyte's Amandla Stenberg Records the Star Wars Score on Her Grandfather's Violin: 'I Was Ecstatic' (Exclusive)

<p>Christian Black/Lucasfilm Ltd.</p> Dafne Keen on 'The Acolyte'

Christian Black/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Dafne Keen on 'The Acolyte'

As the guests waited outside for the all clear to return to their rooms, the staff members discovered that Keen was responsible for the disturbance.

“I stood outside with my stick, and they were like, ‘It originated in the gym,'" she continued. When they took a look at the CCTV footage in the gym, Keen could be seen waving a stick above her head while practicing with her makeshift lightsaber.

"I was escorted by them," she laughed. “They were like, 'You can't.' I wasn't kicked out, but they were like, ‘Can you just be careful?’ It was embarrassing. I was like, ‘Guys, I can't say this to you yet, but in two years this will make sense. I promise you I'm not just someone who likes to play with sticks.’”

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The Acolyte is the fourth spinoff series to expand the lore of the iconic space opera franchise. New additions to the Star Wars world outside of the film began with the critically acclaimed series The Mandalorian in 2019, followed by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor in 2022.

The series, which also features Manny Jacinto, Amandla StenbergCharlie BarnettJodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean Charles-Chapman and Carrie-Anne Moss, takes place approximately a century after the events of 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.

Keen isn't the only actress whose opened up about the training they've undergone to become fluent in Jedi combat.

<p>Christian Black / Lucasfilm Ltd.</p> Amandla Stenberg in 'The Acolyte'

Christian Black / Lucasfilm Ltd.

Amandla Stenberg in 'The Acolyte'

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In a conversation with PEOPLE earlier this month, Stenberg — who plays former Padawan Mae — compared the process to “death by 1,000 cuts.”

“Repeating the same movements over and over again until you have the foundation really strong,” she explained. “We started with just me tracing the lines on a cardboard box that were in an X and a square, so I could get the angle of my knife cuts correct. And just doing really basic drills, so that I could get the balance right in my body and really just know how to use it correctly.”

Once the Bodies Bodies Bodies star had a solid foundation, the drilling began to incorporate stunt choreography, which she said felt like “practicing a dance movement over and over again.”

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The Acolyte premieres with two episodes on June 4 on Disney+. New episodes will then be released every Tuesday.

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