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Did “The Acolyte” reveal his killer too early?

The Acolyte sold itself as a crime martial arts show, but has unique interpretations of those genre tags. The martial arts inspiration is excellent. The first action scene feels like an exciting foray into wuxia wire fighting in a war of stars environment. The crime element is a little less straightforward. Instead of hunting down the wandering Jedi Killer and combing through clues to figure out a fraction of his identity, the first episode of The Acolyte introduces the murderer to the viewer and asks him to look for a motive.




Every war of stars The resulting show will be measured against two existing media. One side of the spectrum represents transformative, outstanding, unique works of art such as Andor. The other captures forgettable, familiar, nostalgic trash films like The Book of Boba FettThe key question that determines a new show's position in the charts is whether it has something new to say within the franchise. The Acolyte started closer to Andor than most other franchises, but it still has a long way to go.

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The Acolyte shows his killer early


Creator

Leslye Headland

Stars

Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Charlie Barnett, Dafne Keen, Carrie-Anne Moss

Release date

June 4, 2024

Number of episodes

8th

The already mentioned first scene of The Acolyte depicts the brutal murder of a Jedi Master. Amandla Stenberg's masked figure approaches and challenges Carrie-Anne Moss' Peacekeeper. The fight escalates, but the masked assassin loses her disguise during the conflict. Fans see her face moments before she strikes down Jedi Master Indara. She even recognizes her killer. Moments later, an innocent witness identifies Amandla Stenberg's Osha Aniseya as the murderer. It's clearly the same person, but Osha is far too good-natured to have committed such a heinous act. Moments later, her response to a crisis proves that she isn't skilled enough in the Force to win the fight against Indara. This seems to be the real mystery, leading viewers to imagine an imposter, a doppelgänger, or perhaps some sort of alternate personality hidden within Osha's psyche. None of this is accurate, as the show drops the reveal within half an hour.


Osha's twin sister, Mae, killed Indara. Although Osha and her former mentor Sol believed Mae died many years ago, she survived and returned to seek vengeance on the four Jedi involved in a mysterious incident on her home planet. The episode reveals that Mae is in league with a follower of the dark side who encourages her to commit acts of violence. Mae's existence and survival are not treated as surprising revelations. They were not part of the series' pitch, which certainly could have focused on this element. The show could have sold itself on the premise of twin sisters pursuing different paths of the Force. Articles from the day before the show aired don't mention this idea because the crew hid it as if it were a huge reveal. It's not necessarily a terrible decision, but it has an abnormal effect.


The Acolyte is a strange secret

The-Acolyte-Torbin Cropped

Most crime stories are about finding the culprit. The Acolyte could have introduced a dozen characters, laid red herrings left and right, or had characters fight over who could have committed the crime. It didn't do that. Nor did it Columbo method of depicting the murder in the opening scene and watching the detectives solve the case in the rest of the screen. Instead, it's a show that seems to have all the information but refuses to tell the audience any of it. The show's dialogue can be a little choppy at times, but most of the main characters seem to know what's going on before it happens. The remaining six episodes will be forced to explain the plot, but this early reveal felt like a big deal to just dump on the audience. The only two ways to interpret this decision are as a creative fumble, or as a subtle tease of something much bigger to come.


The Acolyte still unanswered questions

Vernestra-Rwoh-the-Acolyte

So fans know who killed Indara and Torbin. They also know who she is trying to kill next. The map The Acolytestill hidden up her sleeve is her motive. Osha and Sol mention a fire that took the lives of her family. Mae's four targets were the Jedi who were present at the event. When Mae challenges Indara, she mentions that Jedi do not attack unarmed opponents. Mae cryptically assures her target that they do, in fact, attack those who cannot defend themselves. When Mae offers Torbin a chance at redemption through death, he knowingly and without an ounce of restraint drinks poison. He must have done something so grave that it motivated a vow of solitude and subsequent suicide. The logical assumption is that a future episode will reveal the events that led Mae on her quest for vengeance. Leslye Headland mentions Rashomon as inspiration, suggesting a series revolving around different interpretations of the Brendock incident. Fans will have to wait and see if they handle this element correctly.


The Acolyte didn't want fans to wonder who killed Indara. The show's decision to reveal Mae in its first episode has intriguing implications. It may be a frank decision to avoid the kind of cliches that could otherwise trap the series. The evil twin reveal may have been unsatisfying after several episodes of build-up, but dropping it without pomp and circumstance also seems unusual. If every reveal in The Acolyte has this strange ineffectiveness, the show will not work. If it saves its real surprises for the following episodes, The Acolyte could still be something special.

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