Disney Plus releases new 'The Acolyte' trailer — a Star Wars murder mystery is just what we need

Star Wars "The Acolyte" on Disney Plus
(Image credit: Disney/Star Wars)

Disney celebrated Star Wars Day on May 4 by releasing a new trailer for “The Acolyte,” the highly anticipated upcoming Star Wars series that premieres with its first two episodes June 4 on Disney Plus. The action-packed trailer is the second preview officially released for the series created by Leslye Headland (“Russian Doll”), which is set during the High Republic era of Star Wars history, about a century before the events of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.”

The latest trailer sets up “The Acolyte” as a murder mystery, featuring “Squid Game” star Lee Jung-jae as Sol, a Jedi master investigating a series of killings, with Amandla Stenberg as a Padawan who may have gone rogue. Stenberg’s Mae could be responsible for the killings, and she could be the “acolyte” of the title, although that implies some kind of leader or guru she would be following.

As the Dark Side of the Force begins to rise, Mae might even be part of that eventual takeover of the Empire, or she could be battling against it. The trailer references “some sort of shift” that indicates the dark future to come in the Star Wars timeline.

The trailer features plenty of action but not a lot of plot details, which makes sense for a franchise with the kind of devoted fans who will dissect every detail looking for clues about the twists and reveals that are meant to be a surprise. In addition to the various light saber battles, the trailer offers a brief glimpse of a figure in a black helmet wielding a red light saber, who could be connected to one of Star Wars’ iconic villains. Sol asks, “What are you?,” a question fans are certainly wondering about as well.

Other than that, though, this trailer remains free of familiar Star Wars characters, indicating that “The Acolyte” could break away from the Skywalker Saga storylines that have come to dominate all Star Wars shows, even those that first appear to be largely unrelated. 

Whether “The Acolyte” will offer a new dramatic angle on Star Wars, as in the acclaimed “Andor,” or spin the wheels of a sometimes bloated franchise, can’t really be discerned from this trailer or the first. Audiences will have to wait until June 4 to get any real answers, just as they should.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He's the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and has written about movies and TV for Vulture, Inverse, CBR, Crooked Marquee and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.