Acolyte Episode 3 Review: The Force Is Apathy

 

Just as the rumors suggested, Disney+’s Star Wars: The Acolyte Episode 3, titled ‘Destiny’ is bad. Really bad. After having just finished watching this strange, terribly written… thing, it’s a safe bet that this will divide the fans just as The Last Jedi did.  If the shift of Disney Star Wars to the social left was a slow, bearable thing at first (and it was), this show grabs it by the collar and drags it that way screaming.

 

Here’s the kicker though, even if you can look past that element, the important things like writing, plot, and character development are so incompetently executed that this show would still stink without the ideologies.

 

 

Whew. Yeah, I’m struggling to be fair here. Part of me is so apathetic to the majority of Disney Star Wars that I found it hard to care about this dumb show, but at the same time I’m angry enough to just give it what for. So that’s what I’ll do. No friendly synopsis this time, just addressing some points, regardless of spoilers and for context, this whole episode was a flashback.

 

This will be a rant more than a review. I will keep the social commentary to a minimum as there will be plenty of that from our friends in the pop culture sphere.  I’ll give props to Ms. Headland for this: when she said she was essentially shifting away from George Lucas’s understanding of The Force, she wasn’t kidding. The Force, according to the coven of witches from which Osha and Mae hail, is not something that has a will of it’s own, or a field that surrounds and binds us. It’s like a thread, like the mythological thread of fate of Greek mythology.

 

 

So far it hasn’t been openly declared in-show that The Force itself is female, but it is known simply as “The Thread” to this coven, whose philosophical approach to this Thread is so terribly contradicting and stupid, it’s comparable to the faux-philosophical ramblings in Amazon’s The Rings of Power. “Some call it a Force,” the matriarch says, “But we know the Thread is not a power you wield. Pull the Thread and change everything.” After spouting that, she then uses the Thread via this kung-fu motion to demonstrate a force push on a fellow witch. That sure looks like “wielding” it to to me. According to this coven, there is no such thing as fate.  You make the choice when you choose to pull that thread, regardless if your choice removes the autonomy of whatever the thread was attached to, thus controlling it’s fate. You have a choice. What’s this? Osha wants to be a Jedi? Wait! No, not THAT choice! Sigh. 

 

Anyway, throughout the episode, the way the Jedi’s perspective of and use The Force is disparaged and actually vilified by the witches. They hold an ascension ceremony for Mae and Osha. I guess it’s a like a coming of age ceremony or something. It’s pretty vague. Let me address the ceremony before I continue. It was cringy. The music and chanting for it was just pure cringe. I praise the score for this show except for this scene. 

 

 

Moving on. The Matriarch declared they were considered persona non grata due to their powers being considered Dark and Unnatural. Oh, she said the thing! Groan. Having an all women society of various alien species and conceiving children using The Force seems pretty unnatural if you ask me. To continue, the ceremony winds down and Mae wants to stay with the coven, while Osha is hesitant and gives a half-hearted affirmative. But now the Jedi arrive and ask about the kids like Child Protective Services. 

 

 

The way the Jedi were addressed in this entire show was just baffling. Disney’s Star Wars: The High Republic series was always planned to be their next big push, via the Young Adult novels of the same name, as well as the comics. This show supposedly takes place during that High Republic era when the Jedi were super good, just, and diverse. But from watching how the Jedi are portrayed here, I’m not even sure they’re the same organization.

 

From all the previous instances I’ve seen of this scenario where Jedi train Force sensitive children, they historically been presented as a voluntary and gentle affair. The Jedi in this show are insensitive, clumsy, and down right asinine. They’re jack booted one moment and then the next moment they’re pacifist to the point of self-deleting stupidity. If we are going by Disney’s own timeline, the Jedi are in an age of enlightenment. You sure about that Disney? 

 

 

The episode ends with Mae being enraged that her sister is choosing the Jedi over their family. They really nail it home that Mae was just as insufferable as a child as she is an adult. She’s bratty from the start of the episode until the end. From what I can tell, this coven has no contingency when anyone decides to go Dark Side on them and they soon pay for that with their lives.

 

After a spat with their mother, Osha is confined to her room while they convene to talk about her Jedi choice. Mae argues with her through the barred door and nabs Osha’s journal. In her rage, she sets the journal on fire and miraculously the STONE walls catch fire. The fire continues to spread throughout the STONE temple and causes the compound’s generator, which is separated by a chasm accessible via walk way, to explode.

 

Uuuugh. This is a compound built out of stone into the peak of a mountain. No proton torpedo run. No thermal detonators. No explosive charges being planted.  I… can’t… Disney. You’ve outdone yourself with this show. The entire coven dies somehow, despite what looks like ample time and opportunity to escape, let alone put out the fire with their Thread. Jedi master Sol arrives and is only able to save Osha as Mae falls down the chasm. Somehow Mae lives. 

 

On second thought, there were a couple of things I will be charitable about. Lee Jung-Jae is still the best thing about this show. The kid actress who plays young Osha and Mae clearly have talent and I hope they get better gigs than this one. 

 

If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with me. I’ll continue to torture myself to keep you all appraised of Disney Star Wars’ version of the Hindenburg. I don’t care to rate this show anymore. It’s not worth it. Go read, watch, and play in the good Star Wars. Stay away from this one. 

 

*****

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The Shark of Paper

I'm a longtime fan of quite a few geekdoms like Star Wars, Manga, Anime, and Light Novels. I'm here to share my opinions, views, and reviews on all the mediums I enjoy!

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