Star Wars The Acolyte: review of the first two episodes

Star Wars The Acolyte: review of the first two episodes

While the haters engaged in review bombing on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, the same practice implemented on the eve of the release of The Rings of Power, critics had expressed satisfaction with the new series in the Star Wars franchise. The question still remains as to why these sites do not close the reviews until the actual airing for the general public.

If for LOTR on Prime the problem lay in the a priori disgruntled fandom, for Star Wars the issue becomes more delicate: Lucasfilm’s own president Kennedy, together with showrunner Headland, denounced the racist, sexist and homophobic hate campaign of the detractors.

An avalanche of fake account reviews and content generated without any objectivity, which violate the law of common sense, suggest that on Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and whoever for them make traffic gathering a more important mission than objective positioning, despite the fact that these are long-established platforms.

But let us come to the first two episodes of The Acolyte:

we are certainly in the realm of novelty. The period narrated is completely unprecedented: the last days of the High Republic, an era hitherto explored only in literary and comic book productions, in which the Jedi Order and the Republic are living at the height of their splendour and the dark forces in hiding. This is the prequel of prequels, so even the characters are new and any reference to the world we know is impossible.

In this era of peace, a very young warrior comes to break the idyll, driven by rage and revenge, as we know fertile ground for the dark side of the force. Her mission seems personal: to kill for an unknown revenge motive four Jedi who have something to do with her past.
The Jedi Order investigates and believes it has found the culprit in a former Padawan: Osha, who has become a humble ‘meknek’ (mechanic) after renouncing her training as a Jedi.
Soon her former mentor, Master Sol, and his current pupils arrive at the truth: it is Mae, Osha’s twin sister believed dead and under orders not only from her own thirst for revenge but also from an unknown ‘he’.

Through pills of the past that slowly emerge, we discover that the seed of evil was perhaps already present in Mae from a very young age, responsible for the death of her family after setting a fire from which Osha escaped thanks to Master Sol’s intervention.

The second episode closes with a welcome twist: the acquaintance of oneKelnacca, a Wookiee Jedi. Although he’s not the first one we’ve met in Star Wars history, his appearance is clearly strategic, one of the few ‘heartfelt’ signs present in this series (evidenced by the fact that he was made to appear in the very final minute of this week’s final episode). Wookiee Jedi have mostly appeared in animated shows like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, novels and comics, such as High Republic Phases I and III, but Kelnacca is the first live-action Wookiee Jedi, which means he’s already making history. He won’t be the only new addition to the franchise, he has certainly achieved something fans have been wanting to see for a long time.

The story follows the typical thriller narrative, the plot looks good, and on the quality of the cinematography and cast we are already travelling on the quality standards that Lucasfilm has always guaranteed.

Great bitterness at the practically immediate death of the Jedi Indara, played by a perfect Carrie-Anne Moss. Fantastic to see Trinity as a Jedi and a little unpleasant to see her die honourably but a little trivially. We will certainly see her again in flashbacks that will explain the reason behind her death sentence, what negative role she played in Mae’s childhood.

Amanda Stenberg, holds up perfectly to her debut in the difficult dual role of the Osha/Mae twins. However, she sometimes struggles to convey the feeling of menace and evil that should come from Mae. We said it right away, though: we used a ‘maybe’ when

describing her almost innate evilness. We still don’t know what drives Mae to revenge and
some indication that it is not entirely unfounded is there: the second Jedi she targets agrees to die willingly, poisoning himself driven by the need to find peace and apologising to the young woman.

These are stories and characters that have yet to be revealed, with multiple chiaroscuros and unknowns, so it is difficult to make a full judgement on the value of the plots. It remains to be seen how the plot will evolve, which still seems to focus only on the interpersonal thread, and how much space will be given to the macro-theme of the rise of the Sith. In short, for now let’s let this story tell us.

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