No worries, new fans! No prep is needed to watch the Acolyte

Never heard of The High Republic? No worries! No homework is needed for The Acolyte!
Mae (Amandla Stenberg) in Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Mae (Amandla Stenberg) in Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

With the premiere of Star Wars: The Acolyte, the release of new installments in a franchise can be daunting for some viewers. Harry Potter movies are easier to understand if you've read the books. Star Trek: Into Darkness was not only a retelling of a previous movie but was a callback to the TV show's conflicts. I even remember friends sitting me down for three nights to watch Firefly so I could enjoy the jokes in Serenity.

Star Wars media often has that same challenge, whether expecting readers of the Fate of the Jedi series to have some understanding of the stories told since the publication of Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire or summarizing the Prequel Trilogy for four minutes at the start of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Star Wars universe has come a long and often wonderful way from the days when no one had heard of Darth Vader or Han Solo.

With the release of many interviews and clips that introduce the audience to the project, there is one piece of news that should excite viewers of all backgrounds. According to Germain Lussier of Gizmodo, fans don't have to worry because The Acolyte requires no homework or previous knowledge to watch. Lussier recalls how unusual this is:

"It's been a long time--heck, maybe going back to 1977--since Star Wars had a clean, simple, accessible entry point A place where anyone could join in without any prior knowledge and just enjoy as a Star Wars story. But that's exactly what we're getting next week with 'The Acolyte.'"

Germain Lussier

This statement immediately caused my eyebrows to raise. I've read everything I could get my hands on where Star Wars is concerned and enjoy answering geeky questions with explanations of semi-obscure storylines or locations. Could this new series really be something that can stand on its own and still entertain? Director Leslye Headland certainly says so:

"[A familiarity with The High Republic] would definitely elevate the show if you've had the experience of immersing yourself in that beautiful world. But you certainly don't need to have read anything or know any references to it."

Leslye Headlande

In fact, this is why Headland purposely hired a writer for her team who had never seen Star Wars. She wanted to make sure the story and characters resonated without prior knowledge of the franchise and The Acolyte could be a starting point for anyone.

With this claim, I feel the sort of excitement that I experienced coming into The Force Awakens for the first time. It was a chance to fall in love with a new version of something I loved, and I was optimistic about what it all might mean. New characters in new settings would understand the Force in ways I hadn't heard before, and the war part of the title would show us the work of another tactician. Some people would rather we have a series that brings back their fan favorites or hearkens back to page 23 of Star Wars: Starfighters of Adumar. That's valid. This series is as much for those fans as the ones who are giving it a try without having an opinion on Darth Caedus.

Star Wars: The Acolyte will premiere on Disney+ with the first two episodes on June 4, so prepare yourself however you like to watch. Headland hopes this will be a fresh start for you.

Next. How the High Republic's Jedi Order differs from the prequels. How the High Republic's Jedi Order differs from the prequels. dark