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Why Did Star Wars Fans Backlash Against The Acolyte?

The franchise’s latest show received backlash over its impact on the lore.

‘The Acolyte’ debuted with strong critic reviews, holding an 84% score on Rotten Tomatoes but received negative reactions from fans, resulting in a record-low audience score of 4%.

We delved into the reasons behind the criticism directed at the Disney+ series for you.

The Show Meddled With The Timelines

Lucasfilm and Disney explored the High Republic era in ‘The Acolyte.’ But many fans took issue with the way they did so, as it broke established plot points including the timelines.

The show featured Jedi Master Ki-Adi Mundi from the prequel trilogy set 100 years after the High Republic era. This suggested that Mundi was much older than previously indicated, although Legends tales mentioned that his species, the Cereans, lived only 50-100 years.

Fans saw this as a contradiction within the canon universe. But Disney announced Legends tales as non-canon after acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012. So, Ki-Adi Mundi’s age isn’t unclear at this point.

Sith Lords Were Supposed To Be ‘Extinct’

The Jedi Master’s age isn’t the only concern, though. A big point of criticism is a Sith Lord’s involvement in ‘The Acolyte.’

Episode 6 introduced Manny Jacinto’s character Qimir/the Stranger as a Sith Lord on Khofar. A group of Jedi discovered his existence and even fought against him.

The issue with this was that Ki-Adi Mundi stated, ‘the Sith have been extinct for a millennium’ in ‘The Phantom Menace’ after Qui-Gon Jinn first met Darth Maul. This implied that events related to Darth Plagueis the Wise and other Sith happened without the Jedi’s knowledge until the prequel trilogy.

While it seems like a contradiction, the show may still follow that path. Leslye Headland revealed about the unresolved stories in an interview:

“I threw everything into season 1, because who knows what’s going to happen? And then I’d say there are four to five major mysteries and plot points that have to get hit in season 2.”

The Stranger is still on a mission to kill the last Jedi who know of his existence. If he succeeds, no one will be left to spread the word about the Sith’s return until ‘The Phantom Menace.’

There Are More People Born Through The Force Now

‘The Acolyte’ also introduced an all-women society using the Force to birth children. Fans claimed this storyline ruined Anakin Skywalker’s significance in the franchise.

Anakin’s mother Shmi told Qui-Gon Jinn, ‘There was no father,’ when she talked about his birth in ‘The Phantom Menace.’ This implied he was born from the Force to destroy the Sith and bring balance.

Viewers said that Osha and Mae’s birth through the Force changed the lore about Anakin. But the difference is that Anakin was the natural will of the Force, while the twins were a result of the Force and magic.

Is The New Show ‘Woke?’

Fans also criticized the witch coven for their all-female community and same-sex relationships. Leslye Headland responded to those describing the show as the ‘gayest Star Wars’ by saying:

“They’re in a matriarchal society. As a gay woman, I knew it would read that their sexuality is queer, but there also aren’t any men in their community. So, a closeness between the two of them would be natural. It seemed plot-driven. I would say it’s really reductive to call them lesbians. I think it means you’re not really paying attention to this story.”

Having a black actress play the main character brought more ‘woke’ accusations, especially after the cast announcements. Headland said she was disappointed with the criticisms but rejected complaints about ‘bigotry, racism, or hate speech.’

Season 2 May Satisfy The Concerned Fans

Rumors earlier this year claimed that ‘The Acolyte’ Season 2 was already on the way. But neither Disney nor Headland confirmed the news. In fact, the show’s future may be at risk right now due to the negative audience reaction.

There’s one more episode left to conclude the series’ Season 1. The finale will air on July 16.

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