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The new era of “Star Wars”: is the new series “Acolyte” worth watching?

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 17:58:16

The first two episodes of the “Acolyte” series were released on the online cinema Disney+, which even before its release attracted a huge wave of hate from viewers on the Internet. Was the result really that bad?

“Star Wars” and “Acolyte”

It’s hard to believe, but The Acolyte is already the fifth series in George Lucas’ universe. And we still don’t count the animated works of recent years, such as “The Bad Batch” or “Tales of the Jedi.”

Star Wars is in a strange position for the summer of 2024. The era of relative success for television series, which began in 2019 with The Mandalorian, no longer inspires many fans with faith in a bright future. After all, after The Mandalorian there were many flops: The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka. The projects have their fans, but a significant part of the audience was disappointed with these programs. The exception was Andor, which explored ideas from Lucas’ prequels, but Rogue One’s backstory failed to attract a large audience.

“Acolyte”

Photo: Disney

The situation was progressively overshadowed by several scandals, including the dismissal of the original directors of Solo or Gina Carano of the Mandalorian himself. Therefore, a significant portion of the audience approached the release of “Acolyte” with skepticism and negativity; Not in vain, the previews of the new product were literally drowned in dislikes on YouTube. Another cause for indignation was the personality of the author of “The Acolyte”: Leslie Headland (“The Life of a Matryoshka”) once worked as an assistant to the famous producer Harvey Weinstein.

Another problem for some was the chosen period of the universe, which until then existed mainly in books and comics: the Rise of the Republic. It tells of a time of prosperity in the galaxy, when the Jedi were at the peak of their development and acted as guardians of the world. Additionally, “The Acolyte” takes place in the final years of “Rise,” about 100 years before the events of “The Phantom Menace.”

For the average viewer, this era represents a completely new period that hides great potential. It’s true that to reveal it, the show’s creators would need to explain the original elements of Heyday in more detail, as well as show how it differs from the prequels. But for now the creators prefer to focus their attention on the secrets of the plot, and everything else works only as a beautiful decorative background.

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“Acolyte”: information about the series

Name: “The Acolyte” Directors: Leslie Headland, Kogonada, Alex García López, Hanel M. Culpepper. Actors: Amandla Stenberg, Dafne Keen, Carrie-Anne Moss and others. Release date: June 4, 2024. Gender: fantasy adventure. How many episodes: 8 episodes. A country: USA

“Acolyte”: where to look?

The series is screening on the Disney+ online cinema, with two episodes of eight available so far.

The video is available on the Star Wars YouTube channel. The video rights belong to Disney.

Crouching Jedi, hidden Sith

The premise of “Acolyte” is quite simple: a mysterious assassin begins killing Jedi and Master Sol (Lee Jong-jae) is sent to investigate this case. Osha (Amandla Stenberg), Sol’s former padawan, who left the temple several years ago and began repairing ships, is under suspicion.

In the process, Sol and his allies in the form of the knight Jord (Charlie Barnett) and the new Padawan Jackie (Dafne Keen) realize that Osha is innocent. However, the heroine has an important connection to the killer, and the killer himself works for a mysterious masked figure with a blood-red lightsaber.

The plot itself is strongly tied to the theme of all kinds of secrets that affect not only the past of Osha and the dying Jedi, but also the mysterious representative of the Dark Side of the Force. At the time of the events of the series, the “light” knights had not seen the Sith in a long time, so they found it difficult to believe that any of them (or their followers) would decide to openly attack the Jedi. .

The plot itself seems quite interesting, and a whole host of Jedi have not been in central positions in the plot of “The War” for a long time, except for individual animated series. Plus, the departure of tired cameos and familiar elements from the past looks good too.

“Acolyte”

Photo: Disney

There is only one character in the story who is connected to other works in the universe: Vernestra Rowe (Rebecca Henderson), Saul’s “boss.” In the early Blossom stories, she was still a young heroine, but by the time of the events of The Acolyte (about 100 years later), Vernestra had seen a galaxy of tragedies and troubles in the galaxy.

Among the advantages of the show, one can also highlight the local version of “kung fu” using the Force, where the techniques were clearly inspired by paintings in the style of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. The Jedi themselves don’t even always draw their swords during battles, further strengthening the parallels with martial arts.

At the same time, a variety of different droids and aliens can be seen in the frame, some of which will be familiar to viewers, such as the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation. There are also small references to various details of the universe in the story, including various terms and planet names.

Old problems in new times

So far, the series’ main problems are related to the overall narrative, and some of the shortcomings are reminiscent of other television works in the universe (and Disney in general). Sometimes you get the feeling that the plot is a movie “cut” into pieces and not, in fact, a series; I had a similar feeling while watching “Ahsoka.”

The Acolyte, as stated above, places a lot of emphasis on the mystery of what is happening, but because of this, the heroes of the story fade into the background. The thriller has about five or six characters, but there is practically no time to develop them. They try to solve these problems with the help of scenes in which the Jedi begin to communicate openly in the exposition. It doesn’t look very elegant.

The character of Osha herself and her former teacher Sol is revealed a little better, but the authors simply do not have time for the rest of the “investigators” in two episodes. Therefore, screenwriters trivially limit themselves to general characteristics. Like the fact that Jord often wants to appear confident, while Jackie prefers a tactical approach to resolving situations.

“Acolyte”

Photo: Disney

The episodes also contain a series of overly tense coincidences, where Osha finds herself in situations several times in a row that cause additional suspicion among the Jedi. It’s good that the authors approach this plot angle closer to the end of the second series.

However, there are already doubts that the writers will be able to clearly present the characters introduced in the new episodes. They need to uncover the mystery of Osha’s past (where something bad apparently happened involving the Jedi) and the identity of the masked “villain.” Furthermore, all the Jedi on the assassin’s list have not yet been killed. And with only six episodes left until the end of the season, the moment will surely leave a lot to be desired: what kind of reveal of a pack of Jedi is that?

In general, due to the investigation format, “Acolyte” at times begins to resemble police dramas too much. There is a “strict boss” (Vernestra), a chief detective (Sol), a suspect (Osha), victims and young members of the squad (Jord, Jackie). There are also local versions of suspect interrogation scenes, and shootouts in the streets replace fights with the Force. These thematic parallels in the show are clearly not established by chance, but it’s unclear if the story will result in anything more than a “corrupt cops covering up a serious case” plot.

Other disadvantages include some weak “you can’t beat me” style dialogue and not always successful technical components. The budget of the series is estimated at 180 million dollars, which is close to the record of “Andor” with its 250 million dollars. However, this money is not always seen on the screen. Over the course of two episodes, the characters move through various planets, familiar and not only, but the setting itself often looks like small “yards” where dialogue and fight scenes take place.

“Acolyte”

Photo: Disney

Furthermore, not all actors act at the same level. For example, it’s clear that Lee Jung-jae is trying her best (this is her first role in English), while Amandla Stenberg is still causing controversy with her work. Rebecca Henderson doesn’t seem like a particularly good choice for the role of Vernestra.

At the same time, one cannot help but notice a number of certain contradictions between the functioning of the universe. Thus, in The Acolyte, the Jedi die from the blow of a small knife, while the characters of Obi-Wan and Ahsoka survived direct attacks from a light sword. It’s best to remain tactfully silent about Darth Maul, who rose from the dead after the first episode.

The future is unclear

The first episodes of “Acolyte” turned out to be not as bad as they seemed in the first videos, but it is still impossible to fully evaluate the show. It is very much tied to the concept of his secrets, which will probably only be revealed in the second half of the story. Critics have already seen four episodes out of eight and, apparently, global progress will begin only with the fifth episode, which also reminds Ahsoka.

The authors of “Acolyte” took as a basis an interesting idea and era, and the series itself differs from its “neighbors” in terms of presentation. But at the same time, The Acolyte doesn’t seem like the kind of hit that will have audiences running to their televisions.

“The Acolyte”: is it worth seeing?

The latest Star Wars series is worth watching for fans of the Jedi theme and detective twists, although it’s better to wait until the end of the season. There’s a good chance that the answers to the questions in the first few episodes will be disappointing.

Rating for the start of “Acolyte” – 6 out of 10

Appreciated

Good idea for the plot. Decorative design of the scenery. The image of Master Sol. Fights using the Force.

I dont like him

There is no time to reveal the characters and the era. A dubious turn in the center. Weak dialogues. Deadpan soundtrack.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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