Amandla Stenberg as Mae in The Acolyte

‘The Acolyte’ Episode 4 Discourse Proves How Ridiculous the ‘Controversy’ Is Getting

The unbelievable discourse surrounding The Acolyte episode 4 proves how ridiculous and tiresome the manufactured controversy around the show is getting.

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To be clear, it has been ridiculous from the onset, making it surprising that this discourse somehow gets worse with each episode. Even before The Acolyte premiered, racist and sexist trolls began review-bombing the show without watching it because they decided it was “woke.” Trolls have relentlessly attacked the show because it was created by a woman, Leslye Headland, and features a diverse cast. Supposed Star Wars “fans” have argued that the show is somehow destroying the franchise but have failed to actually find anything to support their argument.

As a result, the trolls have been embarrassing themselves with their bizarre crusade against The Acolyte. They even started accidentally review-bombing a random movie from 2008 and dug up a five-year-old comment from the show’s lead star, Amandla Stenberg, to attack the show. Most recently, the obscure details they found to complain about in episode 4 have everyone wondering when the trolls are finally going to give it a rest.

Why trolls are mad at The Acolyte this time

Despite declaring their undying hatred for The Acolyte, the trolls are apparently still religiously watching every episode for things to be mad about, as evidenced by the bizarre discourse that arose over episode 4. The episode saw the Jedi, Osha (Stenberg), Mae, Qimir (Manny Jacinto), and the mysterious Master all converge on Khofar to find Kelnacca (Joonas Suatamo). Given how close the show is to revealing the Master’s identity, one would have thought that would be the primary discussion online.

Instead, trolls began crying about pronouns. Apparently, viewers were angered by a seconds-long moment when Osha was unsure what to label Bazil (Hassan Taj). Her confusion was understandable as Bazil is a Tynnan, which are otterlike creatures. Bazil doesn’t speak, preferring to snuffle and squawk. So, Osha hesitantly asks Jecki (Dafne Keen), “Is he … or they… with us?” Yep. That’s it. This is literally what conservatives are melting down about on social media. Many of the trolls congregated on Claire Kiechel’s X post that she penned to celebrate episode 4’s premiere, which she co-wrote.

Kiechel explained to users that the scene is “obviously” a joke. It lightly plays on the idea that living in the Star Wars universe and trying to figure out how to respectfully address strange little creatures probably results in a lot of these awkward moments. Of course, users continued insisting that the usage of pronouns ruined the entire show and demanded that the writers somehow expunge every pronoun from The Acolyte, even though, as Kiechel pointed out, we literally use pronouns all the time. It’s kind of hard to write an entire TV episode and refer to characters without utilizing pronouns.

The other aspect of The Acolyte episode 4 that these angry viewers have deemed “controversial” is that it made the tiniest tweak to canon regarding Ki-Adi-Mundi (Derek Arnold). Viewers were likely surprised to spot the Jedi Master, who had a small role in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. However, of course, the supposed “fans” found something to complain about the character. First, viewers are angered that the show includes an inconsistency in Ki-Adi-Mundi’s age by putting him in a time period before he was initially believed to have been born

The thing is, Ki-Adi-Mundi’s age has never been confirmed in the actual canon. Instead, his age was established in Legends works and reference books. Additionally, the main Star Wars canon has previously changed details established in non-movie materials, such as Qui-Gon’s age.

Apparently, though, Star Wars “fans” feel so strongly about Ki-Adi-Mundi’s age that they began sending death threats to Wookieepedia’s editors for updating a date on Mundi’s page to align with The Acolyte.

Some users were also angered because Ki-Adi-Mundi thinks the Sith are extinct in the prequel but seems to be dealing with a Sith in The Acolyte. Again, it’s a weird argument, considering no one even knows who the Master is and if they’re really a Sith.

The discourse is so absurd it’s hard to believe it’s actually real. This is really what the Star Wars “fandom” has come to? A new episode of The Acolyte drops with a big cliffhanger and plenty to discuss about Sith lore, and all some viewers can talk about is the pronouns of an otter and how a character no one even thought about for years had a slight age tweak?

It’s disappointing because one of the great things about Star Wars is that the universe is so vast and the lore goes so deep that every time a new episode or movie drops, there’s always so much to talk about and feel excited for. Fans really enjoy that sense of community in bonding over Star Wars online. Now, thanks to vocal trolls and fake fans, the fandom is increasingly looking like a joke to outsiders.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.