[WARNING: Contains very minor spoilers for Star Wars: The Acolyte. Only read on if you’ve already watched or if you don’t mind a little spoiler.] After much fanfare, Star Wars: The Acolyte finally made its two-episode premiere last night. Perhaps not unexpectedly, it comes into the franchise amid mixed reviews. Upon this author’s watching, I can say that it’s certainly not as bad as some “critics” are saying… but it’s also not as good as others make it out to be, either.

We’ve already talked about how ambitious of a project The Acolyte is. Lucasfilm and Disney are going all-in on a spin-off of an era of Star Wars that has to date only appeared in print, and that’s received tepid support from fans at best. With that background, the show really need to start with a bang and grab viewers’ attention from the outset. To some extent, it did just that.  The opening sequence with Amandla Stenberg (Mae) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Jedi Master Indara) was both exciting and visually stunning. From there, however….

The Acolyte is just missing… something

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Star Wars fan base is, sadly, often an angry and fickle bunch. While fans clamor for new content that relies less on legacy and lore, their typical response when Lucasfilm delivers such material is usually “no, not like that!” I fear, based on initial reactions, that is exactly what’s happening with The Acolyte thus far. From a certain point of view, I actually tend to agree. Showrunner Leslye Headland needed to knock the show’s two-episode premiere out of the proverbial park. Instead, it was more like a single that dribbled past the pitcher just enough to get a runner on first.

Don’t get me wrong – I still think the show has a lot of potential. Based on the trailer, I fully expect The Acolyte to ramp up the energy, action, and intrigue as the show moves forward. But… it has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time if it truly wants to capture Star Wars fans’ interest and approval. As with most “slow-burn” series, things generally do get better with progression. We hope that’s the case here. While off to a solid start, there were some instances of absolutely cringe-inducing dialogue. There was also another utterly pointless, out of place, shirtless Star Wars scene that literally made me roll my eyes and groan out loud.

The Acolyte
(L-R): Mae (Amandla Stenberg) and Jedi Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss) in Lucasfilm’s THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The show’s saving grace? The Acolyte has a lot of opportunity to go up from here. While it may not yet seem like the Star Wars you were looking for, it may be a bit premature to just go about your business and move along.

The series’ first two episodes are now streaming on Disney+. New episodes air every Tuesday at 9:00 pm Eastern.