Are Star Wars ready for this?
Disney has had a surprising amount of success with its live-action Star Wars series on Disney+. The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett, and Andor have all drawn plenty of viewers and, despite the odd complaint, have been generally well received. It only stands to reason; therefore, they would pursue more, like Star Wars: The Acolyte, and they aren’t going halfway on this one.
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One of the more interesting projects Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm are putting out in the next years definitely has to be The Acolyte. Nearly every other series surrounds characters or time periods we’re familiar with: Mando/Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Grogu (Himself), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), and even Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). There are even rumblings that Star Wars: Skeleton Crew will see Jude Law and company in the post-Original Trilogy era as well.
Acolyte, on the other hand, is shrouded in mystery. Set in the High Republic era, at least one hundred years before the Prequel Trilogy, audiences will see a lot of fascinating characters and scenes that have only been teased in video games, books, or other content, but never in this format. Fans will see Jedi, Sith, and so much more in this Sith-Cenetered series. There’s a lot of potential, and this latest leak only adds to the mystery, the excitement, and that potential.
The Direct reported on a leak that stated that not only will The Acolyte have eight episodes, but audiences can expect each of them to be around 60 minutes! If this is true and accurate, not only will that make for what is essentially an eight-hour movie, but it will beat The Mandalorian for the longest live-action Star Wars series episode, which was just set in Season 3. This has some pretty important implications for Acolyte and the future of the Star Wars streaming series.
Firstly, for the series itself, this means that the production team is taking the project extremely seriously. They have a story to tell, and they’re not taking any shortcuts to tell it. They undoubtedly know the risk of modern audiences consuming shorter and shorter media, but the story must be so important that they need the entire time! Secondly, for Star Wars streaming as a whole, it may just change the way fans see live-action Star Wars series.
Related: Everything We Know About ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’ So Far
If audiences become used to 60-minute episodes, will other offerings seem short in comparison? Lucasfilm could use that to their advantage: if showrunner Leslye Headland sets the precedent for hour-long episodes, people like Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau would be able to use shorter episodes to create cliffhangers and tension. As annoying as it would be for viewers, it would draw in more audiences week after week, as long as there is a cathartic payoff in the next episode!
What do you think about this staggering runtime? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!