The Acolyte Review

Every now and then when a new Star Wars movie or show is released we see someone proclaim “Star Wars is Back!” While it might be back for some, Star Wars, in the words of Obi Wan Kenobi, “Will be with you, always!”. This is my feeling towards all of the new Star Wars projects that have been released since I saw the Return of the Jedi in theaters in 1983. I am happy that 41 years later I am still seeing stories from a galaxy far, far away. 

The Acolyte takes us close to the beginning of this galaxy with a story set in the High Republic Era. This is before the prophecy of the one who will bring balance to the Force. This is when Jedi were protectors and there were no Sith, or at least none we know of. We do not get an opening crawl in the first episode but we do get a few lines letting us know that this is a time of peace and the Jedi Order and Galactic Republic have gone years without war. We also learn that a few are learning to use the Force in secret in the dark corners of the galaxy. I have seen the first four episodes and will only talk about what I have seen and keep it spoiler free. 

(L-R, front row): Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett), Jedi Padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen) and Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae) in Lucasfilm’s THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

This show has been advertised as a mystery, we see from the first episode that an assassin is out to get revenge on a select number of Jedis. Within the first episode we learn about this plan and get small hints as to why this is happening. The action packed first few minutes of the first episode set the tone for the series and the action is pretty intense here. We see Master Indara, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, fight an assassin and use the Force a few times to stop attacks. With all of the martial arts inspired fighting I wonder if we are going to hear the term Teräs Käsi mentioned at all in the series.  

In terms of the feel of the show it does feel very new and familiar. We are being introduced to a lot of characters that we have never seen before. While we do see some familiar species a lot of these characters are brand new. The great thing about this is that it helps those that are new to the series and hopefully give veteran fans new characters to like. As much as we are going to miss characters named Skywalker, Solo, or Dameran, there are some characters in the series that have some of these characteristics.

Mae (Amandla Stenberg) in Lucasfilm’s THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

As the search for the Jedi Assassin progresses we learn about the connection between Jedi Master Sol, played by Lee Jung-jae and Osha, played by Amandla Stenberg. Osha was trained to be a Jedi and left the order. We learn about her past and do see in a flashback episode when she joins the Jedi Order. I will say that this specific episode left a bad taste in my mouth regarding how the Jedi select/ test kids to become part of the Jedi order. I will say more about this episode when it airs. 

Overall, The Acolyte is a fantastic addition to the ever expanding shows that are created in the Star Wars Universe. Seeing the Jedi as their roles of protectors in the High Republic Era is fascinating. As the mystery is revealed we want to know more about who is pulling the strings of the assassin and what is their ulterior motive. These little things hook you into the series and the way the fourth episode ends will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Final Thoughts: The Acolyte is a great murder mystery set in the world that George Lucas created. Stories that deepen the lore and show us the Jedi in their prime are always great to see. The new cast of characters are well crafted and will surely find a place in the hearts of all Star Wars fans. While there are some questionable actions of the Jedi, The Acolyte is top-tier Star Wars and should not be missed.   

Kid-Friendly: This is a Star Wars show so it is great for everyone. The murder mystery aspect might not appeal to the younger kids but the variety of characters might keep their interest. This is also a great entry point for new fans of Star Wars. 

Violence: There is fantasy violence in the series. There are a few fights among a few of the characters but no lightsaber fights. I feel these will happen in the later episodes. 

An investigation into a shocking crime spree pits a respected Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) against a dangerous warrior from his past (Amandla Stenberg). As more clues emerge, they travel down a dark path where sinister forces reveal all is not what it seems….

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