REVIEW: The Acolyte – Season 1, Episode 7, “Choice”

“Who is protecting this child if not the Jedi?”


“Choice” finds the Jedi on Brendok 16 years earlier, looking for a vergence in the Force. Sol is sent off and sees Mae, Osha, and Koril. Most importantly, he witnesses the girls using the Force. Sol follows the family back to their fortress and climbs inside. Sol reports his findings to Master Indara, all four Jedi return to the fortress, and the events of Destiny” play out. They interrupt the Ascension Ceremony and ask to test the girls, and Osha passes. Indara waits to hear from Coruscant and sends the others back into the field. The Council ultimately decides against training Osha due to her age and her parents’ wishes. However, Mae and Osha’s blood tests indicate aptitude with the Force, and the Jedi realize the girls were created artificially. Mother Aniseya proposes Osha’s wish to leave with the Jedi, but the rest of the coven disagrees. Mae even disables all exits with Mother Koril’s blessing. Sol accidentally kills Aniseya. Koril takes control of Kelnacca, fighting Sol and Torbin. Indara shows up to save them, breaking the Witches’ control of the Wookie. She now instructs Sol to get the girls, but he can only save one when the bridge collapses: Osha. On the way to Coruscant, Indara scolds Sol and Torbin for getting involved. Sol wants to tell the Council the truth, but Indara decides to tell them only that Mae burned the Witches’ home and they died. 

The Acolyte Choice

I have a lot of issues with Choice, but first, I’ll talk about the good things because there aren’t many. Brendok, the Witches’ home planet, looks lovely in Choice. Not their bland stone fortress, but the woods and landscapes outside. I’m surprised Headland and the set decorators didn’t try to give the Witches a more visually distinct scheme to set them apart, particularly as the Jedi remark on how insular and weird they are. But that’s neither here nor there. Lee Jung-Jae continues to steal the show as Master Sol. His emotions and motivations feel the most genuine, so as usual, he’s the only interesting character to watch. It’s strange that the show is anti-Jedi and wants us to sympathize with Mother Aniseya’s coven, but the only character who makes the audience feel anything is a Jedi. I’m not counting the feelings some may have for the shirtless men in prior episodes. Sol and Indara look younger here; maybe not 16 years younger, but an effort was made. I think the makeup artists did a better job aging them down than aging Torbin up for Revenge/Justice. Speaking of Torbin, Dean-Charles Chapman is good with a lightsaber! So much goes to waste in this series, and we can add him and Joonas Suotamo’s Kelnacca to the list. They’re both fierce when they cut loose; I just wonder why we get so little of that and only at the end of the season. Finally, the planet Brendok was totally uninhabited 100 years prior to this flashback due to a hyperspace disaster of some sort. It may seem like a strange thing to praise, but they clarify that the Jedi genuinely believed Brendok to be deserted. It’s nice to gain some clarity on this one point, especially in a show that explains so little else. As it previously stood, I was unsure if the Jedi actually thought that, or if it was just an excuse to come into the fortress. 

The Acolyte Choice

That being said, this is the episode I’ve been dreading. Witches using the Force to make babies and Ki-Adi-Mundi being completely aware of the Sith were terrible narrative choices for Star Wars as a whole. But now, The Acolyte has finally come for the most enjoyable aspect of its story so far, Master Sol. Given the show’s overall tone and what Headland said before it came out, I knew it was a matter of time before Sol’s reputation was shattered. They’ve been heavily telegraphing it in the last couple of episodes, too; Teach/Corrupt ends with Sol forcing Mae to listen to his tale. All four Jedi come off looking pretty lousy, especially Indara and her Padawan, Torbin. Kelnacca is lucky because we have no idea what he’s saying/thinking, and at least Sol wanted to tell the truth and be judged by the Council. Indara’s characterization in Choice is so bizarre. She initially seems pretty straight-laced, deferring to the Council and following the letter of the Jedi Code. But she repeatedly changes her mind, apparently because of what Sol wants. She ultimately goes against the Council’s wishes regarding the girls. In the end, she decides to lie to her superiors. I’m not opposed to showing corruption and the danger of little white lies, but this character makes no sense. Indara is a rule follower and enforcer unless her friend asks for a favor, or even sometimes if he doesn’t? Does she fully believe in the Code, or do the ends justify the means? It’s very difficult to care about these characters one way or another because they don’t have any personality and their beliefs and goals constantly shapeshift to enable the needs of the plot. These people should watch Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon to see how writers can create characters who drive the story with their choices, rather than vice versa. 

The Acolyte Choice

I’m surprised that Qimir wasn’t in this episode; I thought he would be involved in the skirmish at the fortress. I’m also conflicted about how much is the Jedis’ fault, or maybe I’m just confused. Sol technically kills Mother Aniseya when she turns into smoke, but I couldn’t tell if this was his intention. Under the circumstances and heightened tension, wouldn’t it be understandable to feel threatened when this witch suddenly shapeshifts in your general direction? The Jedi are wrong to interfere with this tribe in the first place, and Indara says as much. But as I mentioned earlier, Indara gives in any time Sol or Torbin contradicts what she said. What’s the dynamic here? Torbin is obviously her inferior, her Padawan. But is she beholden to Sol’s whims? Is Indara the one leading this expedition? What’s going on? Time and again, she says what Sol wants to do is a bad idea or goes against the Council’s wishes, yet they end up doing it every time. Sometimes, it’s hard to know who’s in the wrong or who is the instigator because the roles and power dynamics are unclear. Everything in The Acolyte is so poorly explained that the simplest plot developments lead to questions. It’s also unclear how selfish Sol’s intentions are. Indara says several times that he’s just doing something because he wants Osha to be his Padawan, but he talks about the girls’ safety. It’s impossible to know how to feel without knowing the truth. And Mae’s fire did destroy the compound; it didn’t kill anyone, because it didn’t have time. So even though she is a child, she isn’t totally blameless. Burning a building is a big deal. 

The Acolyte Choice

Speaking of truth, Sol kills Aniseya and Koril, and Indara evidently kills the other witches. We never learn what the Force Vergence is or how Aniseya created the twins. The twins have a high M count, and Osha passes the aptitude test, while Mae fails on purpose. All these vague answers and non-answers aren’t intriguing; they’re frustrating. Why toy with the idea of Force babies predating Anakin if you refuse to go all in? It would also be easier to get invested in all of this if we knew why certain people did certain things. Torbin consents to Aniseya controlling his mind and later attacks the Witches because he wants to go home. Why does he want to return to Coruscant so badly? Why does Osha wish to become a Jedi out of nowhere, and why does Mae hate them so much? Granted, I find the latter easier to accept than the former; her moms say the Jedi are bad, and Osha has no reason to like them. Why is Sol so attached to Osha and the idea of training her so quickly? This all appears to happen over 48 hours or less. 

The Acolyte Choice

I’m at a loss; Choice is just confusing. The Acolyte has been confusing and messy all along, but every answer provided in this weeks installment just leads to more questions. If Aniseya will let Osha go anyway, why not say as much and avoid this silly, unnecessary, overblown conflict? How can Indara kill 50 Witches with her mind, and why would a Jedi ever do that? If Indara cares so much about the Council, why lie to them about everything? This girl is Vernestra Rwohs prototype. The ending song, Power of Two by Victoria Monét, actually has pretty instrumentals, but I dont think popular music belongs in Star Wars, and the twin flames motif for the sisters creeps me out. But hey, if you want to know how Torbin got his scars, this is the episode for you.

The Acolyte Season 1, Episode 7, "Choice"

Plot - 1
Acting - 7
Progression - 1
Production Design - 5
Action - 5



"Choice" is so confounding and poorly plotted that it wipes away any goodwill one might have had after "Night" and "Teach/Corrupt".

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