June 23, 2024

The Acolyte Review 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

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The Acolyte Review 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

There are three main kinds of Star Wars stories. There’s the kind where you write whatever you want and call it Star Wars–a common occurrence with the many novels released in the 1990s. There’s the kind where you recycle already existing Star Wars stories into something familiar–this has been Disney’s primary way of doing things. But, lastly, there are the stories that enthusiastically make use of Star Wars as a setting to create something fresh. There have been a number of novels that fit that bill, as did the first season of Andor–and now, through four episodes, it seems that the new Star Wars series The Acolyte, set a century before the movies, also falls into that category.

The Acolyte centers on a pair of twins, Osha and Mae (both played by Amandla Stenberg). The girls were raised by an unaffiliated coven of female Force-users, but despite living outside the Republic, the Jedi– including Carrie-Ann Moss’s Indara–poked their noses into these women’s affairs, leading to disaster. As a result, the sisters are separated for decades, each thinking the other dead–Osha ends up training to be a Jedi before washing out after a few years, and Mae, while everyone thinks she’s dead, trains under a secret Sith master. When Mae emerges to hunt and kill the Jedi who made the incursion to her coven, Osha takes the blame and gets pulled right back into Jedi business as they go after her sister.

One thing that sets The Acolyte apart is the way it doesn’t dilly dally with the reveal that Osha and Mae are separate people–the show begins by inferring that Osha has a normal life and moonlights as an assassin, but we learn the truth about Mae before the end of the first episode. A lesser Star Wars story would have tried to milk that mystery for several episodes at least.

But that’s one of the many common franchise pitfalls that this series from showrunner Leslye Headland avoids several times during the episodes that were screened for critics. For example, every time it looks like we’re about to be embroiled in some obnoxious and tropey contrivance, such as when the Jedi walk in on Osha standing over a dead body that she had discovered 15 seconds earlier, some character will quickly set the record straight so we don’t have to waste several scenes dealing with nonsense. It’s a beautiful thing, considering how much of the modern Star Wars franchise is built on that kind of wheel-spinning.

Likewise, they’ve managed something interesting with the aesthetic here. The Acolyte has all the same visual trappings of Star Wars and Marvel shows that use heavy doses of CGI, but avoids looking overly-reliant on that aesthetic by shooting on a lot of practical sets, dialing up the film grain, and going with a very dark look. The result isn’t shockingly beautiful or anything like that, but it looks nice and the dark graininess hides the CGI pretty effectively.

Much more striking to me, though, is how neutral the tone of this series is, something that was likely made possible because of how far removed it is from the main franchise. This is a show that has a lot of familiar iconography but isn’t reverent about it. The Jedi are just magic cops, and not treated as inherently good–you may bring that presupposition with you when you watch The Acolyte, but the series itself is not reinforcing that idea.

It can’t, in fact, because it doesn’t want to treat Mae as the villain. She’s not going to have the Darth Vader/Kylo Ren redemption arc here, because she’s a victim of circumstance just like her sister, both of whom were 8 years old when they were caught in between multiple groups of Force-users who wanted to control their future. The Acolyte isn’t about Osha vs Mae–it feels much more like Osha and Mae vs everyone else.

The “everyone else” also includes some interesting figures, like Dafne Keen’s Jedi apprentice Jecki, who Osha seems to develop a bit of a bond with, and Manny Jacinto’s Qimir, who helps Mae on her hunts. But the most memorable of these others is Jedi Master Sol, played by Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae–Osha’s former master, who has an earnest desire to make up for the mistake he and the other Jedi made with the coven. He knows that he and his co-workers were the original cause of this situation, and he feels responsible for handling the mess that has resulted in the present. Even though Lee apparently didn’t know English before taking the role, he gives what is probably this show’s best performance.

While I’m really digging the direction the show is taking through the first four episodes, there’s reason to fear how this will tie into the main franchise plot eventually–the third episode plants the seeds for The Acolyte to serve as a direct precursor to the movies, but if that’s going to happen, it’ll be later on in the episodes I haven’t seen yet. Could that end up ruining The Acolyte, if it does happen? It definitely could, yes. But the first four episodes are strong enough that I actually believe that Headland and co. might be able to make it work regardless.

The Acolyte Review 2024 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online