Breaking Down the Dark Shadows Rising in The Acolyte’s New Trailer

Breaking Down the Dark Shadows Rising in The Acolyte’s New Trailer

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

As Sol faces down the masked figure, we get a better look at their mask, and to no one’s surprise—this franchise is extremely good at sick bad guy masks—it looks extremely cool. The metallic piping looking rows of teeth in a skull, the cracks over the visor, the Vader/Kylo flared neckguard, it’s just fantastic. We know very much what it looks like, but our heroes don’t: this might be the first time most living Jedi have encountered a Sith at this moment in time.

Could almost definitely be their, last, too. There was much hubbub made when the first trailer released that The Acolyte was somehow contradicting Star Wars canon, based on a line from Ki-Adi-Mundi in The Phantom Menace where he confidently states that the Sith have been unseen for a millennia prior to Qui-Gon’s encounter with Maul on Tatooine. Here’s the thing about that line: we already knew it was untrue, because Maul and Sidious had clearly been operating in shadow under the council’s noses for a while before Phantom Menace anyway. It’s a reflection of the Jedi’s attitude at this point in Star Wars, that they have grown so recalcitrant and so mired in the political animus of the Republic that they can’t see, or refuse to see, the return of their mortal foe.

But still, how can this masked figure being a red-saber-wielding Sith grok with that line? There’s multiple potential answers: the first is that they simply kill all the Jedi who see them in that jungle, and then word never gets out. The second, and equally likely, is that those Jedi either defeat them or they escape somehow, and then promptly decide that the potential return of the Sith is so dangerous that word of this encounter must never go beyond either the people that were there, or beyond informing the Jedi Council, who then keep up the pretense that Everything’s Fine Down Here for the next century.

Given that The Acolyte is all about exploring the institutional failings of the Jedi Order, a cover up that comes back to bite them in the ass in another 120-odd years would be very interesting. For now though, no one knows what’ll go down—but there’s plenty of ways to have this moment and Ki-Adi’s dialogue mesh, instead of necessarily contradict each other. After all, as a certain Jedi told us, your eyes can deceive you… we must not trust them.

We’ll find out just how much our eyes can be trusted when The Acolyte begins streaming on Disney+ June 4.

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