Star Wars: The Acolyte: Episode Three: Destiny

Dave

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A standalone episode set in the past.
It sounds like we are getting some of the back-story I was looking for, but not all of it just yet. Sounds like a lot more that I expected though.
And a new 'Force' explanation, if another one was needed? Can't it just remain a "Hokey religion" and "an energy field created by all living things?"
On a distant planet, Osha and Mae are born as the twin daughters of Mother Aniseya, leader of an all-female commune. Discovering that her children are Force-sensitive, she teaches them that the nature of the Force is beyond good and evil, and that the Jedi, who are obliged to test all Force-sensitives to determine whether they should be trained as Jedi, are untrustworthy and corrupt. Mae readily accepts these teachings, but Osha questions them. A party of Jedi - Indara, Kelnacca, Torbin, and then Jedi Knight Sol - arrive to begin the tests. Mother Amediya gives Osha and Mae instructions on how to deliberately fail the tests, but Osha is curious about the Jedi and is able to pass. Mae, enraged by the thought that her sister wants to leave, starts a fire using the Force that quickly engulfs the entire sanctuary, killing their mother and all of their people. Osha sees her sister seemingly choose to die rather than be saved by the Jedi, while she is rescued by Sol. Feeling partially responsible for the tragedy, Sol pledges that he will personally train Osha as his Padawan.
 
So, the explanation given to the kids about the nature of the Force was simply some mystical cosmic "string" that attaches between living things. The "blood tests" Tommen was taking, that was for midi-chlorians though, right? And so those are cosmic string now? :unsure:

Anyhow, I did get some of the answers that I wanted, but it wasn't the most riveting of TV. Actually, it was possibly worse than that -

The four Jedi (Indara, King Tommen, Wookie Jedi and Sol) came across as very arrogant, domineering, lying jerks. There was little peace, love and understanding on offer, so no wonder they are despised. Is this deliberate? Do they want to make the Jedi out to be the bad guys here? Clearly, there must be more to the fire than we were shown, because Tommen killed himself over what he had done there, and why does Mae seek revenge for something she supposedly did herself? And in the room of dead bodies none had burnt to death or been crushed by debris. So, are the Jedi responsible for this massacre? Are they complicit in the Force witches deaths? But surely a Jedi shouldn't lie? And that's exactly what Sol had just told Osha earlier. :confused: Even though they were very clearly only on Brendok to find and test the girls and must have had intel.

There was a throwaway line about how Osha and Mae were "created", since the witches were all female. And another that their "mother" didn't "carry them" herself. I would expect that genetic engineering and midi-chlorian eugenics is frowned upon. Or, were they "created" using the Force in some mystical twisted stringy way? Were the Jedi aware of this when the allowed Osha to be trained? Isn't there a Jedi Council yet that would act on such information? Like Anakin in the future, Osha "has no father" and is too old to begin training, but probably also scores highly on the midi-chlorian scales. However, she also comes with a heap of personal baggage that would surely ring alarm bells somewhere, so the fact that she opted out early was probably a good thing? And yet, they were very keen to test both girls and take them to Coruscant for Jedi brainwashing as quickly as possible, even though they must have known already that the origin of the girls was suspect? :confused:

Some of the lines given to the child actors were poorly written (and acted) but I guess I can live with that.
 
And a new 'Force' explanation, if another one was needed? Can't it just remain a "Hokey religion" and "an energy field created by all living things?
Its hasn’t been that for over twenty years ;)

This has been my favourite episode so far. The introduction of depth to the universe is staggering.

The complexity of spirituality on Earth supports a far more diverse approach to spirit in a galactic sense. The appearance of the old mother at the end was a wonderful treat after her introduction in Tales of the Empire. And we know all about Dathomiri witches from TCW and Ahsoka.

A Star Wars show that might for once pass the bechdel test and get girls interested.

Of course I’ve seen the usual ignorant prejudice online. Some men are so easily emasculated…
 
This certainly was not a favorite episode, but it was a necessary one. My biggest complaint is that this should have been episode one. Why start the story and then flash back to what brings you to this point? Are people so uninterested in why two twin sisters hate each other and why this might become an interesting moment in the history of the Old Republic? The logic behind these decisions baffles me.

I am also noticing how the Jedi powers are less than originally displayed. Darth Vader could sense Luke on a planet from orbit. But these Jedi can't even sense another force user in the same ship?

A third thing that is rankling me is that the Jedi of this series (and they are historically earlier ones at that!) are much less inclined to help the "little guy" and risk themselves for justice. They seem much more concerned about a selfish agenda than a true Jedi should be. --- I know! I know! I'm an outlier. I like stories with easily identifiable good guys and bad guys. That was a part of my almost fanatical love for the original Star Wars Movie. At that time the theaters were filled with very flawed heroes and extremely flawed but kinda likable and interesting villains. I don't believe that's the way the world works. Surely everyone is flawed. (Remember I'm not only a Christian, I am a Calvinist!) but I believe that a lot of people do the best that they can given their information and abilities. I don't believe anyone is served by having a nihilistic view of life. In a world without people who are striving to be the best that they can be there is only the merest whisper of hope.
 
So, the explanation given to the kids about the nature of the Force was simply some mystical cosmic "string" that attaches between living things. The "blood tests" Tommen was taking, that was for midi-chlorians though, right? And so those are cosmic string now? :unsure:

Anyhow, I did get some of the answers that I wanted, but it wasn't the most riveting of TV. Actually, it was possibly worse than that -

The four Jedi (Indara, King Tommen, Wookie Jedi and Sol) came across as very arrogant, domineering, lying jerks. There was little peace, love and understanding on offer, so no wonder they are despised. Is this deliberate? Do they want to make the Jedi out to be the bad guys here?

I think the idea is that there is a level of arrogance that has crept into the Order. This is essentially the height of their power - and the lead up to their downfall. You could easily label the Council of Obi Wan's time just as arrogant as well. But they're not the 'bad guys'. Just guys, likely with both ends of the spectrum counted amongst their members. Sol, for instance, seems less arrogant and more of the typical embodiment of the Jedi.

Definitely not a great way to endear themselves to people, though, going around and forcibly taking children.

Clearly, there must be more to the fire than we were shown, because Tommen killed himself over what he had done there, and why does Mae seek revenge for something she supposedly did herself? And in the room of dead bodies none had burnt to death or been crushed by debris. So, are the Jedi responsible for this massacre? Are they complicit in the Force witches deaths? But surely a Jedi shouldn't lie? And that's exactly what Sol had just told Osha earlier. :confused: Even though they were very clearly only on Brendok to find and test the girls and must have had intel.

Definitely more going on. Perhaps both sides are being manipulated by a third party we've already seen?

There was a throwaway line how Osha and Mae were "created", since the witches were all female. And another that their "mother" didn't "carry them" herself. I would expect that genetic engineering and midi-chlorian eugenics is frowned upon. Or, were they "created" using the Force in some mystical twisted stringy way? Were the Jedi aware of this when the allowed Osha to be trained? Isn't there a Jedi Council yet that would act on such information? Like Anakin in the future, Osha "has no father" and is too old to begin training, but probably also scores highly on the midi-chlorian scales. However, she also comes with a heap of personal baggage that would surely ring alarm bells somewhere, so the fact that she opted out early was probably a good thing? And yet, they were very keen to test both girls and take them to Coruscant for Jedi brainwashing as quickly as possible, even though they must have known already that the origin of the girls was suspect? :confused:

I'm not sure the Jedi knew that the girls were created in a non-conventional way, unless I missed something. It is interesting that their age isn't remarked upon, though - perhaps that restriction came later (due to a bad experience say, a hundred years ago), or perhaps Anakin was just a little older?

Some of the lines given to the child actors were poorly written (and acted) but I guess I can live with that.

Agreed, there's been a fairish amount of clunky dialogue scattered about this show so far....

The complexity of spirituality on Earth supports a far more diverse approach to spirit in a galactic sense. The appearance of the old mother at the end was a wonderful treat after her introduction in Tales of the Empire. And we know all about Dathomiri witches from TCW and Ahsoka.

I'd watched Tales and did not pick that up!

Agreed on the spirituality angle. The 'thread' concept reminded me a little of the White Current of the EU Fallanassi. In the High Republic novels, they even talk about how different Jedi experience the Force - for some it is like music, others like the ocean or wind...

A Star Wars show that might for once pass the bechdel test and get girls interested.

Of course I’ve seen the usual ignorant prejudice online. Some men are so easily emasculated…

Yup. Sigh.

This certainly was not a favorite episode, but it was a necessary one. My biggest complaint is that this should have been episode one. Why start the story and then flash back to what brings you to this point? Are people so uninterested in why two twin sisters hate each other and why this might become an interesting moment in the history of the Old Republic? The logic behind these decisions baffles me.

To create a sense of mystery and tension, in what is being pitched as a tense, mysterious show?

I am also noticing how the Jedi powers are less than originally displayed. Darth Vader could sense Luke on a planet from orbit. But these Jedi can't even sense another force user in the same ship?

I assume you mean Mei? I'm not sure they didn't know she was Force sensitive, or that she was lying - but perhaps their protocols only allow them to take a child if they test well. Not sure how the blood test plays into it - but perhaps they have to have high midichlorian counts and a certain level of aptitude.

But also - the entire Council didn't know Palpatine was right there on Coruscant for the majority of the prequels, so...

A third thing that is rankling me is that the Jedi of this series (and they are historically earlier ones at that!) are much less inclined to help the "little guy" and risk themselves for justice. They seem much more concerned about a selfish agenda than a true Jedi should be. --- I know! I know! I'm an outlier. I like stories with easily identifiable good guys and bad guys. That was a part of my almost fanatical love for the original Star Wars Movie. At that time the theaters were filled with very flawed heroes and extremely flawed but kinda likable and interesting villains. I don't believe that's the way the world works. Surely everyone is flawed. (Remember I'm not only a Christian, I am a Calvinist!) but I believe that a lot of people do the best that they can given their information and abilities. I don't believe anyone is served by having a nihilistic view of life. In a world without people who are striving to be the best that they can be there is only the merest whisper of hope.

I talked about this above - but what I think we are seeing is the over-bureaucratisation of the Order, leading to a sense of superiority and a false belief in their own infallibility that will ultimately lead to their downfall. But again, it does seem like there are characters here who may still embody that Jedi nobility.

In general, I've seen a lot of responses to this show complaining that they changed this, added that, contradicted this other thing, and I just don't understand that type of thinking. Do people just want the same things rehashed over and over, with no original thoughts or ideas introduced? I don't see the point in that, myself. I want to see new creators with interesting visions being allowed to play in a world I love. It's exciting not knowing what to expect. It's not always going to work for me, and I'm fine with that - but most things have some redeeming qualities.
 
One thing I did dislike - they changed the naming convention for episodes from Something/Something for the first two, to just Something for this one. Have some consistency!
 
I talked about this above - but what I think we are seeing is the over-bureaucratisation of the Order, leading to a sense of superiority and a false belief in their own infallibility that will ultimately lead to their downfall. But again, it does seem like there are characters here who may still embody that Jedi nobility.

In general, I've seen a lot of responses to this show complaining that they changed this, added that, contradicted this other thing, and I just don't understand that type of thinking. Do people just want the same things rehashed over and over, with no original thoughts or ideas introduced? I don't see the point in that, myself. I want to see new creators with interesting visions being allowed to play in a world I love. It's exciting not knowing what to expect. It's not always going to work for me, and I'm fine with that - but most things have some redeeming qualities.
I'm going to agree with you when it comes to my own personal enjoyment. I guess I'm always considering what this is doing to the children. Are they always going to believe that those who claim to be working for what's good are always incurably evil? Society is built on trust of others and I find the trust in Western society to be near the minimum necessary for liberal democracy to work.
But also - the entire Council didn't know Palpatine was right there on Coruscant for the majority of the prequels, so...
A very good point and one that I had not considered.
 
I'm going to agree with you when it comes to my own personal enjoyment. I guess I'm always considering what this is doing to the children. Are they always going to believe that those who claim to be working for what's good are always incurably evil? Society is built on trust of others and I find the trust in Western society to be near the minimum necessary for liberal democracy to work.

I think it's way too early to be talking about what the show is or isn't saying about the Jedi Order as a whole, though I think broad strokes have been laid. But we really need to see the narrative play out to really have those discussions.

On the flip side, though, and given we know that in the real world people are, as you said yourself, flawed, and they can act self-interestedly or not in the interests of those that they may be employed to assist - should we not have media that shows this as well, so that children aren't blindly trusting where they should have a healthy dose of - I won't say suspicion or cynicism, but perhaps caution and consideration?

Hopefully, though, kids aren't basing their entire world-view on Star Wars. Just most of it, like me. :D
 
And me! :D

@Parson — my take is this: we know the HR era was millennia-long so the decision to set this series ~100 yrs before the prequels seems to suggest (to me at least) what we’re going to see is their drift into dogmatic bureaucracy and equivocation.

Yoda even says to Mace and Obi-wan how smug the Jedi have become; ‘even the older’ ones
 
I think it's way too early to be talking about what the show is or isn't saying about the Jedi Order as a whole, though I think broad strokes have been laid. But we really need to see the narrative play out to really have those discussions.

On the flip side, though, and given we know that in the real world people are, as you said yourself, flawed, and they can act self-interestedly or not in the interests of those that they may be employed to assist - should we not have media that shows this as well, so that children aren't blindly trusting where they should have a healthy dose of - I won't say suspicion or cynicism, but perhaps caution and consideration?

Hopefully, though, kids aren't basing their entire world-view on Star Wars. Just most of it, like me. :D
All of this is true. And if it were only Star Wars or even a slight majority of our entertainment which showed people in authority as boring at best and secretly evil at worst I would not be alarmed. It's that only in programs aimed at early elementary and before where there is a substantial majority of the entertainment which often shows authority figures doing what's best for everyone. In the age of the television Western there was often the criticism that it was formulaic. All the "good" guys wore white hats and the bad guys didn't. Today all the "bad" guys are "establishment" figures and the "good" guys are those who think that "good and right" are not absolute but instead dependant on all kinds of variables, not the least of which is "Does it feel good."

And me! :D

@Parson — my take is this: we know the HR era was millennia-long so the decision to set this series ~100 yrs before the prequels seems to suggest (to me at least) what we’re going to see is their drift into dogmatic bureaucracy and equivocation.

Yoda even says to Mace and Obi-wan how smug the Jedi have become; ‘even the older’ ones
I bow to you O Master, your understanding of the Force is much beyond this padawan learner.
 
All of this is true. And if it were only Star Wars or even a slight majority of our entertainment which showed people in authority as boring at best and secretly evil at worst I would not be alarmed. It's that only in programs aimed at early elementary and before where there is a substantial majority of the entertainment which often shows authority figures doing what's best for everyone. In the age of the television Western there was often the criticism that it was formulaic. All the "good" guys wore white hats and the bad guys didn't. Today all the "bad" guys are "establishment" figures and the "good" guys are those who think that "good and right" are not absolute but instead dependant on all kinds of variables, not the least of which is "Does it feel good."

So what you want is a show that finally gives the Empire its due and makes them the good guys? They're just trying to bring order to the galaxy, and those pesky Rebels are always getting in their way!

I think it may be hard to find what you're looking for in Star Wars, simply because the conceit from the start has been the little, oppressed guy against the big, authoritarian guy. Even the very first installment, which you've said is a great example of a narrative that clearly delineates between good and bad, paints the authorities as the black hats (or helmets).

I would still argue that Star Wars generally is doing a good job of delivering heroes that are genuinely trying to do what's right, and not what feels good. Ahsoka's so good, she's even too good for the Jedi, and her crew are all by and large wise-cracking paragons of virtue (perhaps being created for a children's show helped there...). Obi Wan is Obi Wan - though initially reluctant, he did what was right and went after Leia, and believed that Reva could be redeemed. The Mando, despite being a bounty hunter, has become that old man-without-a-name trope in what's basically become an old school western in space. Boba Fett reformed as well, and Cassian Andor is on a road from selfishness to selflessness...

Outside of Star Wars, I struggle a little - but I don't really watch that much television. I'm definitely not going to argue on behalf of House of the Dragon or The Boys!
 
So what you want is a show that finally gives the Empire its due and makes them the good guys? They're just trying to bring order to the galaxy, and those pesky Rebels are always getting in their way!
Not really. I suppose this was the wrong discussion to get started here. It's not that I'm looking at the Star Wars Empire as particularly bad doing this. In fact you could make a case that it's about as good as it gets. There are some redeeming story lines and perhaps Asoka is one of them. She is definitely trying to follow a moral code and I'm all for that. But on one level it's still the same story that the large group is evil and the only good to be found is in the isolated individual, so no society nor large group can be trusted. But the level that really rings my chimes is the one that implies that there is nothing and no one who is trying to do as best as they can, and if they are, then they are hopeless boring. All of the interesting characters are mostly evil. An example would be the classic movie, "The Godfather."
 
An example would be the classic movie, "The Godfather."

I wouldn't know, I've never seen it!!

But the level that really rings my chimes is the one that implies that there is nothing and no one who is trying to do as best as they can, and if they are, then they are hopeless boring.

Marvel is pretty good for this - Captain America, Spider-Man, the Guardians all fit this category, I'd argue, and some more besides, and are far from boring in my opinion and the opinion of many millions of movie-ticket buyers.

But on one level it's still the same story that the large group is evil and the only good to be found is in the isolated individual, so no society nor large group can be trusted.

I think there's some subjectivity at play here. We're all consuming media through the unique lens of our lived experience - and it's also informed by the breadth and depth of the media we have already consumed. I don't take that message away from the majority of movies and television shows out there at the moment - but it's interesting to consider that it's a message that someone else is taking away, and to re-consider it from that perspective and look again to see what layers I might be missing.
 
Marvel is pretty good for this - Captain America, Spider-Man, the Guardians all fit this category, I'd argue, and some more besides, and are far from boring in my opinion and the opinion of many millions of movie-ticket buyers.
I stand corrected. That's a very good point.
 

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