Amandla Stenberg in 'The Acolyte'
(Disney+)

The First Reactions to ‘The Acolyte’ Are In!

Star Wars fans have been waiting to dive into the High Republic era of the franchise. While there is a series of books that explore the golden age of the Jedi, The Acolyte is the first live-action Star Wars story to tackle their history.

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The Acolyte premiered in Los Angeles with stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Dafne Keen, and more in attendance to celebrate the series, which hails from Russian Doll‘s Leslye Headland. What has most fans (myself included) excited about the show is that this is unexplored territory. The prequel series took us through the fall of the Jedi, and both the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy were set in a time without the Jedi. Getting to see so many powerful people working together is going to make for an epic series.

So far, the critics who have seen episodes of The Acolyte have nothing but praise for it!

Gizmodo‘s Germain Lussier said the series “soars” and that he loved the episodes shown at the premiere. “Beholden to nothing except being Star Wars, #TheAcolyte soars. It’s an interesting, fun, character-driven mystery with real stakes that you care about bolstered by all the fixings that make it Star Wars. Saw the first two episodes and LOVED THEM.”

Artist Tori Fox shared her reaction from the premiere, writing, “#TheAcolyte is a masterpiece and I anxiously await where it’s taking us! Mysterious and intriguing, it’s so exciting to be in a different era of Star Wars with new and exciting design to match.”

Jamie Jirak from ComicBook.com praised Headland’s vision for the series. “I’ve waited so long for #TheAcolyte and I cannot believe how much it’s living up to my expectations. I loved the first two eps! It’s so exciting to see a new (well, old) era explored in live-action. Leslye Headland did a dynamite job fleshing out these characters. I’m obsessed!”

ScreenRant‘s Joe Deckelmeier favorably compared the series to Kill Bill, writing, “#StarWars #TheAcolyte gives me Kill Bill vibes. Every episode left me wanting more, in a good way. We’ve seen so much about the fall of the Jedi but this show explores what the Jedi [were] like during peace time, which is quite fascinating. Amandla Stenberg is outstanding!”

Friends of the Force host Brad Whipple posted about Charlie Barnett’s Yord Fandar in the series, writing, “if yord has a million fans, i am one of them. if yord has ten fans, i am one of them. if yord has only one fan, that is me. if yord has no fans, that means i am no longer on earth. if the world is against yord, then i am against the world #TheAcolyte.”

While the show as a whole seems to have captivated viewers, Collider‘s Perri Nemiroff praised Stenberg’s performance in particular: “Amandla Stenberg is the headliner a story like this needs. She’s got her hands FULL with this one, and she soars tackling the challenge. I could also watch her command the screen during fight scenes for hours. The precision and grace with which Mae fights makes the combat exhilarating to watch, but also function as beats that speak to who she is and how she chooses to operate in a given moment.”

All this praise has me so excited

As a Star Wars fan, I am always eager for more stories in this universe. However, it is hard to get too excited because of the way most Star Wars properties are received online. To see how much people loved what they’ve seen of The Acolyte so far has me beyond excited to meet these new characters and explore the time of the Jedi prior to the Skywalker saga.

If I’m being honest, that’s what makes me the happiest. We aren’t dealing with the Skywalkers and their nonsense this time around. We’re just exploring what the galaxy was like before Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side, and I can’t wait.


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.