REVIEW: The Acolyte – Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2, “Lost/Found” and “Revenge/Justice”

“The Jedi live in a dream, a dream they believe everyone shares.”

Well, The Acolyte is finally here. Star Wars fans have been anticipating this series for all the wrong reasons, from its showrunner’s dubious past working with Harvey Weinstein to bad PR to downright confusing dialogue in the trailers. Despite Lucasfilm’s best(?) efforts, I don’t think anyone is genuinely looking forward to watching The Acolyte. I’m determined to give it a fair chance, although I have my own reservations. Is this show the lore-breaking nightmare its premise implies, or can it explain everything well enough while also justifying its existence? Let’s take a look.


“Lost/Found” focuses on establishing twins Mae and Osha (Amandla Stenberg). Mae works for a shadowy Dark Side user, murdering Jedi Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss) with the intention of killing three more Jedi Masters. Meanwhile, former Jedi Padawan Osha is a mech tech working on the outside of ships, a job usually reserved for droids. Mae’s actions quickly become a problem for her sister, who is mistakenly implicated and subsequently arrested by her former master, Sol (Lee Jung-jae). Osha tells Sol she thinks Mae is alive, having seen her in a vision, and Sol believes her. “Revenge/Justice” finds Mae on the move again, this time to kill Master Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman), a Jedi sworn to silence. He willingly takes Mae’s poison, begging for forgiveness for what he did to her. Of course, she sneaks off, and Osha finds Torbin, making some of the Jedi suspicious, but Yord (Charlie Barnett) has been following her and clears her. The Jedi and Osha make contact with Qimir, Mae’s apothecary, and he leads them to Mae. When given the opportunity, Osha doesn’t shoot her sister, and she gets away. Sol asks for permission to follow and apprehend Mae, but Master Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson) forces them to return to Coruscant for a Jedi meeting.

The Acolyte Lost/Found

Honestly, I’m not sure if I should be relieved or disappointed. So far, The Acolyte is much less disrespectful towards the Jedi than I feared, though it still doesn’t make them look great. Mae looks kind of dumb, and we don’t know anything about her master. I wasn’t offended by these episodes, but I wasn’t exactly enthralled either. My biggest problem right now is with the characters. They’re not bad, but I don’t like any of them. I don’t even hate Mae or her master because I don’t know them! I understand that part of Mae’s motivation is being kept secret for the inevitable reveal of whatever the Jedi did to the twins, but it doesn’t help me get invested in their story. My favorite character right now is Master Sol because he has good instincts, knows Osha is being genuine, and doesn’t act as stupid as other Jedi.

The Acolyte Lost/Found

Master Indara allows Mae to attack multiple unarmed civilians before stepping in, and Vernestra has the Jedi Code stuck up her butt. She’s seemingly willing to let Mae get away just so she can make Sol follow the rules. Yord and Jecki (Dafne Keen) have this problem to a lesser extent. We’re supposed to be seeing how the Jedi became the dogmatic warrior politicians we see in the prequels, but these Jedi are already acting like that. This is more of a retread than a prequel in that sense. These Jedi also seem more than mildly interested in other people using the Force and whether they have permission. We saw the witch played by Jodie Turner-Smith saying as much in the trailers, and now Indara calls in an “unidentified Force user” to her fellow Jedi. Obviously, Mae is a criminal, but using the Force isn’t a crime. The Jedi don’t seem to care about this at all in the prequels; in The Clone Wars, they’re well aware of factions like the Nightsisters and let them do their thing without problem.

The Acolyte Lost/Found

Indara and Vernestra (the latter of whom is apparently prominent in the High Republic books) are particularly bad; I imagine the writers are using them to show us what’s wrong with the Jedi. Although the Jedi should be doing well at this time; this is supposed to explain the prequels, not provide an exaggerated version of the prequel-era Jedi. Even those Jedi had some spirit to them, like Qui-Gon praising Obi-Wan and, later, basically all of Obi-Wan’s interactions with Anakin. They’re not robots; they don’t have to be this boring. Indara plays at being some bastion of peace and morality, but she stands by and watches Mae spank all these random townspeople. I understand that she doesn’t want to fight Mae unprovoked, but the threat of violence against civilians is enough reason to fight. I question the morality of Indara waiting for several people to get hurt before stepping in. She then gets bumped off like a chump anyway. Lame. Vernestra only cares about regulations, again acting a little too much like the Council in the prequels. Why is a meeting needed when they know where Mae is headed? They know she did it; why not let Sol pursue her? Meanwhile, Sol lives up to his name. He’s the only one who displays any real conviction and seems to actually care about people, especially the Jedi younglings. He still shows genuine concern for Osha and even Mae despite neither of them being Jedi at this time. Yord is beyond lame, which, I think, is supposed to be funny. It doesn’t work for me. Yord’s a total narc and very inept at his job, with Sol’s Padawan Jecki outpacing and often correcting him. I didn’t catch a name, but Yord’s Padawan has a really cool design.

The Acolyte Lost/Found

There are Neimoidians in “Lost/Found,” which is cool, I guess. For some reason, this felt very gimmicky to me. I have no problem with callbacks (call forwards?) in Star Wars, but this felt like it served no purpose in the episode. If anyone disagrees, I’d love to hear an argument. This is just my first impression. Osha works for them fixing their ship, which leads me to wonder why the Jedi don’t/can’t check if she was working the night in question. As soon as Osha is identified, they take her into custody despite her claiming work as an alibi. Shouldn’t they ask the Neimoidians if she was working at the time? Are there cameras anywhere? Why does nobody ask any questions? They also say Osha was eight when she joined the Order, too old, just like Anakin. I don’t have anything to add about this, but I feel it might be important later. I want to know more about Osha because right now, I just don’t know what to make of her. She lets Mae go when she has the chance to stun her despite believing Mae killed their family. Mae is also the only one who can get Osha out of trouble, being the real perpetrator. I don’t understand letting her go under these circumstances, family or not.

The Acolyte Lost/Found

The Acolyte’s original music is provided by Michael Abels, and it is an absolute highlight so far. It’s beautiful and feels very Star Wars without just copying other soundtracks. The rest of the show could take cues from that, evoking Star Wars without just referencing past Star Wars. The visuals are really, really good. This may be the best live-action Disney+ Star Wars has looked aside from “The Mandalorian Returns,” Bryce Dallas Howard’s Book of Boba Fett episode.

The Acolyte Lost/Found

Overall, I don’t hate these episodes, but they hardly sold me on The Acolyte. They’re alright, but nothing special aside from the special effects and music. I enjoy Lee Jung-jae as Master Sol, but so far, I don’t care about the other characters at all. They need to get us invested in Mae and Osha for this show to work. Some final thoughts here: Mae gets around way too easily, especially in the Jedi Temple on Olega, where she finds Torbin. It’s also a little convenient for her to happen to be back at the temple right when our heroes get there to investigate. There is a Wookie Jedi at the end of “Revenge/Justice” named Kelnacca. We don’t learn anything about him, so I have nothing to add. But he looks cool.

The Acolyte – Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2, "Lost/Found" and "Revenge/Justice"

Plot - 6
Acting - 6
Progression - 6
Production Design - 10
Character Development - 2



"Lost/Found" and "Revenge/Justice" are mostly inoffensive but lightweight and with little to no characterization. The visuals and music are terrific, but there's nothing and no one to care about yet.

Comments (2)

June 5, 2024 at 11:19 pm

Snarky Jay supposedly had something to do with this show and she and her friends did not like it. Might make for a good FNT guest, I dunno.

As for the characters, all I can say is look at Cobra Kai. Cobra Kai had the old characters introduce the new characters and the new characters had their own arcs and relationships and things that happened to them. There was also the rivalry between Miyagi and Kreese schools, much like Light side vs. Dark, but it was just all handled better from a writing level.

The team the wrote Cobra Kai is another missed opportunity. They could have at least been asked if they wanted anything to do with Star Wars, but, let’s be real, some guy’s personal assistant has no business handling a project like this. A personal assistant? Like Chris Gore said, you may as well just get some celebrity hairstylist to be the show-runner.

Film Threat has a panel, and it was Mike that really gave me the old Star Wars feeling as he talked about what made the Force special and Master Yoda training Luke that size matters not and you don’t believe, which is why you fail. Yoda, Miyagi, Apollo Creed some of the best teacher coach trainers ever in cinema. Mike really made me think about it. To me, it was just a movie, but to higher iq people, they can take life lessons from key scenes.

June 6, 2024 at 12:25 pm

Jesse Grant or Dave Cullen might be good on FNT to talk this stuff.

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