Friday, June 21, 2024

Recap: The Acolyte Episode 4 — Day

Blink and you'll miss it this week! Episode 4 is only 34 minutes long but packs a few fun surprises.

Last week, we ended on the discovery of a Jedi Wookiee. Episode 4 opens on an overview of his daily routine, as he seems to be living the life of a forest hermit on Khofar not unlike the future fates of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi (man the Jedi are a bit of martyrs, aren't they?)

We get to see him make a salad (interesting cuisine for a species I had assumed would be carnivorous) and piddle about doing domestic tasks. On the wall we see the same spiral symbols of Mae and Osha's witch coven — what does this mean? The Jedi on Brendok for those tragic events clearly have been struggling with some strong emotions. 

Jedi Besties

Back on Coruscant, Osha watches a youngling training class before chatting with Jecki. The two say goodbye, and Osha states that finding Mae is the Jedi's problem now, though she's grateful to have found out that her sister is alive after all these years. This scene is touching, and I'm coming to really like these two young characters. 

Jecki is a wonderful addition to the list of Jedi we've come to know over the past nearly 50 years, and I'm rooting for her. There's something very Spock-like about her that I find charming, and she's also a hardworking and very competent Jedi. 

These days, we're spending more and more time with the Order as the Disney Star Wars canon grows, and we're getting to dive in much deeper to their faults (hubris and space cop-ism being chief among them). We also get even more a glimpse into their humanity (using this term loosely since there's more than just human Jedi of course). 

They were never — and are never — going to be perfect warriors for the Republic that fan may have once though they were. They're not droids, after all. And despite striving for detachment and unwavering loyalty and obedience, they're still going to make mistakes and commit sins. I know many hardcore fans remain continually dismayed by the portrayal of the Jedi as less than perfect, but I'm here for it. 

What About the (Potential) Sith Attack on a Wookie?

Elsewhere on Coruscant, a group of Jedi comprising Ki-Adi-Mundi (everyone's favorite long-lived conehead Jedi from the prequel trilogy) Vernestra, and Sol discuss the dark threat that Mae poses. 

In a classic attempt of covering up internal strife, Vernestra declares that they'll not be informing the High Council about a potential new Sith master — they'll take care of it themselves so as not to inspire fear or mistrust of their order. C'mon guys, this is a bad idea. She dispatches a team of Jedi to track her down and bring her in. Sol agrees, feeling that there is in fact still good in Mae, convinced that she is simply a pawn of the master.

Back on Khofar, Mae and Qimir set out to find Kelnacca, the Wookiee Jedi, so Mae can kill him without using a single weapon, the most recent quest given to her by masked, red-lightsaber-wielding master. Qimir reminds Mae of her deal she made with the master, as it appears he's starting to realize her discovery of her sister may be affecting her resolve. He confesses to also owing the master something, stating that "You know, he collects people." 

Qimir is sort of a neutral character when it comes to motivation, kind of like Han Solo in most of A New Hope. Manny Jacinto is absolutely knocking it out of the park with this character, and he's a joy to watch.

The Jedi team is close behind them, and both groups have entered into what is very clearly inspired by the fire swamp from A Princess Bride, right down to the bugs of unusual size. They've employed the use an animal-like tracker named Bazil, which is a fun little character straight out of Guardians of the Galaxy

Mae, approaching Kelnacca's abode, has a change of heart and strings up Qimir, confessing her desire to abandon her relationship with the master. We love a "there's still good in her" prophecy coming true.

All of our characters meet at once chez Kelnacca, and Mae discovers him dead from a lightsaber slash to the chest. He's here. 

In the final scene, we witness a team of Jedi stand up to the master, and we get our first good look at his helmet. It's no stormtrooper or Darth Vader helmet — it's something much more sinister, a cross between EV-9D9 and Venom. The teeth, however, aren't biological, they're screws and metal meant to approximate a rictus grin. 

As the Jedi rush him, he forces pushes them meters back with a flick of his fingers. The credits roll. I cannot WAIT for the next episode. 


The Math

Baseline score: 8

Bonuses: Finally seeing the big sith (?) baddie up close was pretty fun; the expedition on Khofar felt very Star Wars

Proto Gonk droid count: A big old goose egg again.

POSTED BY: Haley Zapal, new NoaF contributor and lawyer-turned-copywriter living in Atlanta, Georgia. A co-host of Hugo Award-winning podcast Hugo, Girl!, she posts on Instagram as @cestlahaley. She loves nautical fiction, Vidalia onions, and growing corn and giving them pun names like Anacorn Skywalker.