I Take It All Back: I Actually Love ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’


This is probably going to shock a lot of people, but I’m really looking forward to this week’s episode of The Acolyte.  Yes, I know, I said Star Wars was dead before it became fashionable, but The Acolyte isn’t Star Wars, it’s some weird fan-fiction fusion of woke ideology combined with the worst writing I’ve ever witnessed – and this is from a guy who has seen Plan 9 From Outer Space twice.


Speaking of cult classics, did you know that Zardoz – centerpiece of my last column – is now rated significantly higher than The Acolyte on both IMDB (5.8 vs 3.4) and Rotten Tomatoes (53% audience approval vs 14%). 


Disney has done something profound here: it has made Star Wars less popular than Zardoz.  That is an amazing accomplishment.


Actually, it’s worse than that.  The Acolyte actually lags behind the craptastically awful Def-Con 4, an 80s clunker that went almost straight to video and whose only redeeming feature was its awesome poster.  This thing is so bad, so low-budget that it’s actually worse than the post-apocalyptic film-within-a film-made by Bob and Doug McKenzie in Strange Brew.  (Fun fact: Angus MacInnes, who played Gold Leader in Star Wars, was in Strange Brew, and was in the scene where one of the brothers says: “I am your father, Luke!  Give in to the dark side of the Force, you knob!”) 


Strange Brew is also rated significantly higher than The Acolyte.


Heck, even the legendarily awful Star Wars Holiday Special is no longer the lowest-rated Star Wars production.  Behold the genius of Leslye Headland!



All that being said, let’s take a look at why this show is so stunning, so brave and so entertaining.


My First Must-See Disney TV

I’m not kidding here – for the first time in decades I look forward to a show airing.  People of a certain age will recall when the TV program grid set the tempo of our weekday routine.  Some nights were just better than others.  Thursday night at one time belonged to Magnum, p.i. before the NBC juggernaut of The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers and Night Court took it over.



I’ve got that feeling again, and it’s wonderful.


Now to be clear, I don’t actually have a Disney+ subscription, and I don’t watch the actual show.  What I look forward to are all the Youtubers offering their commentary and then the desperate spin by Disney shills in response.


It’s like a crowd-sourced MST3K, and it is marvelous to behold.


Indeed, a pleasant side effect of The Acolyte’s disastrous run is that I’ve found some new YouTube channels I had previously overlooked, and I’m enjoying going through their back catalogsThank you, Disney!


I must also thank our own hardy souls here at Bleeding Fool who can endure watching the shows in detail and while remaining (for the most part) painfully sober.  I salute you all.



Again with the Vile Heresy

I’m going to take a quick glance with my They Live spirit shades and note that the show is basically one long demonstration of Pelagianism, an ancient heresy centered around the belief that Original Sin doesn’t exist and we are able to achieve perfection on our own.  That’s why no one on the cast other than Squid Game Guy (Lee Jung-Jae, who of course gets fourth billing) has any discernable talent or screen presence.  They have no need to earn approval or demonstrate any kind of ability, they are just awesome and anyone who disagrees is a miserable sexist racist Nazi.


One of the side effects of this belief is that since one’s salvation is guaranteed, evil deeds are fine so long as the intentions are pure.  Similarly, “good” becomes defined as whatever the girlboss needs it to be.  This is also why the description of the Force/Thread is so muddled and contradictory.  George Lucas got his theology by sleeping through Sunday School; Disney’s comes from a Whole Foods advertisement.



Retcons or Retards?

I’ve heard a bunch of fans have hit the breaking point over the rampant violations of the Star Wars lore, but it doesn’t bother me at all.  This isn’t retroactive continuity, its gross incompetence combined with invincible arrogance.  Disney isn’t re-writing the timeline, it’s ignoring it completely.  It’s not even subtle.  Fans of old Westerns often amuse themselves by counting how many rounds are fired out of the six-shooters before someone reloads.  Disney has taken this to an entirely different level, and may as well have the cowboys all using Glocks and checking their smart phones.


I mean, we’ve already covered this ground with lightsabers, which can either kill you instantly or just give you an ‘owie’ and require you to take nap to get better.  Don’t worry about details, just enjoy the ride.  It’s a lot like watching NASCAR just to see the crashes when every race is being held on a track coated with oil.


That’s really what this show is – a series of random, violent collisions between dialog, action and plot.  The show teases in one direction and gets t-boned by a subplot, which slams it into a wall featuring fan service so inept that it has no idea who is alive when.  That’s extraordinary.  I mean Dallas bringing Bobby Ewing back to life was a stretch, but at least it restored a popular actor to a hit show.  Disney’s managed to take $180 million and turn it into a show that’s been outpaced by the direct-to-video offerings.



Let The Hate Flow Through You

The icing on the cake is the righteous fury of the fans, moving with irresistible force to completely and totally trash the cast, the production staff and the pissant critics who whored themselves out and praised this dumpster fire.  The response has been beyond parody, as non-binary shills pound their wee fists on their keyboards demanding that EVERYONE STOP IT while the star of the production retaliates with an interpretive song and dance routine.


Do these people think that West Side Story is a documentary about mid-20th Century gang warfare?  I don’t know, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.


Can’t wait for the next episode!



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A.H. Lloyd

Best-selling author and curmudgeon. Retired senior NCO. Read my other insights at www.ahlloyd.com and buy my brilliant books.