It’s not bragging if you can back it up. At least that’s what I always heard when I was growing up. And the people that said that, were typically the ones who could back up their words with actions.
There was also a time when everyone thought that Muhammad Ali was a big mouth when he proclaimed that he was the greatest. But he backed it up with actions and won the boxing heavyweight championship. Everyone also thought that Joe Namath was too flashy and talked too much. But he backed it up with actions and won the NFL’s Super Bowl for the New York Jets.
Recently, the star of the Disney Plus show Acolyte, Manny Jacinto, was quoted in an EW interview before the current SAGaftra strike as saying “If you loved that sequence with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and Darth Maul, I think you’re going to enjoy this show.” In the Star Wars world, that’s a mighty big claim.
For all the hate the prequel trilogy initially received, the one thing they were lauded for was the choreography of the lightsaber duels, particularly in the fights between Maul and the duo of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and then the ultimate lightsaber battle of Anakin versus his former master, Obi-Wan.
To allude that if we like those fights, we will like what’s coming on Acolyte, is a pretty bold claim. But can it be backed up? That’s the real question now upcoming for this show. Co-star Charlie Barnett seems to think so. Barnett doubled down on the statement made by Manny Jacinto by saying, “ I will say too — not to shade’ but we have a lot more tangible physical moves than I saw in that fight, as badass as it is, there’s a lot more grounded work that goes into our stunt training and our stunt performances”.
What else can we expect from this show? How about a lack of the pew pews? Yeah that’s right, blasters will not play a prominent role in this series that is set in the High Republic era. This show will focus more on the hand to hand combat and lightsabers. Dafne Keen, another co-star of the show, said the following, “There’s a lack of guns, which personally as someone who loves fighting and stunts and stuff, I love. Because it gives you that body-to-body choreography — that dance feeling. It actually looks like a real fight as opposed to just I point and I shoot”.
So maybe, just maybe, there is something to these claims made by the actors. Maybe Manny Jacinto, Charlie Barnett, and Dafne Keen will be the Muhammad Ali of the Star Wars world. If the claims they are making can be backed up with on-screen action, good acting, and solid writing, we could be in for an exciting time! They planted their flag in the nerd ground, now let’s see if they can put their money where their mouths are, so to speak.
Currently, The Acolyte is scheduled to premiere on Disney Plus in early 2024, with rumors of a possible March release. It’s longer than I was hoping to have to wait, but I’m ready for it to begin.