The next big live-action Star Wars series to arrive on Disney+ is “The Acolyte”, which is set hundreds of years before the events of the Skywalker Saga movies and it is a crime drama, where a respected Jedi Master called Sol leads an investigation against a dangerous warrior from his past. As more clues emerge, they travel down a dark path where sinister forces reveal all is not what it seems….

With this series being set hundreds of years before the events of “The Phantom Menace”, it has a unique feel to it; on the one hand, it feels very fresh and exciting because it has all-new characters, visiting new locations and telling us an interesting new story. But on the other hand, it has that familiar vibe to it, in terms of how it looks like Star Wars.   It takes many of the visual elements from the prequel trilogy, without feeling like they are on the volume the entire time.  

Moving the series away from the Skywalker Saga also completely frees up the storytelling to go in a different direction, and probably more importantly, it’s a fresh slate. Anyone can come into this series without ever watching Star Wars before, and it’s a self-contained story. There’s the odd little Easter Egg here and there that fans are going to pick up on, but there’s no big cameo of the week type deal that we saw with some of the other Disney+ shows. That’s not to say they might not have a cameo or two later in the series (I’d be surprised if Yoda doesn’t pop up at some point!), but in the first half of the series that I’ve seen, it has a very different vibe to “Ahsoka” or “The Mandalorian”, which often felt like a little cameo heavy at some points.

Fans of “Andor”, however, might be a little disappointed that the tone of “The Acolyte” feels more like the prequel trilogy; this isn’t a gritty, down-to-earth, serious drama series.   

“The Acolyte” kicks off with an incredible fight scene involving Carrie-Anne Moss, who plays the Jedi Knight Indara, which blends the lines between a Jedi and the Matrix, as we’ve seen fight scenes in the past, but rarely ever involving lightsabers and the use of hand to hand combat. It’s different but very cool. There is another fight later on in the series involving Sol, who fights similarly but also a little differently, which again highlights the difference between this series and other shows and films.

One thing I didn’t want to get into too much in this early review is that not everything about “The Acolyte” is as it seems, and the marketing certainly is “forcing” you in one directly but moves in a slightly different way, and I love it!    I’ve no clue where this story is going and that’s so exciting.   With the last few shows like “Obi-Wan”, “Andor” and even “The Mandalorian”, you know where the storyline is going to eventually end up, since they are all set between different movies. 

Yes, we know what’s going to happen to the Jedi and the Sith during the Clone Wars era, but with it being hundreds of years away from this series, the story can go wherever it likes, bring in villains and heroes, etc., with no regard to how it might connect to the Skywalker family. It’s so refreshing!

Amandla Stenberg is fantastic in this series and you’ll see why when you see the show, as she’s got plenty to work with, and it’s fun to see Star Wars take a different approach, but without spoiling the first episode, it’s hard to say why she’s so good in it.

There are some issues with “The Acolyte” that I’d like to mention. The big one is that the episodes do feel rather short, with a couple barely half an hour long.  This feels like a missed opportunity to expand the universe a little more, though it does mean the show’s pace is pretty snappy.    I don’t usually like to complain about show lengths, especially for Star Wars or Marvel shows, as I’d rather they just be the length they need to be, rather than being forced to be 44 minutes or an hour long, but a little more would always be nice!

I’m also going to complain about the cliffhanger at the end of the fourth episode, not because it was bad or anything, but just because it was so good I literally swore out loud seconds after the credits rolled because I suddenly realised I’d have to wait weeks to see what happens next!   A good cliffhanger isn’t easy to do, but when it’s done right, it can be very powerful.

Overall, I really enjoyed the first half of “The Acolyte.” It’s so refreshing to have a completely new era for a Star Wars series to explore.  I can’t wait to see the rest of the series, and it’s fun to feel there’s something new happening in the world of Star Wars for the first time in a while that doesn’t rely on everyone watching multiple animated series to know what’s going on.  

Rating – 4.5 Out Of 5

The first two episodes of “Star Wars: The Acolyte” arrives on Disney+ on Tuesday 4th June 2024 at 6pm PT/9pm ET, with a new episode being released each week.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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