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Star Wars: The Acolyte presents the Jedi as a looming threat - and it is the best part of the series so far

Never trust the government, even when they're space wizards

Lee Jung-jae as Sol in The Acolyte
Image credit: Lucasfilm

The Acolyte is here, but we've already got the scoop on the next Star Wars movies, TV shows, and cartoons - including the highly-anticipated (and highly mysterious) Star Wars: Skeleton Crew. And in case you need a refresher on the High Republic, the possibility of Yoda showing up in The Acolyte, or even the entire Star Wars timeline, we've got those too. Amd tell us your favorite Star Wars show here!

If you’re one of the many people who tuned in to watch The Acolyte when it debuted on Disney+, you might have been confronted with something you didn’t expect to see. No, we’re not talking about the guy from Squid Game – we’re referring to the way the Jedi Order is portrayed in the new Star Wars series. Specifically, how they aren’t always seen as the good guys.

We won’t be discussing heavy spoilers for the first two episodes of The Acolyte here, but there is a scene early on where Amandla Stenberg’s Osha has been accused of murder and the Jedi come to collect her. From the moment they arrive on the ship she works on, every shot is framed in such a way as to make the Jedi seem like a threat. They make people uneasy or even afraid. They impose their will with thinly veiled threats and overt demands for cooperation. Even the Jedi we are meant to see as allies casually abuse their power, threatening to pry into the mind of a Trade Federation official at the first sign of resistance.

Amandla Stenberg as Osha in The Acolyte
Image credit: Lucasfilm

Although they come under the guise of interrogating Osha, they have already reached their verdict. One Jedi Master makes the case that they must make an example of her which sounds a lot like Osha is not going to get a fair trial. The other inmates on her prisoner transport even say as much when she assures them that she has faith in the Jedi. “Well, enjoy prison,” they say, in the way people do when they’ve seen what happens when you put your faith in the Jedi to be fair.

The message the show is trying to send us is clear. During the High Republic era, the Jedi were simply the government and therefore could not be trusted. We’re so used to seeing the Jedi as the heroes that this change is both startling and refreshing – for the first time, we’re watching the Jedi be something less than perfect. Centuries of power and unchecked influence across the galaxy have made them too powerful for their own good.

If there was ever a Star Wars show that could portray the Jedi in this way, it is The Acolyte. At its core, Star Wars is about rebellion and resistance against authority. Here, the Jedi are the main power in the galaxy, able to mete out justice as they see fit without repercussions or oversight, and therefore must be fought at every opportunity. In short, we get to see the Jedi as the oppressors of the galaxy, which is new territory for them and for us as fans, and makes us excited to see how it plays out.

Turn back the clock 100 years before the earliest Star Wars movie and enter the era of the Disney+ series The Acolyte. We have everything you need from guides on the cast, the episodes (and their release dates), it's not-for-kids rating, where it fits in the Star Wars timeline, how the show asks who 'deserves' to use the Force, as well as bigger picture things such as a complete Star Wars watch order, and a comprehensive guide to the Star Wars timeline, and all the upcoming Star Wars movies & TV shows on the horizon.

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