18 Things We Learned From The Acolyte Trailer

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A promotional shot for The Acolyte, featuring a robed figure staring into the sunset.

The first trailer for Disney’s latest Star Wars show, The Acolyte, is here and it’s teasing a murder mystery and a whole lot more Jedi than we’ve seen in quite some time. Set in the final days of the High Republic era—a rare time of peace and prosperity in the Star Wars canon—The Acolyte follows Lee Jung-Jae (Squid Game) as Jedi Master Sol as he begins unraveling the conspiracy behind the mysterious murder of a number of Jedi. At the heart of this mystery is Sol’s former Padawan, Mae, who’s played by Amandla Stenberg (Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) who can be seen pursuing and facing a number of Jedi, including Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix series) as Jedi Master Indara.

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The eight-episode series is helmed by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) and will premiere on June 4 with a two-episode premiere before rolling out weekly.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

The establishing shots of The Acolyte trailer begin with a familiar few shots. Namely, that of a class of young Padawans deep in concentration as they are lectured by their teacher, Jedi Master Sol. “Close your eyes,” Sol instructs the class. “Your eyes can deceive you.” That seems like something to keep in mind considering the central mystery of the show and Sol’s previous Padawans’ role in it.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Sol asks his students what they see as they concentrate and get in touch with the Force. One responds, “Life.” Another says, “Balance.” The surest sign that something bad is about to happen comes when a third claims that they see “fire.” Please Disney, spare the padawans this time.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

At the same time, the Acolyte trailer establishes its rogue element: a shadowy robed figure who’s seemingly looking for Jedi as they arrive in a cantina. We see quite a few robed figures throughout the trailer, suggesting there may be an order of them, but this is the one we’ll spend most of our time following. As we soon discover, this is Mae, Jedi Master Sol’s ex-Padawan who may or may not be murdering Jedi. Guess that’s the end of the High Republic’s peace.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

As if they can feel a disturbance in the force, another hooded figure in the cantina turns, revealing Carrie-Anne Moss’ Indara, who appears to be Mae’s next target. They come to blows but Indara seems to be able to hold her own against Mae.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Interestingly enough, despite the idea of a Jedi killer being a potential Sith, Mae is never seen wielding a red lightsaber. In fact, they’re never seen in traditional Jedi or Sith garb, or using the Force, which they presumably have a connection to given their past. Force-sensitive people have been able to cut themselves off from it in the past though, which could be the case here. Regardless, Mae seems to take a classical approach to their assassin’s work with what almost appears to be chainmail armor and a blade.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Due to the interests of most contemporary Star Wars media, we haven’t actually seen a large number of Jedi together in a really long while. Last year’s Kenobi show featured some flashbacks to the days prior to Order 66 and the elimination of the Jedi, but for the most part, the shows, movies, and games released under Disney’s stewardship have loved playing in the era of the original trilogy, where the Jedi are scarce. It’s actually kind of nostalgic seeing this many of them in one place again. Shame they’re getting murdered, though.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

I know they aren’t the first, but shoutout to this Wookiee who’s apparently another Jedi Master. Their name is Kelnacca and I love them already. Also wow are there a number of Jedi Masters in this series, I sure hope that doesn’t portend bad things.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Here we get another look at Lee Jung-Jae’s Jedi Master Sol using an old favorite. I’m not really sure when’s the last time I’ve seen a Jedi Mind Trick, but I do know that I’ll never get over being able to wave a hand and wipe a person’s brain for a few seconds. Due to the High Republic’s setting long before the events of any of the movies, this is canonically the earliest Jedi Mind Trick too! I wonder if it’s the first?

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Most of the characters we’ve mentioned are original ones made for the purpose of The Acolyte, but plenty of Star Wars books and media exist that have explored the High Republic already. Here we see Jedi Master Vernestra Rwoh, played by Rebecca Henderson (Russian Doll), in her live action debut. Accordingly, she’s a fan favorite from this era, so I’m sure fans will be very happy to see her here.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Star Wars loves its archetypes, and none more than a roguish smuggler. Here we have Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) sneakily peeking around a corner as Qimir, an ex-smuggler now working as a trader. Per his entry in the Star Wars databank, he enjoys a life of leisure that I’m sure is going to be upended over the course of this show.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

We’ve got a look at Indara and Mae’s earlier fight and it seems like Mae can’t quite reach their target here. We’ve seen shots of an assailant being held back by the Force before, so this is a staple of the series, but it’s again interesting to note that Mae isn’t using the Force at all here to even the playing field. After all, Indara is a Jedi Master, that’s probably a harder target than your average Jedi Knight. Or maybe what we’re seeing is Mae using it to stand their ground. It’s interesting to think whether or not Mae belongs to an order that’s maybe honor-bound based on how their manner of dressing and approach here. An acolyte is after all a kind of assistant or even messenger of a religion or clergy. Speaking of…

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Jodie Turner-Smith (After Yang) also stars as Mother Aniseya, who is described as the leader of a “coven of Witches.” Notice the proper nouning of “witches” there. At the very least, we’ve found the religious order that Mae might be an acolyte for.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Derelict ships are one thing, but we actually get to see this ship crash down, which cannot be good for the folks who needed it. This shot is followed by one of Sol leading a few Jedi through a similarly snowy environment, which leads me to believe they could’ve probably used it. Something or someone is making sure that these guys can’t escape what’s coming their way.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Look, I know folks love to hate The Last Jedi, but I think it’s probably key to understanding this shot here. Rey spends a lot of time in that movie in a similar environment doing a lot of self-reflection, which involved some trippy visuals and at least one encounter with a deeper, darker version of herself. Mae seems to be undergoing something similar here, though it could be the inversion of it given their alignment with the darker forces at the outset of the show. I suspect our acolyte isn’t without their hangups.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

This is one of the better shots in The Acolyte trailer of both Charlie Barnett and Dafne Keen as their characters. Barnett will be playing Yord Fandar, a “by-the-book” Jedi Knight. Keen is portraying Jecki, one of Sol’s Padawans and a youngling who is mature for their age.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

The High Republic is a notable era of the Star Wars canon for its peace. The Jedi prospered and though the the Sith did exist at this time, there presence was distinctly quieter. It seems like we’ll get to see the catalyzing events that lead to the rise of the modern Sith, as seen in most Star Wars media, in The Acolyte considering they seem to be bringing the fight to the Jedi Order.

A screenshot from Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Seriously, when is the last time there were this many lightsabers on screen? What’s also notable about this shot and a few others from The Acolyte’s trailer is the presence of the yellow lightsaber. It’s not often seen in mainstream Star Wars media, but it’s all over this trailer. At least two Jedi in this fight scene are donning one, and Yord is seen one in an earlier shot. Accordingly, yellow lightsabers symbolize a disciple of the Jedi who’s honed themselves in combat in particular, meaning we’ve got some fighters in the bunch this time around. Let’s hope that translates to some exciting fights throughout the show.

A screenshot of Disney's upcoming Star Wars show, The Acolyte.

Here we once again see the group of Jedi rushing into battle, and if you’ll look at the far right of the image, you can see the red glow of a Sith lightsaber. This fight doesn’t seem like it goes very well for the Jedi, who are Force-blasted immediately after, which could give some idea of how long its been since these two sides have fought at this point. The wielder of the red lightsaber is never revealed either, providing another mystery for the show to unravel.

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And that’s the trailer for The Acolyte. I’ll admit, I’m kind of into what I’m seeing so far, and the cast behind it seems incredibly promising. Only time will tell whether the High Republic’s got some interesting stories to tell, though. What details got you most excited?

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