Jedi Secrets and Sith Whispers: A Look at ‘The Acolyte’

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Amandla Stenberg in The Acolyte

Credit: Lucasfilm

The. Acolyte is the latest addition to the Star Wars legacy, and a tale of intrigue, Jedi, and murder is quickly woven across the stars. However, could this new epic be too dark for Disney+?

'Star Wars' The Acolyte title
Credit: Lucasfilm

A murder mystery set in the galaxy far, far away is indeed an ambitious project for Disney and Lucasfilm, but with so many spinoffs, series, and shows, it can be incredibly easy to get lost in this massive mix of media. Fortunately, Inside the Magic is here to clear up any confusion and discomfort before watching the new series.

Related: George Lucas Protests ‘Star Wars’ Release, Hopes to Block It From All Screens

Although viewers will find no signs of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, Grogu, or even the Skywalker Saga, the new series has everything a Star Wars fan could want in this prequel to the prequels. Set 100 years before the core films, The Acolyte gives fans a whole new chapter by starting at the very beginning.

Before You Watch The Acolyte

A red lightsaber from the trailer of Star Wars: The Acolyte
Credit: Lucasfilm

A common question many fans might have is, “What is the Acolyte about?” As the title might suggest, the show concerns a mysterious assassin employed as an acolyte (a young follower or learner) in the ways of the Sith tasked with murdering Jedi Masters. The official Star Wars description for the series reads as follows,

“An investigation into a shocking crime spree pits a respected Jedi Master 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…”

When former Padawan Osha Aniseya (Amandla Stenberg) is accused of murdering another Jedi, Master Sol (Lee-Jung-jae) must embark on a journey to confront his former student before the assassin kills again. That makes for an absolutely gripping narrative, but does it connect to other series like The Mandalorian or Ahsoka?

Related: In Five Years, ‘Star Wars’ Has No Need For Darth Vader

The short answer is no, it does not. The Acolyte takes place during the High Republic, a full 100 years before the events of The Phantom Menace, making it a prequel series to the prequel series. While there are a few familiar elements like starships, lightsabers, and Jedi Knights, this could almost be viewed as a completely separate entity.

Then Why Watch It?

Three Jedi in robes stand ready, wielding never-before-seen Disney Star Wars lightsabers emitting green, yellow, and blue light in a dimly lit setting. The background features lush foliage and a rocky wall, suggesting a forest or cave environment. The scene is intense and full of vivid colors. star wars lightsaber the acolyte whip saber
Credit: Disney

While this particular chapter of the Star Wars saga takes place a full century before Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, or even C-3PO set foot on the screen, the series brilliantly sets the stage for events to come. Additionally, eagle-eyed viewers will notice more than a few predecessors to familiar faces in the core canon.

Related: First Look at Young Mace Windu in ‘Clone Wars’ Prequel Revealed

Right from “Lost/Found,” viewers are introduced to the Neimoidians before they take their place with the Trade Federation, the Jedi Temple during the rise of Coruscant, and even a possible ancestor of R2-D2. It’s a rare mixture of familiar and fresh that should make any Star Wars fan feel right at home.

Without going into total spoiler territory, the new Disney+ original is proving to be a version of the galaxy we all know and love seen through new eyes. The mystery of the Sith assassin, mistaken identities, themes of duality, and the nature of good and evil should all be concepts that resonate with even the newest of viewers.

Have you seen this new addition to the Star Wars saga? Tell Inside the Magic what you thought about it in the comments below!

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