First Star Wars Acolyte Trailer Shattered Our Expectations

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The first Star Wars The Acolyte trailer is here ahead of the Disney show’s June air date, and it’s a lot different than we expected. We knew Acolyte would take place in the High Republic era, a period of Jedi dogma fraught with strife, but we didn’t think it would actually present the Sith as an underdog to root for.

Show creator Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) said in a recent interview with EW that was a natural narrative path to take for the show.

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“I really wanted to tell a story about the Sith,” Headland said. “That was kind of my dream Star Wars idea. How did the Sith go from the Rule of Two and being quote-unquote ‘extinct’ to Palpatine coming into power without the Jedi knowing about it?”

“If the Jedi are this benevolent institution at this point, then anyone who opposes them would be the underdog.”

That concept shines through in the brief 100-second trailer, where we see a group of Jedi surprised by a Force-wielder who shows up with a red lightsaber. Over the action, a voice – presumably from an antagonist, though there’s no hints who it is yet – says their struggle isn’t about right or wrong. It’s about power and who gets the privilege to wield it.

Considering most of the Sith in Star Wars tend to be people in positions of authority, that statement could be little more than hollow justification for doing very bad things. However, the idea of moral ambiguity is a promising one, especially since Star Wars tends to play it safe with morality and the lines dividing good and evil.

However the broader picture pans out, the protagonist fits into the ambiguity quite nicely. The eponymous acolyte doesn’t ascribe to either ideology – her purple color scheme is intentional, Headland said, a blend of Jedi blue and Sith red – and forges her own path in the conflict-torn Republic.

“Star Wars always starts with some sort of underdog versus the institutional threat, or it’s a fraught familial issue that needs to be resolved,” Headland said. “I think both of those appear in this show — just in ways that are turned on their head.”

Star Wars The Acolyte starts airing on June 4, 2024, on Disney+, with a two-episode special, followed by a new episode each week.

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