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Star Wars the Acolyte episodes 1 and 2 A great start to a show that was set up to be hated.


The red lightsaber from the Acolyte trailer

It is not kind, being marked as the target of hatred for an entire fan base, to be mocked and taken apart and each piece closely examined for some inkling of validation towards the said hatred only for all such inklings to then be cherry picked and presented as a manipulated whole to fuel further the hate train.


Such has been the fate of many projects some such as Marvel's Avengers(the game) secret invasion being completely deserving of said hatred and others such as Ms. Marvel and the Sandman being not so much.


Very rarely do we get something like X-Men'97 that is extremely successful in the eyes of its viewer inspite of the setup for it to be unequivocally hated, so much so that initial haters of the show/movie/game either shut up due to being unable to farm hate clicks or actually come around to liking the product having no where else left to go.

Magneto shows the world leaders how unified the world looks from this high up in spite of their petty squabbles and disputes, in the second episode of season 1 of X-Men'97.

Most of the time we either get a Marvel's Avengers Avengers or worse an Andor, a which is actually pretty amazing but due to a few people being predisposed to hate it or not understanding certain aspects or finding them "boring" or any other assortment of negative buzzwords the show suffers. Even though in actuality it is quite an amazing display of creativity and intricate world building


So it is with that predisposition that most will go into the Acolyte, a predisposition to hate it.


See, in today's day and age there is an active attempt to course correct for certain inherent negatives in the past of entertainment such as certain depictions of women or minorities and other marginalized groups, however since the makers of these supposedly course corrected shows are made by often times the same people who made the preceding shows or by other people who have grown up in a similar system.


The motivations for the said course correction is often disengenuous, and hence the projects often show, coming off as slightly off putting.


Tokenism is a product of the above disengenuous motivation for course correction and is almost unequivocally an attempt to capitalise on the rising sympathies for the said marginalized groups. As a result Tokenism often brings on detractors and since criticising disengenuous representation and criticising representation can easily be the subject of a false equivalence, this above false equivalence is used as a shield against any criticism.


Now since critics of Tokenism in a product are often grouped in with critics who simply harbour a hatred towards said marginalized groups via false equivalence, there becomes a growing resentment amongst detractors of Tokenism and a misplaced sympathy towards those who truly do Harbour hatred for the marginalized groups.


This false equivalence works in Tandem with the fact that the disengenuous correction becomes an over correction, often making it so that good writing a plot take a second seat to insertion of more tokens as a cheap way to push an agenda or cover up some of their short comings.

Kathleen Kennedy wearing a Star wars T-Shirt.

Such is the state in which Star Wars finds itself today as many dislike the buying of Lucasfilm by Disney and criticising it's host Kathleen Kennedy of putting in as much Tokenism as she can in many of the projects, many believing that her dedication towards star wars often comes second to her dedication to what many would call her "agenda" and also there being a seeing hatred of the past when it comes to Star Wars.


Now, I will not comment on whether or not she has an Agenda it not but I will say that many are predisposed to believing that she does and the Hiring of Lesley Headland lends Credence to the same idea meaning that the Show she is heavily involved with, i.e. the Acolyte is also going to be a subject of disproportionate hate regardless of its quality.


Whether that is warranted or not is another story.


This combined with the fact that this show is meant to show the beginning of the downfall of the Jedi and hence will not show them in a kind light, something which every single person in the internet seems to have forgotten was the point of the prequels as well, that the Jedi are not this bastion of good they claim to be but were indeed, a decaying institution, the prequels that were set up prior to Lucasfilm being purchased by Disney, has lead many to hate this show even further.


As they would once again claim that this show is promoting the anti star wars agenda by showing the Jedi as evil and justifying the Sith and what not. Which maybe true I'm not saying it isn't but right now there is no proof of the fact other than speculation and educated guesses and even if that is true who is to say that that will not be interesting anyways.


All of this Setup to say that yes, this show has been dealt an unfair hand and will have to go above and beyond to justify itself in the eyes of the public.


Now the very first two episodes Seem to set up some very simple and straightforward things, namely, that there is a Jedi killer, who is a force user and uses underhanded tactics to kill the Jedi such as attacking bystanders to catch them off-guard.

Master Indara stabbed in the chest with a Dagger

But who also has a softer side to her as she refuses to kill a parent in front of his child even though he has seen her face and can compromise her to the Jedi council.


Also Can I just say th hiring of Carrie Anne Moss to mislead the audience into a false sense of safety only to then kill her off in the first episode is a genius move.


The Show initially leads us to believe that this Jedi killer is a former Jedi padawan Osha, who now works as a Meknek on a trade federation ship, a Meknek being a human who fixes a ship from outside while in space which is supposed to be the work of a Droid legally speaking but if course who follows the law? Certainly not the Trade federation.


The reason for her leaving the Jedi order are left somewhat Vague but it is implied that her "attachment" to her family prior to being accepted in the Jedi order is a factor, and why won't she be attached, given that she lost her family in a fire that she believes was started by her twin Sister Mae.


And this is very smartly foreshadowed when there's a sudden fire during one of their repair jobs, something that triggers a traumatic flashback for Osha.


And there is a lot of mystery around this fire and around everyone involved in the incident, Sol, the Jedi master who trained Osha and tried to save mae is weighed down som unseen guilt, whilst Indara is accused of having lifted her weapon against an unarmed opponent in the past by Mae before she is killed.


Where as Torbin, a Jedi who has taken the Barash vows-named after master Barash Silvain who was the first to take the vows where in one cuts themselves off from all Jedi related or other activities and gives themselves only to the pursue of the force-willingly takes poison in an act of atonement for... Some past sin.

Mae confronts master Torbin about his past sins.

It seems that this version of the Barash vow is based after the practice of living Mummification which is seen as an attainment of true enlightenment by certain sects in our world as someone is mummified alive in the state of meditation.


Anyways, digression aside, there were four Jedi who were involved with the incident, one is guilt ridden, one took poison to gain forgiveness and the other is accused of raising their weapon against an unarmed opponent.


It is seeming more and more like that incident has some major twist attached to it.


Anyways the show kind of plays with the idea of Osha being the killer as it kind of keeps the twin reveal for a little later in the first episode itself.


There was some controversy around this twin reveal, with some saying that Star Wars spoiled their own big twist in the marketting that there are twins who are mistaken for each other, but it seems that isn't the main twist of this show, that seems to be based around this fire that killed Osha's family.

Osha's force vision about the past and her twin sister Mae.

We already see some of the neglect that the core worlds show towards the outer rim as the Jedi from the temple on Oleg express surprise that Coruscant Jedi would show up over there, we are also seeing the beginnings of the Jedi going into politics as master Vernestra pushes Sol to make a swift example of his ex apprentice when it is believed that she is the one who killed master Indara.


We see the fear that gripped them in their later stages in Yord who inspite of learning that there is no way Osha is the killer given that there was an attempt while she is in custody, still calls her "the prisoner" and asks for her to be restrained.


And speaking of Vernestra she is a cool character from the High Republic Novels(Novels describing the time period the show is set in) who is one of the youngest to ever become a Jedi Master and uses a modded lightsaber variant called a light whip.


Now there was some online debate around the light whip calling it a Flaccid lightsaber, which like... Yes... Why is that bad? And also if you're going to criticise Disney Star Wars pretending this is their creation, no... There were light whips in the Star Wars Extended universe. As well as the clone wars T.V. show.

master Vernestra's light whip from the Acolyte marketting.

Now yes, it was different in the EU where it was essentially a weapon even when turned off, but this one makes more sense doesn't it? The entire point is for the weapon to be contained in the hilt to easily be carried around isn't it.


Anyways there is one other aspect of the show that I have yet to talk about, and that is the force visions that Osha gets of Mae, it doesn't seem like Mae is consciously sending them, as she too believes her sister Osha to be dead.


It would seem that Mae and Osha form what is known as a Dyad in the force just like Rey and Kylo, a connection in the force that stretches across distances letting them communicate and share actual physical matter to one another as they please regardless of distance.


And it also seems that the master of Mae is using this misinformation as a manipulation took to get her to do what he/she/they wants.


And yes the sith master that we thought was actually Mae when she had become more powerful is actually a different character who it seems is also training another person who supplies Mae with the poison to kill Torbin.

Mae's dark side master ignites his red lightsaber.

This master also highlights the philosophy that Mae uses to kill a Jedi, "the Jedi live in a dream, a dream they believe everyone shares, of you use a weapon against a Jedi, you will fail, but an Acolyte kills without a weapon, an Acolyte kills the dream."


All in all this show is indeed very critical of the Jedi Order, all the padawans are super by the book the Jedi seem detached and uncaring, normal human emotion is reprimanded as the Jedi aren't supposed to have attachments and they almost prosecute an innocent because someone didn't record the fact that the suspect had a twin.


And not to mention, them transporting dangerous prisoners with the use of Droids and not being with the prisoners in the case of a prison break.


The Jedi come across as a detached police force who secure monopoly over the use of the force as is shown by Master Indara calling Mae "an unidentified force user" prior to knowing her identity.


And the Sith Acolyte Mae is shown to be somewhat sympathetic as she refuses to kill a parent in front of his child in cold blood and constantly pays poor children to get information and make her job easier as she clearly relates to them due to her own upbringing.


But that is the theme of the show, showing that there light in darkness and darkness in light.


It also seems that later on there is going to be a section of Force user witches lead by Mother Aniseya, who might have some relation to Osha and Mae as their last names are also Aniseya.

Mother Aniseya from the Acolyte marketing material.

Perhaps she is on of their two mothers.


And the whole concept of Force user Witches is interesting, as so far, the only witches we have only seen are the nightsisters of Dathomir first appearing in the clone wars T.V. show and the Mountain Clan of Dathomir, first appearing in the Tales of the Empire and even before that both appeared in a now legends Leia related Novel.


The Nightsisters later appeared in live action in the show Ahsoka.


So it will be interesting to see in which direction the Show goes especially with all that is on its shoulders and all it seems to be setting up.


Of course there will be a barrage of hatred because this show is showing the Jedi in somewhat of a negative light but what can be done about it.

Leslye Headland on the Acolyte marketing tour

Especially since Lesley Headland did go on a bit of speech during the marketing of the show, which was interpret by many as her badmouthing George Lucas, I have not heard that speech, so I will refrain from commenting on it, but the intent seemed to be to differentiate the idea of the force presented in the show from the Idea of the Force that George Lucas presented.


Whether or not they succeeded is another story, it could just be another case of Hollywood going towards their tried and tested method of winning the fans by calling the things they like "weird" and "sexist".


Also as the episode, goes on, it seems the next episode is going ton be about Mae going after her third Target, the Wookie Jedi, Kelnacca

The first look at Kelnacca, the Wookie Jedi.

This definitely isn't the first time we have seen a Wookie Jedi for sure as we have seen one in the clone wars and in Rebels, but this Wookie Jedi definitely looks like he has a bit more edge and not as serene and at peace as most Jedi should be. Would be interesting to see why that is.


Could just be because of the environment that he lives in who knows?


Also every episode is named in this way of lost/found, and revenge/justice, going with the shows theme of Duality and how opposites often seem more similar than separate.


Just like the O in the title is split into two equal halves, one red and on blue, showing the light and the dark, and also looking like two Os at the same time.


The O also begins with the shape of a Crescent Moon which can either represent a thin sliver of light/hope in the darkness as the crescent rises to become a full moon, or the waning light of Moon that was once full going towards the total darkness of the new moon.


Both are themes that are in keeping with the themes of the show, with this showing how the Jedi were often a beacon of hope when they do their jobs right, but that as an institution, they are waning and going towards doom.


And the symbol meaning two things at the same time plays into the shows greater theme of Duality in the show.

The Acolyte logo begins as a double Crescent moon

As well the font in the beginning that sets up the stage for this being a hundred years before the prequels, is the same font group and color as the iconic "A long long time ago in a Galaxy far far away..." but is simultaneously actually the font of the opening title crawl before every Star wars movie till date.


So keeping in with the theme of duality in this show, the opening text is two iconic things coming together to make one whole.


The text also doesn't come as a crawl as it does in most Star Wars media, and neither does it simply appear and disappear as the "A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away..." it instead appears in small paragraphs/sections creating a sort of pseudo crawl.


This is interesting as this shows that the openings of the show haven't completely evolved into the forms they would be in the Prequels and the Original Trilogy, as this takes place a long time before those movies.

The opening text before the beginning of Star Wars the Acolyte season 1 episode 1

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