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The Acolyte: Season 1: Episode 1: Lost / Found

What is it ? : A veiled figure enters a cantina in a rustic asian style, she confronts a Jedi wanting to fight them, but the Jedi will not attack. The figure then attacks everyone else at the table, and endangers a young woman, so the Jedi ignites their lightsaber and moves to defend the others in the cantina. The attacker is unmasked, but distracts the Jedi by attacking the barkeeper and throwing a knife at him, the Jedi uses the Force to stop the knife, but leaves herself open to attack by the assassin and collapses dead.
Aboard a Trade Federation freighter, a young woman who looks identical to the Assassin is working as a Meknek, the organic equivalent of an Astromech droid. She takes her handheld droid and heads out of the ship in a space suit to work on the ships shields with another Meknek. While they are working they spot a Jedi Vector Starfighter docking.
Heading back to her cabin she meets a Jedi Knight named Yord Fandar and his padawan, and we discover this girl is named, Osha Aniseya. Osha used to be a Jedi Padawan along with Yord, and greets him in a friendly manner, but he is here to arrest her for the murder of the Jedi Master at the cantina, and the Bartender identifies her as the killer.
She is taken aboard a Republic Prison Transport, where other prisoners are conspiring to escape, but she refuses to help them, somewhat disbelieving they will be successful, but partially because she has faith in the Republic Judicial system and the Jedi. They instantly break out of their cell by shutting down the droids manning the ship, and when she changes her mind, they ignore her and leave in an escape pod.
As the uncontrolled ship is jostled by asteroids, she managed to get ahold of her droid as it is thrown around the compartment, and she unlocks the cell door, spotting another prisoner who is unconscious, she revives him, and he barges her out of the way and escapes in the only other escape pod.
She straps herself into a seat in the cockpit as the vessel crashes down into the atmosphere of a nearby planet.
On Coruscant in the Jedi Temple, a Jedi Master, Sol, is training a group of Padawans, one of which predicts fire in the future, but the class is interrupted by a senior Jedi Master, Vernestra Rwoh who tells him that Osha, one of his old Padawans has been accused of murder and has been arrested.
Osha awakens on the planets surface and searches the ship for supplies, but sees a vision of a figure identical to herself, which she calls Mae, and she follows the figure outside, and receives a vision of them being on their homeworld as a forest burns around them. She asks Mae, her sister, if she killed the Jedi Master, and Mae confirms this, only for Osha to awaken and tell her droid companion that it wouldn't believe what she just saw.
On Coruscant, Sol is summoned to the containment level, where the other prisoners from the transport have been captured and put in cells. The group who escaped first, blame it all on the "Jedi Killer", but the lone prisoner is panicking, and Sol calms his mind and gets the confession that she rescued him and he betrayed her. Rwoh orders Sol to take a team and look for Osha, although they believe she is probably dead from the destruction of the ship as it crashed.
On route, Sol speaks with his team, which includes Lorn Fandar, telling them that 16 years before when he was stationed on Osha's home world, her twin sister started a fire which killed her family. Lorn is surprised as there is no mention of a sister in Osha's records, and asks if it is possible that the sister performed the murder, but Sol says that he believes the sister, Mae, is dead as he saw it happen.
They arrive at the crash site, and Osha spots their ship overhead and flees into a cave system. But as Sol and his team search the wreckage, he senses something and follows. Osha reaches a dead end, where the caves open out above a cliff face, and when Sol and the others catch up, she backs off, proclaiming her innocence.
She stumbles and falls off the cliff face, but Sol grabs her with the force stopping her fall, and pulls her back to safety where she tells him that Mae is still alive.
He tells her that he believes her, but she must come with them.
Elsewhere Mae is walking along a beach, while a voice tells her that killing Jedi with a weapon doesn't work, so she must learn to kill without a weapon. And as she approaches the speaking figure it ignites a Red Lightsaber. . . .

High Points : A really solid start to the show, without any ties to existing stories (so no surprise Obi-Wan appearances), and it's a solid mystery to get us started. An ex-padawan is framed for a murder and is being hunted by her old Master.
And it moves along briskly, with some action in the prison ship escape, and us getting some answers already, that Osha has an identical twin sister.
And while as the first episode it has a lot of heavy lifting to do, setting the story up, introducing the characters, etc, it does seem to take the story forward and get on with things.
I was also impressed that while they used Carrie Ann Moss as part of the advertising, the famous Matrix actress playing a Jedi, that they killed her in the first scene. Just as you think she's going to be the focus of the story, her murder turns out to be the driving force instead.

Low Points : While the show looks pretty great, it did feel overly familiar to me, which does make it feel as if it's done on the cheap. The Cantina at the beginning, while being reminiscent of a similar place in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, actually made me wonder if they'd reused the set for the cantina where Din Djarin meets Cara Dune for the first time. And the prison ship set also looks reused from other similar prisons, but that might just be a style choice that all Star Wars prisons should have a certain aesthetic.

So what do you really think ? : Now, first of all, there's been a lot of hate for this series before it even started, with people calling it woke, and saying there's no white male characters in it, and in fact the only white male characters in it were criminals. Now I have to admit I was confused, as I was convinced that Yord Fandar was just a white guy with a heavy tan, and when I looked up the actor saw his mum is Swedish. But it turns out that's his adoptive mum, so they might be right. But that's not what I was looking at, and in series where one of the future characters is going to be a Wookiee, I'm with George Lucas in that Star Wars has aliens in it, so why should human race matter?

Final Words : Anyway, I thought this was a really solid start to a series, so much so. That while I knew I had to watch the first episode for this review, and therefore planned to watch the second episode later when I was going to review it, I really wanted to see what was going to happen, and was enjoying it, so put the second episode on straight away (even though I had work to do, and therefore had to stay up late to finish my work).

I'm liking the storyline, I'm liking the characters, and I want to see what happens, which is pretty much spot on for a new series.

Score : 9.25/10

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