Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Acolyte - Episode 1

Set during the High Republic Era 100 years before the rise of the Empire, The Acolyte offers a look at a galaxy filled with Jedi. Our opening action sequence involves one of those Jedi, Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss), who is confronted by an assassin (Amandla Stenberg) on Ueda. It's a strong opening sequence that tells us a few things about our assassin who uses the Force, along with throwing daggers, but unlike a Jedi or Sith does not carry a lightsaber. The outcome of the battle leads to the Jedi scouring the galaxy for the assassin which is where things get a little muddy until the show is ready to reveal the first of its many secrets.

Far from where the attack took place, on a Trade Federation ship, Jedi Knight Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett) and his Padawan Tasi Lowa locate former Jedi trainee Osha Aniseya (Stenberg) who is the spitting image of the assassin but proclaims her innocence. Taken into custody, we now have two separate conflicts for the show's opener. We have the assassin working her way through her list killing Jedi and a former Jedi taken into custody accused of her crimes. The end of the episode, a Force vision following a crash, will tease answers about the connection between the two women and a life shared long ago on the planet Brendok where more secrets will be revealed in flashbacks later in the series.

For our assassin, we learn she is skilled, driven, and talented in the Force. Osha, whose path to becoming a Jedi diverged long ago, has her own talents as well but her connection to the Force has atrophied, left undeveloped over the past six years. The episode will also introduce another key character in Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), Osha's former Master, and his new apprentice Jecki (Dafne Keen) who will be pulled into the story at the end of the episode as well providing a perspective of those more open to an alternate explanation for events.

The Acolyte provides a strong opener, and after viewing the next three episodes as well, I'm happy to report is seems to keep that momentum (something which Ahsoka, Andor, and Obi-Wan Kenobi all struggled with). I don't know that the early mystery involving the pair is needed (especially given how quickly characters will learn and accept the truth) as it complicates basic character setup a bit. One last note, given some obvious comparisons, especially strong in this opening episode, it's hard not to believe the writers responsible for Osha weren't big fans of Cal Kestis and Fallen Order.

  • Title: The Acolyte - Episode 1
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