Say goodbye to your precious High Republic! It is no spoiler to suggest that the pious Jedi we see in Disney’s The Acolyte trailers are in for a rough time by the series’ ending. Think of the upcoming Star Wars streaming show as the prequel to the prequel trilogy. What happens during this chapter of the galactic soap opera will set the stage for Anakin Skywalker’s introduction, similar to how Rogue One taxied the viewer to the doorstep of the original George Lucas 1977 release. Here are some notable moments from the two trailers available in 2024 before we once again visit a galaxy far far away.

The Acolyte | Official Trailer (1) | Disney+

An Antagonizing Protagonist

Clearly, the seemingly conflicted character played by Amandla Stenberg is going to drive this tale of “life, balance, and fire”, as we are persuaded to believe she is turning away from her teachings as a youngling. This is likely for a different reason than the sequel trilogy’s gifted grandson, Kylo Ren. Younglings never became a Padawan if they never discovered their own Kyber Crystal. Fealty sworn to a hidden Sith element would require proof of commitment. Deductive reasoning suggests she is later seen armored up to exact revenge, via an archetype of the dagger weapon seen in The Rise of Skywalker.

For The Alliance!

We learn from a fantastic Matrix-esque bar fight that the troubled solo assassin is not quite Darth Maul levels of combat-ready as the defender, played by Carrie-Ann Moss, deftly dodges everything. She is not alone either. In another scene, a Wookie steps out from behind similarly clothed Jedi Masters in their iconic wardrobe. Later, when confronting a supposed Sith Lord in the woods, this entourage includes a carrier of a yellow-beamed lightsaber, rare in other eras until Rey’s final scene. Rounding out the identifiable good guys are the troubled student’s former teacher (played by Lee Jung-Jae) and alien members that resemble the distinct look of Plo Koon and a Rodian.

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Force-Sensitive

Whereas other time frames in the Star Wars canon consistently highlight the rarity of using The Force, in these two trailers everyone seems to have their powers on full display. Younglings envision precognitive thoughts in meditation. Daggers and martial arts maneuvers are stopped single-handedly with an open palm. Emotion is removed from a face-to-face conversation with a defiant wave and gesture. A lightsaber is thrown and returns like a boomerang. Even doorknobs are bypassed in favor of a more convenient Force-Push! Two people appear to be saved from collapsing debris (ala Attack of the Clones) in a fiery room. We even glimpse what appears to be a Wild West-style showdown near the mouth of the Mirror Cave on the same island where Force-Ghost Yoda encouraged Luke Skywalker to burn the Jedi texts. Heavy!

The Acolyte | Official Trailer (2) | Disney+

High expectation awaits in this depiction of the High Republic era of Star Wars lore. The mixed reception for the message within The Last Jedi and Andor may reemerge as a hot-button topic. An addition might be made to the list of critically acclaimed projects, including Ahsoka and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Either way, the next in-universe production (The Mandalorian movie) will have plenty of callback moments for fans to enjoy. Until then, The Dark Side will continue to cloud the audience’s vision until the two-episode premiere of The Acolyte drops in a few days. 

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Star Wars The Acolyte is available to watch starting June 4, 2024 on Disney+.

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Jonathan Outlaw

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