June 6, 2024

CABLE | 'The Acolyte' Investigates A Fresh 'Star Wars' Mission

"An acolyte kills the dream."
Amandla Stenberg Leslye Headland | Star Wars: The Acolyte | Disney+
The Acolyte, Disney's highly-anticipated new prequel series set in the High Republic Era of the Star Wars chronology a century before the events of The Phantom Menace and created by writer/director Leslye Headland, quickly establishes itself as a Jedi procedural thriller centred around an investigation into a string of intergalactic murders that's set to reveal unknown sinister forces throughout its season run.

Starring Lee Jung-jae and Amandla Stenberg as a stoic Jedi master, Sol, and estranged twin sisters, Osha and Mae, the former of which was once his Padawan apprentice and the latter a dangerous menace presumed to be long dead, The Acolyte is firmly focused on the sudden rise of then mysterious anti-Jedi Sith forces. From the start, Headland kicks things off with some dazzling hand-to-hand martial arts combat strongly reminiscent of The Matrix films.

This latest series feels different enough thanks to its original sense of storytelling featuring an entirely new cast of characters while clearly planting itself within the known Star Wars universe. More welcome faces, Dafne Keen and Charlie Barnett, appear as an eager young Jedi apprentice and a by-the-book guardian to round out the main cast as they investigate who and why certain Force users under the guise of a new dark Sith lord are targeting Jedi masters for execution.

Headland has admirably created her own new whole world inside Star Wars's complex and dense mythological past that's exciting, fresh, and requires little prior knowledge or familiarity to existing continuity. It sets forth a mysterious path planted in the Jedi Order hinting at the threat we know is to come. Still, it needs time to fully pique viewer interest before embarking on a compelling journey of a previously unseen period of lore separate from the overly familiar Skywalker Saga.

The Acolyte's eight-episode season is available to stream weekly on Disney+.

More | YVArcade / Inverse / Polygon / ScreenCrush

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