The Korea Herald


[Herald Review] Lee shines as warmhearted Jedi in action-packed 'The Acolyte'

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : June 7, 2024 - 16:38

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Lee Jung-jae portrays Master Sol in Lee Jung-jae portrays Master Sol in "The Acolyte." (Disney+)

The latest series in the "Star Wars" universe, "The Acolyte" boasts convincing acting by "Squid Game" star Lee Jung-jae, who portrays an unconventionally emotional and warmhearted Jedi. The series is also rife with meticulously choreographed action sequences that dynamically blends martial arts with the use of the Force.

The eight-part series, set a century before "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace," follows the story of Osha (Amandla Stenberg), who is accused of murdering a number of Jedi. She is accompanied by Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), his Padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen) and Jedi Knight Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett) as she sets out on a journey to prove her innocence.

One of the highlights of the series is Lee's performance, in which he uniquely embodies one of the first Jedi.

Jedi usually refrain from expressing emotions, according to their traditions. However, during a press conference on Wednesday, Lee said that with the freedom granted to him in portraying one of the earliest Jedi in the franchise, he aimed to depict a Jedi who embodies more humanity than others seen throughout the series. And he has succeeded in doing just that.

Appearing as an empathetic former teacher for Osha, who is scared and confused about being accused of a string of murders that shake up her world, Lee, with the help of his extensive 31-year acting career, convincingly portrays the reliable, senior figure who Osha can rely on. His delivery, despite speaking in a second language, remains strong.

Amandla Stenberg stars in Amandla Stenberg stars in "The Acolyte." (Disney+)

Another highlight of the series is the action.

Especially noteworthy is the battle between Jedi Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss) and her assailant, which opens up the show. The battle scene is characterized by a visually striking and carefully choreographed sequence that blends physical and Force-based attacks.

The first two episodes of "The Acolyte" are a fun watch. The series significantly lowers psychological hurdles for nonentrenched fans to dive into a "Star Wars" series by majorly incorporating mystery thriller elements.

The first two episodes of "The Acolyte" are currently accessible on Disney+. The subsequent six episodes are to be released every Wednesday.