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Episode Review: The Acolyte Episode 1 - "Lost/Found"

Welcome back to the blog readers. I have been waiting 8 long months for a series I could dig my teeth into and talk about episode by episode. And I have finally found it, with the newest offering from our favorite galaxy far, far away. The Acolyte is promised to be Star Wars like we have never seen it, with no connection to any character or event we have ever seen before, and a whole slew of characters never seen before. With this series having a lot of promise, I was excited to see how this one would fare. So with that in mind, would the series premiere, titled "Lost/Found," and written and directed by Lesliye Headland, be a strong foundation for what promised to be a strong show? Stick around to find out.


NOTE: I will be using spoilers for my thoughts, so DO NOT read ahead if you have not seen the episode.

 

I do want to say that my excitement for the series has been teetering from kind of excited to not so much, so I think it all depended on my reaction to this first episode, and I am happy to report that so far, I am liking what they are throwing down. I personally enjoyed the two lead performances from Amandla Stenberg and Lee Jung-jae. I also like the story that is being told thus far, and I did enjoy the twist at the end.


I want to start with the performance of Amandla Stenberg. They play a role duality very well, and something I did not expect from them to be honest (especially since this is my first exposure to them). From their hand-to-hand fight in the opening (which was excellent in my eyes) to the fear that they portray when their character realizes she is on the run and in a situation that is not welcome to her, Stenberg can do it all. I am purposely being vague because the twist involves their character.


I do want to say that the most intriguing of the new characters has to be Master Sol, played by Lee Jung-jae. Something I learned before the show premiered is that he learned English specifically for this role. That is not easy for an non-English speaker, and I commend his work ethic because it sounds like he has been speaking it his whole life in this role. The grace that he brings to this role is incredible, because there is such a complexity to the role that he portrays perfectly. I am looking forward to seeing where his character goes from here.


I want to talk about the story of the episode next, and it is one that is very interesting, given this is only the first episode. An assassin that is using the Force is off killing Jedi, which is something straight out of science fiction heaven right there. And given that we are in the final stages of the High Republic era, I am all there for this. What got me was that this assassin looked strangely like our protagonist Osha, and she was being accused of the crime, especially when Sol's close friend Master Indara (played by the always awesome Carrie-Anne Moss) winds up dead from this assassin. We later learn that Osha was a former Padawan of Sol who left the Jedi Order, and the assassin is Osha's sister Mae, who was also a Jedi. This whole time I thought it was Osha behind these attacks, but I was proven to be wrong. Now it appears that she has to clear her name and find her sister before more Jedi wind up dead. The twist that the assassin is Osha's sister was one that took me for a surprise, especially when we found out that she was suspected dead after some sort of fire. I think we have only scratched the surface of this reveal, as more story details are bound to come out later.


So I'm not in the camp of this is the best episode of television all year (this is actually the only episode of television I have seen all year that isn't The Masked Singer (2019-present)), but it is a very solid foundation to what I expect to be a very solid series, and one that we will be talking about for months (and hopefully years to come). Thank you all for reading, and I will see you for the review of the next episode (which will be going up the same time as this one).

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