'THE ACOLYTE' | REVIEW |

Jun 10, 2024

'THE ACOLYTE' | REVIEW |

Jun 10, 2024

'THE ACOLYTE' | REVIEW |

Jun 10, 2024

Star Wars, an ever-growing IP it seems, do hopefully not have plans to stop serving us ‘galactic space drama’ anytime soon.

That is at least what I hope as a seemingly invested Star Wars fan. Today we have the newest space show outlined before us, lets dive into ‘THE ACOLYTE’.

Now, this show has been a long time coming. (Not as long as that other Star Wars show, ‘SKELETON CREW’, but still) I have personally looked forward to ‘THE ACOLYTE’ for a couple of months. It seems to be the perfect project, dragging us back to what is the High Republic era. A galaxy filled with Jedi compared to the one or two that we see in recent Star Wars projects. A thriving galaxy including more than one or two lightsabers? Sign me up!

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

‘THE ACOLYTE’ is the view of a livelier republic and galaxy. A galaxy where darkness is nowhere to be seen, until now… The Jedi are well established, but a darkness is on the rise. When Jedi master ‘INDARA’ is unexpectedly assassinated the trail goes back to ‘OSHA’, a simple ship-mechanic. Yet, is there another side to the story, perhaps someone else to the story?

‘THE ACOLYTE’ is a murder-mystery-sci-fi story, to describe it as best as I can. It has been created by Leslye Headland and stars individuals such as Amandla Stenberg (OSHA), Dafne Keen (Jecki Lon), Jodie Turner-Smith (Mother Aniseya), Carrie-Anne Moss (Indara), Lee Jung-Jae (Master Sol), Charlie Barnett (Yord Fandar), and Rebecca Henderson (Vernestra Rwoh). Since the Republic is thriving, there are a lot of Jedi in this story. That can be both great, and confusing, depending on who you ask. But I think it’s fantastic, more diverse characters that wield a light saber, it’s just so exciting.

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

‘THE ACOLYTE’ differs in many ways from its siblings, one being ‘THE MANDALORIAN: S1-3’. If you expected another season of that show with just some different faces, then you will be disappointed. I am not saying that the shows do not have similarities. But I would probably prefer to link this show closer to ‘AHSOKA’ rather than ‘THE MANDALORIAN’. Just in terms of story and overall tone.

The tone of ‘THE ACOLYTE’ is simply put, a ‘clean lightsaber cut’. Looking at it as an overall package it has so much potential. The environments, characters and visual language is definitely interesting. Absolutely something you want to explore further than just viewing some cover art or one still image. However, its hard to draw an overall conclusion about the show yet, as I’ve still only seen 25 percent of it. It is not perfect, far from it. I’d say its more insecure of itself than it should be

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

As I said, the tone of the first episodes is perfect. But there are some other things that are not as good… The acting feels solid… at times, Amandla Stenberg does a good job playing her characters and Dafne Keen feels like a fun addition to the show. Lee Jung-Jae’s ‘MASTER SOL’ is a character you feel the need to bow for when approaching. But at times, line deliveries feel off, not authentic enough for live action. I would probably deem this to be the shows biggest weak point considering the premiere episodes. I am nonetheless excited to see the story unfold in the coming six episodes. There will be eight episodes in total and a lot can happen in six episodes.

What is considerably better regarding ‘THE ACOLYTE’ is its environments and costume design. Since we haven’t visited the high republic in live action before, seeing it take form in beautiful woven material and awesome environments, that is just the best of feelings. The CGI of the show is sadly not that great. One scene with a ship crash really leaned towards low budget. Some other scenes also didn’t look to great in terms of VFX.

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

As for the fight choreography, its surprisingly good. What fans are calling ‘Force-fu’ is what we are treated to. It is something that is quite new to Star Wars, to see some more hand-to-hand combat aside from all the lightsaber action is enjoyable. Especially when it’s really good. One thing I also noticed was the many cuts to black, which in the long run felt over-used and a bit annoying. It was like some scenes ended to abruptly or in the middle of it all. This is besides the dialogue and acting, is the second biggest flaw of the show.

Otherwise, the show looks terrific. It has an interesting premise, and the visual language excites me enough to keep on watching. Some things doesn’t make sense in overall terms of character actions, but if ‘THE ACOLYTE’ would be able to heal from these mistakes and ‘build up better’ for the coming episodes, then we could have ourselves another solid Star Wars show set in an un-explored time of the galaxy.

*Episodes 1-2 screened for review.

RATING: 3,5/5

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