‘Star Wars’ Ends Skywalker Saga, Reboot Wows Critics

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Luke Skywalker shouting next to Darth Vader

Credit: Lucasfilm

The Star Wars saga is easily one of pop culture’s biggest and most successful fictional universes, and George Lucas absolutely struck gold with his tales of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knights, and the evil Galactic Empire. However, all things eventually must come to an end.

Star Wars across the ages
Credit: Inside the Magic

Although the studio’s contribution to the core film series viciously divided fans, Disney has worked some serious magic in bringing the extended universe to life. Thanks to Disney+ originals like The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, we see a different side of the galaxy far, far away, and it is beautiful.

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

The Acolyte is the newest chapter in the franchise, but it resets the timeline completely by setting things during the High Republic, 100 years before the events of The Phantom Menace (1999).

This prequel to the prequels might still be in its early stages, but it just opened the door to a piece of the galaxy that is not only ripe for the plucking in terms of new material but allows newer fans to get into the world without having to see all the movies.

Star Wars Ushers In the High Republic

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

For those who haven’t seen the first two episodes, The Acolyte is a new Star Wars spinoff from Russian Doll showrunner Leslye Headland. The traditional Skywalker narrative is traded for a completely new storyline set in a familiar universe.

Related: Kathleen Kennedy’s Replacement Officially Changes the ‘Star Wars’ Canon

When Jedi Master Indara (Carrie Anne Moss) is murdered by a Force-wielding assassin, Osha (Amandla Stenberg) is accused of a crime she did not commit. It’s up to Master Sol (Lee Jung-Jae) to solve the mystery before she kills again. As the chase begins, things take a darker turn during this era of peace and justice in the High Republic.

A group of children, dressed in beige Jedi robes, sit in a line with their eyes closed, appearing to meditate like young acolytes. In the foreground is a blonde girl with hair tied up. Two children have alien appearances with distinct facial features, sitting among the human kids.
Credit: Lucasfilm

As thrilling as the premise is, it’s not the only thing the creatives at Disney and Lucasfilm should explore with this setting. Not only do we have an untapped era to experiment and play with, but the High Republic also saw the Jedi at their peak, and this is only one story that gives viewers some insight into the innermost workings of the Jedi Order.

Related: ‘Tales of the Empire’ Proves Vader Needs a Spinoff

Additionally, since it will be more than a few decades before Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin, or Princess Leia enter the scene, the High Republic also gives its creators a newfound freedom to experiment with new characters and perspectives without being too confined to the lore set by the original trilogy.

The era is a gold mine for both Disney and Lucasfilm to try new things without compromising elements that have Star Wars purists clutching their pearls.

After The Acolyte

An acolyte stands silhouetted at the edge of a rocky cliff by the ocean, facing away. A second person, partially blurred and closer to the foreground, looks towards the figure on the cliff. The scene has a dramatic, somber feel with a muted color palette.
Credit: Lucasfilm

At the time of writing, fans will simply have to keep watching The Acolyte to see more of the setting, but this likely won’t be the last time we visit this age. Currently, critical reception for the series is surprisingly positive, scoring a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, one review instantly grabbed our attention.

Related: Marvel Ditches Disney Plus, Attempts To Find New Audience for Struggling Projects

Angie Han of The Hollywood Reporter aptly shares,

“In its willingness to challenge our assumptions, The Acolyte finds its own place.”

In this writer’s opinion, the New Republic is precisely what the statement above promises. While there are bits and pieces of the Star Wars universe, fans can instantly recognize, the new storytelling elements in The Acolyte serve as an ideal springboard for a new era in the grand space opera.

Do you want to see more of the High Republic? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

 

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