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Thrilling New ‘Acolyte’ Series Explores Sith Origins in the Star Wars Universe

Leslye Headland’s highly anticipated series, The Acolyte, bursts onto the scene with an electrifying narrative set in a familiar yet intriguingly fresh universe. As with all captivating tales, this one also kicks off in a cantina on the distant planet of Ueda, in a galaxy far, far away. Amidst the mellow hum of patrons engaged in their own affairs, a hooded figure slips into the cantina’s dim light. A peculiar sight catches the eye—a baby Gungan, reminiscent of the much-debated Jar Jar Binks, tends bar in the shadowy backdrop.

The shrouded visitor quests for a renowned Jedi Master named Indara, portrayed by Carrie-Anne Moss. Indara, despite her serene demeanor, exudes a palpable aura of the Force, tightly coiled within her. The encounter takes a violent turn when the mysterious stranger provokes Indara into a duel. Reluctant yet formidable, Indara employs her Force-powered martial arts—Force Fu—executing gravity-defying moves. The confrontation crescendos with the stranger overpowering Indara and then disappearing without a trace.

Meanwhile, on another planet, a meknek—or grease grubber—named Osha (Amandla Stenberg), works meticulously on spaceships with her droid companion, Pip. Across the galaxy, on the opulent and glittering city-planet of Coruscant, senior Jedi Master Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson) addresses the ominous attack on Indara with fellow Jedi, Sol (Lee Jung-jae). The assailant is none other than Osha, Sol’s former padawan.

Driven by duty, Sol, his current padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen), and newly anointed Jedi Knight Yord (Charlie Barnett), embark on a mission to locate and apprehend Osha. The chase intensifies following the mysterious death of another Jedi Master, Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman), at a Jedi temple on the planet Olega. Sol’s deductive skills reveal an intricate connection between the recent deaths and a catastrophic event that transpired 16 years ago on Osha’s home planet of Brendok. During that fateful mission, Sol, Indara, Torbin, and Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo), a Wookiee Jedi with a unique syntax in his howls, had faced an unexpected disaster.

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Set one hundred years before the rise of the empire, The Acolyte aims to provide a new lens on the Star Wars saga by exploring the genesis and rise of the Sith. Headland’s vision attempts to unveil the era of peace that the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic enjoyed, as stated in the series’ opening crawl: “The Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic have prospered for centuries without war.”

The Acolyte excels in multiple facets, blending a rich mystery with an assortment of peculiar creatures and planets. Its unembellished portrayal of the Force is refreshingly straightforward. True to any Star Wars narrative, it hosts a charmingly roguish character—Qimir (Manny Jacinto). As a capable smuggler, Qimir provides anything needed for a price, fitting snugly into the legacy of beloved Star Wars scoundrels.

Adding to the series’ rich tapestry is the appearance of a coven of Force-wielding witches led by Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) on Brendok. These elements further deepen the lore and intrigue surrounding the series. Comparable to the success of X-Men ’97, The Acolyte aims to capture the imagination of both die-hard Star Wars aficionados and newcomers alike. Headland’s strategic inclusion of original trilogy fans in the writer’s room, along with drawing inspiration from Dave Filoni’s creations (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka, Star Wars: Rebels), has undeniably paid off.

The diverse story perspectives, combined with well-placed Easter eggs, elevate the series’ overall enjoyment, striking a harmonious chord with viewers. The central mystery, full of pursuits and chases, alongside flamboyant fashions and striking hairstyles, injects an extra layer of excitement. Force-sensitive twins and complex Jedi trials add to the drama, making every episode a rollercoaster of thrills.

The gripping narrative of The Acolyte unfolds with its first two episodes launching on Disney+ Hotstar on June 5, followed by weekly episodes continuing through July 17. This spellbinding series is set to redefine the Star Wars landscape, promising an unforgettable adventure for both old and new fans of the beloved galaxy far, far away.