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Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

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Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Old 07-10-24, 03:36 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by devilshalo
So Mae and Osha aren't really twins, just a single entity split into two. At least they have a high midichlorian count like Anakin did, but it doesn't explain how they came into being.
I haven't watched the episode yet, but really want to know which is Arnold and which is Danny.
Old 07-10-24, 03:49 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Cellar Door
I agree with all the complaints above. Another thing that isn't really explained well is why young Osha wants so strongly to be a Jedi in the first place, unless it's just the Force compelling her in some way, but there's no indication of that shown to us, is there? Presumably the witches that raised her have not spoken favorably about the Jedi to her, and this would be her first exposure to Jedi, and she's all "Yep, I want to be one of you guys. Take me away."
I mentioned that during the Episode 3 discussion. It makes zero sense. Osha was talking about how the Jedi are defenders of the weak and I was like "How would she even know that? Do they have Internet in the flammable cave?".
Old 07-10-24, 07:17 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Well, they are emulating the prequels pretty well . . . Promise us the Clone Wars and then spend 2 1/2 movies fucking around with green screens, fart jokes, and trying to sell us merch, then cram the actual content people want into 16 minutes.

I'll go the opposite direction of most here . . . This episode was pretty damned good. It wasn't perfect and it is tainted by all the fumbled foreplay before it, but I can finally see the concept Headland was pitching. It is a shame they didn't execute on it. I can see why Disney would have been skittish at painting the Jedi as a bunch of incompetent/corrupt cops and bungling DCFS workers.

The biggest mistake was trying to tell this story through the lenses of Mae and Osha. It eliminated all real mystery elements from what you were doing. This should have been told from the lenses of the five Jedi characters with the assassin being held in the shadows for much longer while being the catalyst for revealing clues in the mystery.

This episode should have gone first. They thought they were building up a mystery and this was the big reveal, but that just wasn't the case. This episode (or at least, most of this episode) was needed to establish just what the hell was going on. I would have played out the beginning of this episode (even added more back story) and then built the next 4-5 episodes around the assassin visiting each Jedi and getting their little piece of the story which would have led us to putting the whole story together in a reveal that showed nobody really fully knew what happened (Sol was tainted, Kelnacca and Torbin were compromised and ashamed, and Indara was a mass murderer).

There are several things this episode fixes, but then there are things it breaks even further.



Old 07-10-24, 07:44 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by joe_b
Oy vey, where to begin? This is one of the most poorly constructed "mysteries" I've ever seen - period. Thematically, the show is a wishy-washy mess. The most egregious thing the Jedi did was hot-wire their way into the compound doors, so there was no need for such an intense cover-up with the Jedi Council. They acted with good intention (to prevent a possible ritual sacrifice) and had no cause to remove the twins against their will.
Wow, I saw this very differently. They had absolutely NO reason to suspect a sacrifice considering they knew nothing about this group. They didn't even know they were there! But they are going to creep on them (commentary on modern surveillance), see a few things out of context (commentary on modern bureaucracy), and then inject their own frame of reference to justify taking the kids away (commentary on modern policing/nanny-state). They show up in a place that they acknowledge they do not have authority, insist they have authority, and cast judgement. Oh, and in the midst of this, the trigger happy rookie thinks the Black lady is going for a gun and Indara takes the whole cult out. Then they lie about it.

It wasn't the best story-telling, but the themes that popped up here are what the whole show should have been examining. It is what they claimed the show was going to do. [/quote]

Originally Posted by joe_b
Everything else that happened was reactionary - from the moronic twink Jedi impulsively rushing to end the mission because he couldn't bear another day of wandering the forest with a metal detector, to Mae "accidentally" blowing up the whole compound with a tiny lantern. Seriously, I can't believe that was the actual catalyst - unless wookiee Jedi was planting explosives off-screen?
I actually thought this episode did a decent job "retconning" or fixing the fire. That previous episode played it up as if the rock cave burned down . . . when in reality the fire got into the electric system and blew the place up . . . plus we needed to cover up a little mass-homicide occurring before hand. I can see two things happening in the production of the last episode . . . they thought it was clever and they were planting a red herring, OR it was just piss poor production, writing, and editing. Or, a third option: both things could be true at the same time.

Originally Posted by joe_b
I can't even call what Sol did murder, since he was only impaling a puff of smoke at that point. Even then, it would likely be deemed self-defense. I noticed he again mistakes Mae for Osha in this scene, showing Sol never really could tell them apart. I know they explained the twins had identical symbionts (basically the same conciousness), but it makes his firm belief that only Osha was meant to be his padawan even more confusing. I also noticed the writers purposely avoided saying midi-chlorian (because fans just LOVED that concept), instead referring to it as "M-Count". Cowards.
I disagree. IMO, it was the equivalent of a cop getting spooked and claiming the perp was reaching for a weapon. If they had never seen that happen before, why would he think plunging his lightsaber into smoke was a good idea? Somebody else mentions the idea of this being an illusion, that Mother and Mae were not actually getting the Thanos Snap, and that explanation makes the most sense to me. Him killing her in that process adds to that explanation.

Yes, Sol's immediate connection to Osha was . . . a little . . . creepy?

Yeah, I think they danced around that in another one of the shows the same way, "M-count."

Originally Posted by joe_b
Do I assume correctly that Indara breaking "the power of many" hold on Kelnacca's mind was enough to make the witch cult just drop dead in unison? Convenient. Honestly, how the hell did they manage to make the whole situation even less clear after having us sit through yet another flashback episode that was obviously intended to fill in the blanks? Torbin may be an idiot, but nothing he did warranted spending years in repentance meditation and downing poison rather that telling the council what actually occurred.
Yes to Indara breaking the hold on Kelnacca, but I took as she outright intentionally killed them to do it. I guess the Power of Many wasn't enough against the Power of Three . . . err, Trinity.

I kind of agree on Torbin, but I think more backstory may have helped tamp that down. I think we could have gotten to a place where he had such internal guilt that he couldn't bare it, but I don't think they fully succeeded in getting us there.

Originally Posted by joe_b
Unless I missed her death, I assume Mother Koril will be back next week as the final boss. Oh, and playing a crappy R&B synth song over the end credits just added insult to injury. It's an out of place and embarrassing new low point for the franchise. More like something you'd hear while on hold with tech support.
Definitely and definitely.
Old 07-10-24, 07:49 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Goldberg74
Star Wars Theory brought this up in his reaction to Episode 7: “Why did Sol use the Force to hold steady the parts of a bridge that weighed hundreds of pounds when he should have used the Force to pick up the two 50 pound girls and bring them to him?”
Also, why did two fairly strong (albeit novice) Force users just stand there like statues calling each other's names back and forth? I was ready to pistol whip the next person who said "Osha! Mae!"
Old 07-11-24, 02:24 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Rob V
The guy playing Sol has done an admirable job - especially considering he learned English for the part. That said, they couldn't have found someone else? Anyone else to fill that role?
Squid Games became the most viewed series in Netflix history and he was the lead. Traditionally, Star Wars has never needed to cast popular genre actors to draw in an audience - but this (with no ties to established characters) was clearly seen as a different thing altogether. Casting Player 456, Trinity and X-23 was an easy way to gain built-in nerd cred.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
Wow, I saw this very differently. They had absolutely NO reason to suspect a sacrifice considering they knew nothing about this group. They didn't even know they were there! But they are going to creep on them (commentary on modern surveillance), see a few things out of context (commentary on modern bureaucracy), and then inject their own frame of reference to justify taking the kids away (commentary on modern policing/nanny-state). They show up in a place that they acknowledge they do not have authority, insist they have authority, and cast judgement. Oh, and in the midst of this, the trigger happy rookie thinks the Black lady is going for a gun and Indara takes the whole cult out. Then they lie about it.

It wasn't the best story-telling, but the themes that popped up here are what the whole show should have been examining. It is what they claimed the show was going to do.
I get what they were attempting, I just feel they failed miserably in the execution of those themes. Brendok was supposed to be uninhabited and this coven was clearly not native, having taken up residence in an abandoned mining facility. By their own account, they were banished from their homeworld - so why not investigate? It may be a morally grey area (again, wishy-washy - like the rest of this series) but exploring the planet for a vergence was the Jedi's mission. I'd need to watch the episode again (I won't) but I assume they had jurisdiction to survey the compound if they deemed it necessary.

As for Sol creeping, he observed two little girls being harshly scolded for (in his view) trying to leave and later being Force pushed to the ground by their leader. This was clearly a fringe group of otherwise only grown women (no potential fathers) who he witnessed chanting around a giant hole in the ground, as well as preparing for the "ascension ceremony" that night involving the children. For all Sol managed to deduce, the coven could have abducted the twins offworld and were about to chuck them into the pit to appease whatever energy source they felt they drew power from.

The view that the Jedi were kid snatchers who were there to pass judgement on their communal childrearing skills was more the coven's opinion, but understandably so. They reacted in a hostile, protective way to keep the girls with them. Sol was allowing emotions to cloud his judgment, but Indara considered the request that the twins be tested as merely a stall tactic while they consulted with the council. She knew they would likely be deemed too old to begin the training, despite Sol's insistence about Osha. The hack writers are just aping Qui-Gon and little Ani from The Phantom Menace with those two.

Once the twins were determined to have been created by a vergence (using the pit, presumably), it was unclear if the council would've demanded they be taken to Coruscant against their mothers wishes. Regardless, it's never brought up with the coven - though I'm sure the possibility that they knowingly tapped into dark side energy to create life would have landed them in deep poodoo (and it's implied they were well aware of this).

As for Aniseya, it's likely Sol had never before witnessed the magic smoke teleportation trick - plus he saw Mae dissolving as well. Objectively, it appeared he was acting in a protective way - despite the heavy-handed racist hair-trigger cop metaphor the scene was clearly intended to be telegraphing to the audience. BTW, it's probably not a coincidence that Amandla Stenberg and Jodie Turner-Smith's roles were specifcally developed for them by Headland and Lucasfilm after both had played the lead in movies involving a patrolman shooting an unarmed black civilian after incorrectly believing they were reaching for a weapon during a routine traffic stop (The Hate U Give and Queen & Slim).

In my opinion, nothing we were shown justified the Jedi omitting information to cover their own asses (another allegory on corrupt police) - let alone warranted the expendable caucasian male committing suicide as atonement for his perceived sins. It's terrible, muddled messaging all around.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
Yes to Indara breaking the hold on Kelnacca, but I took as she outright intentionally killed them to do it. I guess the Power of Many wasn't enough against the Power of Three . . . err, Trinity.
If so, she must have been hella powerful to make all those witches just drop like bowling pins. But even then, I don't see how it could not be viewed as self-defense and saving a colleague if the entire incident became the subject of a formal inquest by the Jedi Council. The biggest sticking point would be proving they had just cause to enter the compound without permission, but they had proof the vergence they were assigned to locate was there.

Being blamed for the explosions and the presumed death of an innocent child (neither of which the Jedi were directly responsible for) are the most obvious things they could have been expelled from the order over. Suppressing details to pin all the deaths on Mae just paints them as a group of self-preserving assholes, which was clearly Headland's intent.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
Yes, Sol's immediate connection to Osha was . . . a little . . . creepy?
Oh, no doubt.

Last edited by joe_b; 07-16-24 at 05:31 PM.
Old 07-11-24, 03:35 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
They had absolutely NO reason to suspect a sacrifice considering they knew nothing about this group. They didn't even know they were there! But they are going to creep on them (commentary on modern surveillance), see a few things out of context (commentary on modern bureaucracy), and then inject their own frame of reference to justify taking the kids away (commentary on modern policing/nanny-state). They show up in a place that they acknowledge they do not have authority, insist they have authority, and cast judgement.
And this is why the Federation has the Prime Directive.
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Old 07-11-24, 04:43 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
And this is why the Federation has the Prime Directive.
In theory.
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Old 07-11-24, 06:34 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

The more I watch this, the more I realize the show runners have no idea how to tell a coherent story.

Drawing out the backstory with the young girls in the temple and their "rescue" from the Coven, making it a convoluted mystery, was a mistake. If the series had started with Jedi Master Trinity being killed by the mysterious Acolyte, then immediately going back in time 16 years, combining the previous flashback with this week's episode to tell the entire backstory in one go, then jumping ahead to present-day Osha working on the trade federation ship and going on from there, the show would have been much better. The focus would have been on who the killer is, then dealing with Mae still being alive, rather than bouncing around trying and failing to be some sort of high art.

The other thing is, they need to decide once and for all if the Jedi are the guardians of peace and justice in the republic, or if they're an arrogant religious order whose agenda may or may not align with the goals and values of said republic. This was hinted at in the prequels, and again in this series, but they never commit to exploring the idea.

Old 07-11-24, 11:13 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Goldberg74
Like the Obi Wan series, I am firmly in the “this should have been a tightly edited 2.5 hour movie” camp.
I am in the "this should have never been made" camp.

The first ten minutes of this actually were imo the best of the series..it actually resembled a professionally made show. The rest of it was some of the most cringe storytelling I can honestly recall. When merit and quality are not the focus, this is what your left with. I honestly am looking forward to the final episodes just to see how bad it can truly get... this is one of the biggest jokes of all time.
Old 07-12-24, 12:41 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Jason
The more I watch this, the more I realize the show runners have no idea how to tell a coherent story.
This is something that is, unfortunately, infecting a lot of genre properties of late. Not just Star Wars, but Doctor Who, MCU, Rings of Power, and (to a lesser extent) Star Trek.

So many of these projects are just some combination of a mishmash of random ideas, bad acting, convoluted storytelling, build-up that leads nowhere, characters making baffling decisions, plots that don't make sense, terrible production values, and just not understanding the franchises.

It's so frustrating... we have all of these franchises like Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, and DC, that are active and being exploited, but the results are, more often than not, somewhere between underwhelming and godawful.

Last edited by Josh-da-man; 07-12-24 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 07-12-24, 06:26 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Yeah, this will never happen here at DVDTalk.

Old 07-12-24, 11:22 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

While that is nice, the current reality is a little more one sided than that as I see it. Criticism is met with the worst of accusations, as if the criticism is not valid. While I think this show is the ultimate dumpster fire, and I would question someone's taste who likes it... I wouldn't hurl vile slanders at them. This has been the playbook of Lucasfilm itself for years, which is such a joke of a studio at this point it's beyond parody. (and south park has tried!)

Last edited by Artman; 07-12-24 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 07-13-24, 03:26 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Headland has done a couple new interviews with Nerdist and The Mary Sue (how appropriate) where the questions at least attempted to clear up her intent with some things. She did confirm that Indara did not intentionally kill the coven. There is a lot of her talking in circles, but basically you can deduce that the show is just retreading stale themes from TPM (with the return of keywords like "symbionts" and "vergence") - yet they were prohibited from stepping on "The Chosen One" prophecy by making the girl's conception be the will of the Force. Instead, it had to involve manipulation centered around a vergence location (the hole) on Brendok. She also implies Aniseya's creation was just too powerful to be contained in a single entity, hence the twin splitting and "the power of two". In one body, she implies the girls would have easily been more powerful than Anakin (again, something the "lore team" would veto). She also insinuated that revealing Koril's species would give a strong indication of where she will end up. Why does that sound like (given the opportunity) these hacks would attempt something as obvious as making her Darth Maul's grandmother? Such low-hanging fruit.

Honestly, I'm tired of hearing her constantly bring up how she had to run things by Pablo Hidalgo before including them - almost as if it's a defense for poor creative choices. The guy's a role-playing game enthusiast, so I'm sure he's very much in favor of green-lighting all these new random and stupid Force powers they keep throwing at the screen. It's probably like being a gatekeeper capable of unlocking unique skills in Dungeons & Dragons for him. He's also been known as a rage-baiting twat on social media. I had a few interactions with him when he used to be moderator for the official Star Wars message boards back in 2001. Even then, he seemed to exploit his perceived authority - as many innocuous threads would get deleted. I recall one time where I was discussing the "Wilhelm scream" sound effect with another fan and had linked to an article about it. Ol' Pablo had to chime in to inform me that he was the author of said article because he needed to be credited accordingly - as though I'd stolen it instead of simply linking to where it was originally posted. Guess he wanted a cookie and a pat on the head.

Originally Posted by Cellar Door
Sol confusing young Mae and Osha is funny since the actresses don't look that much alike. Was that scripted to try to sell us on them being identical?
In one of the new interviews, the show creator said it was done to indicate that Sol's connection to Osha (specifically) was all in his head. He was mistaking his yearning to take on a Padawan as the will of the Force, yet he couldn't even tell the twins apart. I guess it's a take on authority figures invoking the will of a higher power to justify their selfish desires. But even that theme comes across as muddled in the execution, considering the girls are described as being two halves of the same consciousness.

Last edited by joe_b; 07-13-24 at 10:31 AM.
Old 07-13-24, 06:23 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

the girls playing the twin girls are absolutely atrocious. they are terrible and among other things, bring this series way down.
Old 07-13-24, 06:55 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by joe_b
Headland has done a couple new interviews with Nerdist and The Mary Sue (how appropriate) where the questions at least attempted to clear up her intent with some things. She did confirm that Indara did not intentionally kill the coven. There is a lot of her talking in circles, but basically you can deduce that the show is just retreading stale themes from TPM (with the return of keywords like "symbionts" and "vergence") - yet they were prohibited from making the girl's conception be the will of the Force. Instead, it had to involve manipulation centered around a physical location (the hole) on Brendok. She also implies Aniseya's power was too great to be contained in a single entity, hence the twin splitting and "the power of two". In one body, she implies they would have easily been more powerful than Anakin (again, something the "lore team" would veto).
While I'm not shocked that that sounds even more like awful fanfic than what we got, I am shocked that there's actually a "lore team" working for Lucasfilm.

And this is one place where this stuff ultimately flounders... "conceived by the Force"... "more powerful than Anakin." They need to figure out that not everything needs to one-up what came before it. We're already at a point where it seems like with every movie or tv show that features Jedi, they have to start introducing new abilities, and it feels like they're just turning the Force into magick or that it's granting people random superpowers. And the same goes for tech, too. In TFA, they made a Death Star that could destroy five... count them! FIVE... planets at once. Then, in TROS, a fleet of Star Destroyers that were each equipped with their own Death Star planet-destroying cannon! I'm fully expecting hand-held Death Star guns by the time that Rey movie gets made.

Honestly, I'm tired of hearing her constantly bring up how she has to run things by Pablo Hidalgo before including them. The guy's a role-playing game enthusiast, so I'm sure he's very much in favor of green-lighting all these new random and stupid Force powers they keep throwing at the screen. It's probably like being a gatekeeper capable of unlocking unique skills in Dungeons & Dragons for him. He's also been known as a rage-baiting twat on social media.
That explains much about both modern Star Wars and Pablo Hidalgo.
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Old 07-13-24, 09:29 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by joe_b
I get what they were attempting, I just feel they failed miserably in the execution of those themes.
. . .

If so, she must have been hella powerful to make all those witches just drop like bowling pins.
. . .

Suppressing details to pin all the deaths on Mae just paints them as a group of self-preserving assholes, which was clearly Headland's intent.
I edited for brevity. You did a very good job of telling the story from the Jedi's point of view, and a slight run at the coven's point of view. That is where I agree with you that the storytelling is bad. I thought (and maybe I am misremembering) this was presented as a Rashomon-style mystery that was going to call into question the Jedi and their "certain point of view." The breadcrumbs are there, but they are missing the mark big time. More on this in a moment and as we work through the rest of the comments . . .

Indara being "hella powerful" . . . Here is my prediction: Darth Manny was Indara's padawan, not Vernestra's. What was Mae's whole trial that she was supposed to complete? The mission was to kill those four Jedi, but the trial was to kill one without a weapon. What did Indara just do?

The Jedi are a group of self-preserving assholes, that was supposed to be the point of this show. It was supposed to call into question the Catholic church-esque aspects of the Jedi Order. I call that out as a specific allusion, but it is the case with just about any organization that gains power of any sort. Again . . . more on that as we progress through this post.

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
And this is why the Federation has the Prime Directive.
Which is exactly what I thought of when they were exploring the planet. Why are "samurai" out here doing field experiments? All of the sudden the Jedi have become Starfleet. Red shirts and all.

Originally Posted by Jason
The more I watch this, the more I realize the show runners have no idea how to tell a coherent story.
. . .
The other thing is, they need to decide once and for all if the Jedi are the guardians of peace and justice in the republic, or if they're an arrogant religious order whose agenda may or may not align with the goals and values of said republic. This was hinted at in the prequels, and again in this series, but they never commit to exploring the idea.
I agree and disagree. Headland was on of the people behind Russian Doll which was a damn good exercise in storytelling and reusing the same events with slight variations and different points of view. I have been saying all along this has the feel of another creative showrunner/director being handcuffed by a committee or "superiors."

I don't think they need to decide, as that it the point. It is back to one of the major-minor themes of Star Wars: "from a certain point of view." They need to lean into it and explore it though. THAT is what I thought we were going to get. Instead, we a re pussy-footing around in a YA world.

Originally Posted by joe_b
Honestly, I'm tired of hearing her constantly bring up how she had to run things by Pablo Hidalgo before including them - almost as if it's a defense for poor creative choices.
This may confirm what I have been suspecting and saying. Headland had something . . . and it was neutered by the uber-fan elite who managed to turn their own personal sandbox into careers at Lucasfilm being the gatekeepers (Hidalgo, Filoni, etc.) and changing it to their "certain point of view." Sometimes a "defense" is the truth. I think if you look at her other work, it supports this. Or, I could be wrong, as I guess I have only seen Russian Doll.

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
And this is one place where this stuff ultimately flounders... "conceived by the Force"... "more powerful than Anakin." They need to figure out that not everything needs to one-up what came before it.
That and not everything has to center around Anakin. Stop using him as the singular reference point around all Jedi history is built. He was not Space Jesus in that we should mark time by "before the legend" and "after the legend." He isn't the strongest Force user, either in practice or legend, we have seen, so why do we have this myth boner for him?
Old 07-13-24, 10:49 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
I edited for brevity. You did a very good job of telling the story from the Jedi's point of view, and a slight run at the coven's point of view.
When it comes to analyzing/criticizing modern Star Wars, I'm nothing if not tediously long-winded.

While it isn't out of admiration, at least this show sparked a desire to discuss each episode and read other people's opinions - something I haven't done with any other Disney+ show so far. I guess that's something.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
This may confirm what I have been suspecting and saying. Headland had something . . . and it was neutered by the uber-fan elite who managed to turn their own personal sandbox into careers at Lucasfilm being the gatekeepers (Hidalgo, Filoni, etc.) and changing it to their "certain point of view." Sometimes a "defense" is the truth. I think if you look at her other work, it supports this.
The studio definitely wanted it both ways. Even bogged down by hubris and dogma, the Jedi had to be seen as coming from a noble place.

In the most shallow terms, the coven is just an allegory for any oppressed group. Because of this, we're clearly meant to sympathize more with them in this situation - despite the bad acting and unintentionally cringe chanting scenes being a huge audience turn-off. We're just given little reason to care about or connect with them. The only time I even got a hint of what felt like genuine emotion from any of the witches was when Aniseya told Osha they would consider her wish and kissed her on the head. It's a sweet moment, but let's give due credit to George Lucas. The scene is a direct copy of Shmi and Anakin from TPM, right down to each child tearfully asking their mother if they'll ever see them again.

Bringing in topical real world parallels to police incompetence/cover-ups and holding those in power to a higher degree of scrutiny might have been an intriguing idea to explore in a fantasy show. But with a franchise already weirdly and heavily divided by conservative/liberal politics (starting with TLJ, with both sides capable of being equally toxic), this was never the kind of project that was going to unite a fanbase. Exactly the opposite, but Disney was still apparently fine dropping 180M on it.

Despite patting themselves on the back for their perceived virtue signaling, the Star Wars social media team (not to mention Headland herself) still proudly endorses fans "shipping" the Osha/Qimir pairing after he murdered more than half a dozen Jedi (some of them friends) and abducted her against her will. But he's just misunderstood and lonely, right? I don't know where morality lies with Lucasfilm projects these days, it's just... off-putting as hell.

Last fall, Bob Iger did say they'd be pulling back from "messaging" and refocusing on better storytelling. Since it's clearly hurt the company's bottom line, hopefully he does some actual follow through and manages to clean house over there.

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Old 07-13-24, 04:18 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

So, TL;DR, if Headland had full creative freedom we'd have an objectively great show (Star Wars or otherwise) on our hands, but instead all she was allowed to create was a hobbled mess? If that is the case, I'm glad I opted not to watch the show (only pop my head in here on occasion since I can't seem to go a single day without seeing people complain about the show). I hate to see potential go to waste.
Old 07-13-24, 05:13 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Originally Posted by RocShemp
So, TL;DR, if Headland had full creative freedom we'd have an objectively great show (Star Wars or otherwise) on our hands

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Old 07-13-24, 08:42 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

But didn't she make Russian Doll? Sure, I didn't care for it and quit early, but I was under the impression that I am in the extreme minority regarding that show. So if RD is great, I'd assume SW:TA should have been great.
Old 07-14-24, 03:28 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

^ She was a co-creator on Russian Doll, along with Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler. Her handful of solo writing/directing credits have mostly been obscure female-led comedies that received mixed to negative reviews.

I've seen some fans question if Headland was truly into Star Wars (despite claiming it "saved my life"), or saw it merely as a chance to break into bigger things. Mostly because she gave a noncommittal comment to a reporter at The Rise of Skywalker premiere when the subject of her favorite Star Wars movie was brought up. Apparently she cornered Kathleen Kennedy (who she referred to as "Queen Kathleen" to the same reporter) that very night to wrangle a pitch meeting at Lucasfilm. Giving an opportunity to a female who came up in the industry in a similar way as herself (both assisting powerful men) might have been a factor in Kennedy wanting to champion the show.

A producer who met Headland during her years as Harvey's PA (Weinstein's film label Radius released Leslye's directorial debut) described her as "so frickin’ based" and that the Leslye he knew back then “would have s**t all over The Acolyte for its stupid gender motives". Her work on the short-lived Heathers TV series (the only other thing I've seen from her) does fit this, as that show attempts to satirize a high school where social justice and political correctness have been weaponized to an absurd degree.

So "based" or not, I imagine she was aware that pitching some modern antiauthoritarian/deconstructionist take about the Jedi that examined abuse of power in a mostly male-dominated organization would very much appeal to the same part of Kennedy's ideology that Rian Johnson did with The Last Jedi. It at least got her set-up with the kind of high-profile gig she was chasing.

It would not have been wise to pitch the Jedi as willfully corrupt (or worse, outright murderers), so I'm sure the idea was always to lean into this morally grey area. I doubt much of Headland's concept was neutered by anyone... though I feel it should have when it came to romanticizing and thirst trapping the Sith. I watched one interview where she literally interpreted Kenobi's "seduced by the dark side" line in a sexual context.

While Hidalgo is (or was) part of the story group Kennedy created, it sounds like his primary function was pointing out anything that might be a contradiction to established canon. The writers were clearly still given a decent amount of freedom to introduce their own (often terrible) new things. Filoni chimed in as well, telling Headland there were other groups of witches to explore besides the Nightsisters. So I guess we can thank him for "The Power of MANYYY". BTW, I knew that scene reminded me of something:


Last edited by joe_b; 07-15-24 at 08:10 AM.
Old 07-14-24, 09:26 PM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Well then, so much for my naïve hope that Headland was a well intentioned creative. And based on the threads in this forum (far more level headed than the rants swarming YouTube regarding this show), I guess I did right by skipping this show.
Old 07-15-24, 08:28 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

I am not one of the haters of this series, it is okay but with so many issues. But I can't help but feel this is being written by the type of people that declare a thumbs up, correct punctuation or ellipsis text as insulting/triggering.
Old 07-16-24, 05:59 AM
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Re: Star Wars: The Acolyte (S1E07) - “Choice” - 7/09/24

Still really confused on how I feel about this show. I do like the potential that's there but the execution is just terrible. So this is the whole mystery that the entire season has been building up to? It's such a dud. I mean there are some exciting things. We did finally see the wookie jedi fight but it sure feels like a cheat to have him fight his fellow jedi. Also I don't understand Sol's motivation to stab the mama. Up until that one point he seemed to be trying to calm things down and then he just goes and stabs her just because she started turning to smoke? She wasn't even threatening anyone at that time. They should have made it that she was threatening the whiny padawan again or something. Or have her be the one controlling the wookie. And we're just supposed to believe that jedi trinity killed all the witch mothers by freeing the wookie? The just feels like pure plot. No logic at all. Just to fulfill an answer to a mystery box.

And why hasn't anyone talked about how ridiculously stupid it was that they were all amazed and in awe that there was any living life on this planet that suffered a hyperspace accident (where the hell is that story? That sure sounds interesting. A lot more interesting than sith witches). They've been studying this planet for weeks and just looking at the plants and somehow missed that there was an entire town like two blocks over??? I mean one of the witches does mention about how stupid the jedi are but that still really sounds so incredibly dumb that they missed and entire town of sentient humanoid lifeforms and they've been there for weeks look at plants with a metal detector.

So much of the story just feels so artificially manufactured just to serve a certain plot point or to promote a certain message. I am all for exploring amoral Jedi and interesting Sith but these character motivations are just not very convincing at all.
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