Review: ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’ Episode 4 – ‘Murder By Death’

 

Star Wars: The Acolyte episode 4 titled Day, has landed on Disney+, and I’ll be honest, so far it’s the best of all four episodes. In fact, I was shocked with it myself. If only it wasn’t tainted by everything that came before it and all the baggage that came with the first three episodes.  It actually felt like there really was an air of mystery here. And thankfully, the tomfoolery of Mae and OSHA was kept to a minimum. Don’t get me wrong, this thing still has its own issues, but they’re not Death Star-firing-on-all-reactors bad. More like a single reactor ignition. I mean, how much more can you break what’s already broken?

 

Oh, who am I kidding? Disney’s Lucasfilm will always find a way. 

 

 

The episode starts with mysterious Wookie Jedi Kelnacca being mysterious in his jungle abode looking at mysterious symbols he drew on his walls.  Cut to the Jedi conferring on their next moves with Jedi master Sol and Jedi Master Vernestra Rwoh. Master Rwoh, is probably the most Sith-like Jedi I’ve seen in this show so far. Like the CIA, she wants to cover-up all Jedi involvement in any possible scandal.

 

Tsk, tsk. That is not the Jedi way, show. Anyways, OSHA is saying her goodbyes to padawan Jecki, but I swear, after episode 3 I can’t trust any relationship in this show. Budding romance, or just friends saying farewell? You be the judge at this rate. But it doesn’t matter, OSHA is convinced to go on the hunt for Mae by master Sol.

 

 

Mae arrives on forest planet, not-Kashyyyk, with her squirrely poison maker friend, and they set off to hunt the Wookie. It’s here we get hints of Mae wanting to turn over a new leaf, which is insane, considering that she hasn’t shown any signs of remorse thus far. If anything she’s been portrayed as a pure sociopath, the trait that any Sith master worth their salt would salivate over. Squirrel man convinces Mae to trust their master and remain on the path of evil.  Anyways, the Jedi arrive with a whole squad, led by Sol and man-joke Yord, along with the show’s cute marketing opportunity. Oops, I mean a cute, sniffy, fuzzy alien in a jump suit called Bazil. OSHA assumed He/they pronouns, but Yord affirms the he. Sigh.

 

A local sage tells the Jedi that master Kelnacca went into the forest and never came out. Sol stares and points to the massive forest before them and says he’s there. It’s ok. I still love you master Sol. Ahem. After master obvious points the way, the Jedi encounter some hostile fauna, and oh my goodness, someone uses their lightsaber effectively for once! With the threat decapitated they continue to search for Mae.

 

While closing in on their target Mae is has a sudden and unexpected change of heart of wanting to be with her sister again no matter the cost. There’s no natural build up for this. There should have been a much more meaningful encounter with the sisters to make this feel more believable.  Mae betrays her squirrelly friend, trapping him, and runs off to give herself up to the Wookie. She gets to his house, dodging a banshee-screaming Bazil, but gasp! He’s dead! The lightsaber wounds look fresh, and she knows her master is here. As she grasps her situation, the other Jedi surround the house, itching for a raid. Surprise, fools! The Sith lord appears behind them, regarding OSHA for a moment, then ignites his/her lightsaber. The Jedi charge, but are dispatched with ease as the Sith Force pushes all the Jedi down and the screen cuts to black. 

 

 

Despite the myriad of flaws in this episode, and the disregard of established Star Wars canon, there actually was an attempt at setting mood and suspense for the parts that warranted it. OSHA is actually thinking sensibly for once. When the Sith appeared it felt like it should have. A threat was established. And this is one of the biggest flaws of this show. Mae never came off as a believable threat.

 

It’s a pity though, as mentioned before, this episode is still weighed down by everything that came before it. The Jedi are still a joke/incompetent/evil. The writing quality is still inconsistent. And I don’t care enough to speculate who or what this Sith is. They already showed they had a dumb philosophy an episode ago, no matter how cool they seemed. Despite my very subdued praise, disappointment is the only thing that seems to be consistent in this show.

 

Oh well, onward to episode 5.

 

******

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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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