Star Wars: The Acolyte - High Republic mystery/thriller and the Squid Game star

Also, I think this show fell a couple notches for me and is now into “bad” territory.

They sure did die. And I guess they painted all the facility’s stone walls with thermite when they moved in. Survived a hyperspace accident, but not a single dropped lamp…

Followed by ten years in silent meditation, then poisons himself.

I want to see how he manages to make it to Master in the six intervening years! :P

Mae is a sociopath, and the fact that they try to make her a sympathetic character shows just how badly this is written.

My family has been eagerly watching every episode. Because Star Wars.

But if this was not Star Wars, a universe we love to experience and see more of, we would have bailed a long time ago.

Its a love/hate

I love Carrie Anne Moss as Indara, but hate that although a Jedi leader she cannot make a decision.

I love the witches weirdness, but living in a flammable castle?

OK I hate-hate the portrayal of the Jedi apprentice…horrible writing there.

I love the visuals, but the story is bad YA level.

Well, I guess this interview answers a couple of my questions.

Spoilers, obviously.

Why did they all die when Indara freed Kelnacca?

Headland: This was a big question when we were working on the episode. To me, it was very important because it told two stories. One, that Indara, despite her being completely and utterly the consummate Jedi in this episode, I did feel it was important that she also misjudged something. If we were going to explore those themes, she couldn’t just be this infallible Jedi, she also had to have something else going on with her. And I think what she did is, in the moment, in trying to sever the connection between Kelnacca and the witches, she dealt with a power that she did not understand and was unfamiliar with.

Did she kill them?

Headland: Yeah. She didn’t know what was going to happen to them.

So it wasn’t intentional?

Headland: No, she did not know. All she was thinking was, “I have to save him.” Again, it starts to become a selfish want. “I must save this colleague of mine. I have to do this. If I don’t do this, then something terrible could happen to him. We’ve seen what they’re capable of. I’ve seen them do this to my Padawan. They’re now doing it to an incredibly powerful Jedi master. What do I do? Okay, I’m going to make this decision.”

Koril says she would die before she let the Jedi take her children. Then the Jedi take Osha. So is it okay to assume she’s dead? Because the episode definitely suggests she survived.

Headland: [laughs] Yeah. No body, no death. That’s what I’ll say about that one.

Considering this angry, powerful Force-sensitive witch might be out there, and we also have this unexplained, powerful Dark side user out there as well, is it possible that Koril and Qimir know each other?

Headland: Oh, I can answer that. They do not know each other. But what I will say, as a tease, if we are able to explore this story more, her species will tell you a little bit about where she ends up.

What were the natural desires Torbin was suppressing? Was he really homesick or was he missing someone or something instead?

Headland: No, he wanted to go home. I like the idea. It just seemed so human to me. “I just want to go home. I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Episode seven gives us a totally different perspective of what happened on Brendok compared to what we saw in episode three when Mae tells Osha, “I’ll kill you.” Did that actually happen, or is that Osha misremembering that night?

Headland: We talked about this a lot in the writer’s room. There was a healthy discussion about, “Do you utilize this kind of language as a child?” And I said, I think so, yeah. I remember when I was little, I have two sisters, I have a younger brother, we said insane things to each other. Just absolutely wild, crazy things. I don’t think it got to that level of violence, of course, but I don’t think Mae means that at all. She doesn’t mean she’s actually going to kill he sister.

But we did talk about the fact that possibly Osha is misremembering it because she felt so threatened in that moment. So I’d leave it up to the viewer. We did discuss both of them.

Effing amateur hour.

Video game writing in Jedi Survivor was better than this.

I’ve been enjoying this, but I’d hardly recommend it. A lot of my enjoyment just comes from how charismatic Lee Jung-jae is.

Wow that makes me so sad.

I enjoy the show, mostly because I like the sandbox they’re playing in, Sol and Qimir are both fairly compelling, and I’ve missed lightsabers.

But that interview was depressing. Honestly, I assumed the witches had been rendered unconscious due to the severing of the connection and then likely died in the fire/explosions that followed. “Master Jedi accidentally killed them” is pretty lame.

Very much this.

EDIT: There actually is some good stuff in that interview. I don’t think she’s completely incompetent overall. But the quoted part above still doesn’t sit well with me.

Yeah, that the thing. I think Headland is trying to say something and she has the framework for a good story, but it’s so clumsily executed that it’s getting garbled into nonsense.

Take the scene with Mother Aniseya turning into black mist and getting stabbed by Sol. Headland is trying to show us that the mom is turning herself and Mae into black smoke to teleport away from what she thinks is a fight erupting between the jedi and the other witches led by Mother Koril. But Sol, thinking it’s Osha and not Mae and overcome with fear because he thinks the witches are going to harm the twins and thinking the black mist is some crazy witch magic that’s disintegrating Osha, kills Aniseya leading to the other witches going nuts and using their powers to control the wookie.

Unfortunately, we’ve never seen these witches teleport before so we don’t know what Aniseya is doing either. It doesn’t even really look like when the witches in other Star Wars shows used their teleport power either. Like Aniseya was turning into some wacky smoke bird thing while it looked like the little girl was being Thanos-snapped out of existence.

And the lingering question is still how is Sol so bad at detecting when it’s Osha or Mae? Is he just a terrible Jedi? And why is he so obsessed with Osha anyway? Headland said he’s being like Qui-Gonn or something, but nah. Sol comes off like some kind of child snatching weirdo.

Then, you get Aniseya dropping some BS pre-death pronouncement that she was going to let Osha go with Sol and it’s like what are you even talking about lady? I just saw you turning into a smoke monster.

Yadda yadda

Then you get the witches somehow killed by Indara freeing the wookie from their mental domination, which is just WTF all over. That’s not something that’s ever happened in Star Wars and to confuse matters further the witches bodies change positions! They go from the initial seated slump when they die, then the camera changes and the bodies are scattered willy-nilly all over the floor.

On top of all that, Mother Koril just peaced out? She didn’t try to rescue the girls herself?

It’s a damn mess and I don’t know how it got so dumb.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said. I’ve found plenty to enjoy along the way, and this episode did TECHNICALLY answer the questions of “what happened,” but I completely agree that it made very little sense, and that makes me so sad.

This has been my biggest struggle all along.

I really had a lot of hope for this and I think it started okay, but it got worse as it went along. Makes me sad.

Up until now, our jedi and sith heroes have been the best of the best. In The Acolyte, they’re portrayed as fallible schmucks like us. And part of the reason why the High Republic or whatever it is ultimately fell.

A lot of the little inconsistencies I just chalk up to the various unreliable perspectives. Not sure how a stone structure catches on fire, but maybe that was just an art direction issue where not enough flammable decorations were seen covering the walls.

I think we’re meant to believe the fire goes up the doorway and catches the control panel which somehow creates an electronic cascade failure so the main generator thingy blows up. Or something. It totally makes no sense. I get that it’s supposed to be an “old mining facility” that the witches grabbed for themselves, but the fire blowing the whole place up is just goofy. I honestly thought we were going to see that doorway fire did not go beyond that space and the facility blowing up was Jedi or crazy Koril sabotage but nope. Mae’s little tantrum fire did apparently destroy the whole castle.

I wonder if this goes back to how they were created, like they are legit the same, one “being” split into two or a piece of the force or something. This was alluded to when analyzing the blood, I think. It’s only behaviour that sets them apart.

You may be right, but again, the show hasn’t done enough to set that up for us.

It does make it a little easier to forgive. Although Qimir seemed to have no trouble telling the difference – he’s spent a lot of time, recently, with Mae, though.

Actually, I think that take is kind of clever, if that is indeed what is going on. And I would argue that the show has set that up, with the kids chants about one being two and whatnot, and only one sometimes-visible telltale mark to make it clear who it is we’re looking at (when we’re talking about the kids), and a usually hidden tattoo on an arm (on the adults). At the time, we weren’t sure what that was all about, and we certainly didn’t understand any downstream implications it might lead to.

I disagree that the show has set this confusion up well. As @Murph points out, Qmir has no such issues. On top of that, no one else seems perplexed by the twins being literal exact copies. I would think the Jedi would notice that oddity in the force without a machine telling them. Instead, everyone just acts like they’re normal twins all the time. Bazil could tell. The moms can tell.

It’s frustrating as heck that Headland or whomever just can’t get basic storytelling points right.

When Qmir first meets Osha on her recon of the shop, he was all “Why are you acting weird?” Clearly he thought she was Mae. When he finds her after the big battle, her arm tattoo is distinctly visible in the scene.

Bazil took his sweet-ass time figuring it out, but he seemed to be working off of scent. And moms can always tell.

But really, the problem is Sol, and maybe that’s the point? He’s the show’s stand-in for your, I want to say “typical”, jedi. And a viewer brings to that a lot of expectations for what that should look like. But he’s bad at it. He wants what he’s doing to have a noble purpose so much so that he forces the issue and pursues what he thinks is the right choice, to disastrous results. It is ironic, and a little tragic, that such a monumental screw up could have been avoided had he simply not rushed into things, reported back his findings and let his superiors do the jedi thing and deliberate the various consequences. But he doesn’t see the value in that, to him they talk and talk and ultimately do nothing to solve the issue. He so much wanted to be the hero, to save two girls based on a misunderstanding of something one of them said and probably didn’t fully understand, that he triggered a situation in which he had to be.

How does that Yoda line go: Adventure. Excitement. A jedi craves not these things.