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After years of disappointment, The Acolyte is the first Star Wars entry that I've been excited about

Somehow, my love for Star Wars has returned

Star Wars: The Acolyte
Image credit: Lucasfilm

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Like so many people, I grew up loving Star Wars. The action. The adventure. The romance. Even watching the prequels, as flawed as they were, didn’t stifle my enthusiasm for the franchise. It was a deep, intrinsic part of me, but Disney’s insistence on giving us as much Star Wars as possible burned me out to a point where I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to watch anything from my beloved galaxy far, far away for years until I watched the trailer for The Acolyte.

I remember the moment my interest in Star Wars began to wane, and it was Solo: A Star Wars Story. Not only was it a bad movie, it was an unnecessary movie. It tried to fill in all the gaps in Han Solo’s past, ignoring the fact that the best bits of him are the mystery. The less I know about my scruffy nerf-herders the better, thank you very much.

Then we had The Rise of Skywalker, which was full of clumsy dialogue and even clumsier plot points. My heart broke just as much as Oscar Issac’s when he had to deliver the infamous “Somehow, Palpatine’s returned,” line. Even The Mandalorian, as good as it was and as cute as Grogu was, couldn’t keep my interest because it wasn’t building toward anything. I barely finished the second season and never watched the third. The Book of Boba Fett lost me almost immediately – never even made it to episode two.

Related: Disney says the Star Wars prequel The Acolyte isn't for kids in new Disney+ rating decision

For decades, I had consumed everything Star Wars I could get my hands on, from books to comics to video games, and suddenly I couldn’t even maintain an interest in the good bits coming out. I never even tried to watch Kenobi or Asoka. The interest just wasn’t there. I was starting to think that my time as a Star Wars fan was over.

And yet I feel myself drawn to The Acolyte but it took me time to figure out why. Part of it is the fact it is set in the High Republic era, far removed from Skywalkers or Clone Wars or Palpatine’s inexplicable return. Part of it is the cast – I didn’t know I needed to see Carrie-Anne Moss wielding a lightsaber as badly as I do but here we are – but I think the biggest sign that this might be what reignites the fire of fandom in my soul is how they are returning to Star Wars’ roots as a samurai film set in space.

Reading about how the showrunner is pulling from Rashamon, the classic Akira Kurosawa movie that told the same story from multiple perspectives to play with how we as the audience perceive the truth, for this series was the perfect salve for the wounds inflicted by years of subpar Star Wars entries. Kurosawa’s style and influence have always been in the very DNA of George Lucas’ films, so I needed to hear that they were returning to that well for this show. This was Star Wars as I knew it and as I loved it.

Now, weeks ahead of The Acolyte premiering on Disney+, I find myself in an unfamiliar place – for the first time in years, I am excited for something Star Wars. I can’t wait to see this cast tell this story, even though I don’t know exactly what that story is. I want to see the High Republic era in action, with all its hope and optimism, even as it clashes with the darkness lurking in the shadows. The cynical fan in me wants to be skeptical but every sign points to The Acolyte being what finally makes me fall back in love with Star Wars.

Get ready for everything coming up with our guide to upcoming Star Wars movies & TV shows, dive into the past with our Star Wars watch order, or debate on which was the best with our ranked list of the best (and worst) Star Wars movies.