The Acolyte: Choice
July 9, 2024 6:59 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

A bitter truth is revealed

We Finally find out what happened 16 years ago from the Jedi perspective.
posted by Monday, stony Monday (55 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Also, we see the seeds of the Doom of the Jedi, and some Wookie-Jedi action; Master Trinity should really have taken the speeder bike instead of sending Sol, and the Jedi really need to develop some non-lethal combat techniques.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:08 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Well that was great. This was the action I was expecting in, oh, episode 3. Wookie lightsaber brutality! Carrie-Anne Moss having whole scenes! And a complicated plot. It's a bold choice they made deferring this storytelling so far into the season, I fear they lost a lot of viewers in the lead-up.

But the payoff is how hard the action and story hit. I'm generally skeptical of the Rashomon gimmick, it's far too easy for a director to think they're doing something meaningful when it's really just a storytelling trick. But here it works. For me it lands almost entirely thanks to Sol's acting, the intense grief and uncertainty. Lee Jung-jae brings a lot to the screen as does the makeup and wardrobe. He seems so naïve and vulnerable in the flashbacks, so broken and sad in the present time.

This episode felt like a real tragedy to me.
posted by Nelson at 9:15 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Why did Sol stab Mother Witch? Did he think she was attacking him when she started to dissolve? It seems exceptionally rash.

Was there any lead up that the Wookiee Jedi was so susceptible to the witch mind control power? The way wookiee are framed in Star Wars it kind of struck me as a primitive folk lack mind discipline trope, which should absolutely not be the case with someone raised as a Jedi.

Overall though a very strong episode, even if it was a downer.
posted by mark k at 10:38 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Was there any lead up that the Wookiee Jedi was so susceptible to the witch mind control power?

them witches got the power of many. you going to block the whole coven's groupmind powers?
Only Master Trinity could.

Tragic father time.

now Sol being the saber coach for younglings seems...inappropriate
posted by eustatic at 10:58 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I thought this was a satisfying payoff to the Rashomon mystery. Nobody was a moustache-twirling villain; multiple people made a series of very bad decisions.
posted by confluency at 1:31 AM on July 10 [8 favorites]


So, so many times, the characters have to announce out loud what their motivations are, rather than it being shown organically as part of the story.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:49 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Why did Sol stab Mother Witch? Did he think she was attacking him when she started to dissolve? It seems exceptionally rash.

My understanding was that he thought Mother Aniseya was going to attack/sacrifice Mae, who Sol thought was Osha. Hence the tragedy when she used her dying breath to tell him that she was going to let Osha go with Sol.

So it's my understanding that really, the worse person in all of this is our young Padawan Torban, who was so bored collecting samples on a planet bursting with the Force, he decided kidnapping two children was the right decision so he could get back to Coruscant. Bad decisions and unfortunate choices followed from that one act, and his whole, "We thought we were doing the right thing at the time," now kind of sounds a bit hollow because we can't shake for him, at least, that his "right thing" was kidnapping kids so he could stop being bored.

Master Trinity rises up in this episode as trying to do the right thing every step of the way and having Sol and then her padawan (and she's scolding Sol about not being someone ready to teach, oi) undermine her. Even the decision to cover up what happened was wrapped around the idea it was in the best interest of Osha, though I find the logic a bit confusing. Would she not have become a padawan/youngling if the Jedi Council found out Sol and Torban really effed things up?

Sol having to Sophie's Choice his way through the Brendok disaster was likely the source of his ever lasting trauma, and well, also rough on the viewer. It kind of touches upon his answers about Mae's fate. He doesn't want to say to anyone, "I thought Mae was dead because I had to let her fall to save her sister." But alas, movie rules, no body, no death! (I'll be looking forward to Mace Windu's return!)

Lingering question, was Master Trinity's act to severe the witches control of Kelnacca really something that killed the coven or just knocked them back on their heels unconscious? That just seems like....overkill? We also have Mae's other mom witch telling her to use her anger to become stronger so their magic may be a bit more dark side coded than previously revealed. Well, taking over someone's mind and using them like a puppet isn't great, either. I guess Osha just kind of thought up Mae telling her she was going to kill her on her own? I had thought maybe Sol had planted that in her mind.
posted by Atreides at 6:27 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


P.S. This episode contained a small easter egg referring to the High Republic publishing project. The first book to come out, Light of the Jedi was based around a giant freight ship being destroyed in hyperspace with its cargo containers and debris then being jettisoned out of hyperspace in different parts of the galaxy like killer asteroids. It was this that Master Trinity was referring to when she mentioned a hyperspace disaster.
posted by Atreides at 6:42 AM on July 10 [5 favorites]


I think this was brought up in an earlier thread, or maybe on the More Civilized Age podcast on the first four episodes, but how/why does Osha know about Jedi? Why does she care so deeply about being one? Especially given that Brendok was evidently a dead world and the coven were the only inhabitants.

Atreides, Light of the Jedi is in my reading list after the newer Thrawn books, but given your knowledge, do you think it’s reasonable to assume that this hyperspace disaster somehow left surviving Jedi materials that Osha discovered?
posted by potent_cyprus at 7:17 AM on July 10


I think this was brought up in an earlier thread, or maybe on the More Civilized Age podcast on the first four episodes, but how/why does Osha know about Jedi?

I guess in the vein of "know your enemies" or something to that ilk, the coven had a book about the Jedi. That's what Mae burns, which ends up starting the fire. It's not the clearest, but it has a Jedi symbol on the cover.

Atreides, Light of the Jedi is in my reading list after the newer Thrawn books, but given your knowledge, do you think it’s reasonable to assume that this hyperspace disaster somehow left surviving Jedi materials that Osha discovered?

While it might be neat for the Jedi lore to be some kind of hidden knowledge for Osha, I think it's just part of the coven's library. The ship that explodes wasn't reported to have any Jedi materials on it. Coincidentally, I've fallen behind on the Thrawn (Chiss society stuff) books and have been sucked into the High Republic. It's a multi-year project consisting of dozens of books and comics that weave together the story of how the Jedi and the Old Republic came under the threat of Marchion Ro, the leader of the Nihil. It's been some of the best Star Wars I've read in years, so I'm excited for you getting to start that initial step!
posted by Atreides at 7:24 AM on July 10


Torban really was the worst wasn't he? It's surprising seeing a padawan be that petty and rash. I was also struck by Sol's going stabby stabby but to be fair, the situation was incredibly tense. He and Torban are standing there surrounded by hostiles, Mae/Osha comes out shouting for help, the other witch woman threatens and then Torban draws his saber. Shit's about to pop off and then Aniseya dissolves into smoke? Jedi are supposed to be perfect and calm in all moments but clearly it was all too much for Sol.

Kelnacca didn't really distinguish himself either, his only role in this episode is to get possessed. (And then fight in the most awesomely brutal and direct style. Kashyyyk form is terrifying.) Indara's posse may not be the best the Jedi had to offer, you know? Maybe that's why they drew the moss collecting job on the boring planet. Even Indara herself is a bit compromised, the way she casually suggests to Sol they just not tell the Jedi Council the whole truth so as to protect him.

A little irritated by one plot point. The fire really was just an accident? The problem seems to be the open flame oil lamps that the witch house uses, combined with an electrical system that somehow propagates the fire to the explodey part of the building. I know the Star Wars universe is famously built without safety codes but that's quite an accident chain.
posted by Nelson at 7:40 AM on July 10 [8 favorites]


It's been some of the best Star Wars I've read in years, so I'm excited for you getting to start that initial step!

That’s what I’ve been hearing! It’s been decades since I was seriously into EU books (RIP Yuuzhan Vong), so I’m glad to see praise of some of the newer stuff. New Thrawn isn’t as good as Heir to the Empire so far, but I’m only through the first book as yet.

Anyway, you’re definitely right about the book Mae burned, I recognized that as Jedi. It just seems weirdly dropped-in. Maybe I’m forgetting a scene, but I don’t recall any serious build-up about that, like one of the mothers trying to keep it out of Osha’s hands as dangerous reading or such.
posted by potent_cyprus at 7:47 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


I recognized that as Jedi.

It looked hand-drawn to me: I thought it was Osha's scrapbook.
posted by suelac at 8:07 AM on July 10


It looked hand-drawn to me: I thought it was Osha's scrapbook.

Perhaps, but this also just raises more questions!
posted by potent_cyprus at 8:26 AM on July 10


It looked hand-drawn to me: I thought it was Osha's scrapbook.

Gosh, it does raise more questions if true! I went back and stared at it on pause and I honestly can't tell if it's a scrapbook that Osha made after meeting the Jedi or if it was created by someone else. The illustrations are in silver on a black page, so either it's not your typical drawing pad (white page) or it was made by someone else.

Maybe I’m forgetting a scene, but I don’t recall any serious build-up about that, like one of the mothers trying to keep it out of Osha’s hands as dangerous reading or such.

There isn't any build up. It's just there for a moment to basically be burned by Mae.

Indara's posse may not be the best the Jedi had to offer, you know? Maybe that's why they drew the moss collecting job on the boring planet.

This has me legit cackling.
posted by Atreides at 9:08 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Oh, I forgot to mention that while it may have been a cheap pop, I thought it was a nice touch that Torbin’s scars were revealed to have been inflicted by Kelnacca.
posted by potent_cyprus at 10:33 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Guy chooses to go into a ten year meditation entirely to avoid looking at himself in the mirror and be reminded of his finest moment of foolishness.
posted by Atreides at 11:34 AM on July 10


Looking through the cast credits to see Abigail Thorn's listing - the singular for a witch in a Night Sisters coven is an Ensign? Or is there a semi-militaristic hierarchy going on here?
posted by Molesome at 11:51 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


The Jedi seemed to be making a lot of assumptions for NO REASON. Oh no, these women have two kids -- they must be abusing them! They are going to have a ceremony -- it must be to harm the children! Like, do you guys have any evidence or ...? And for me there was just something very, very icky about Sol meeting these kids once and then being all, "I feel an attachment to Osha, I want her to be my padawan." OK Creeper! I mean, I guess it's the Force or whatever forging the connection, but bad optics, dude.

Not sure how much of this story they are going to be able to tie up in the last episode, so I'm guessing there will be another season?
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:14 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


It looked hand-drawn to me: I thought it was Osha's scrapbook.
In the first flashback episode, she's shown drawing that symbol in that book.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:17 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Torbin really blew it in this episode, but then again there is still more to the Brendok story. We don't know how Mae survived or how Qimir knows so much about these events, and these two details are probably related. I don't completely understand Torbin's motivations (boredom???), so maybe there is more to that too. I guess we'll learn more next week, or next season. I'd like to see Torbin acquitted somehow, and learn why that fire spread like crazy.

Now that I've seen more of this season/series, I feel like it got off to an uneven start (like so many series do) but has grown on me a little more with each installment. Here's to hoping for a solid eighth episode. . .
posted by abraxasaxarba at 2:25 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


so I'm guessing there will be another season?

I hope so, but even if one is planned, Disney is so cowardly I can imagine them nixing it because of the backlash from shitty fans. I hope they can prove me wrong.
posted by potent_cyprus at 3:29 PM on July 10


there was just something very, very icky about Sol meeting these kids once and then being all, "I feel an attachment to Osha, I want her to be my padawan."

Yeah, I mean with the earlier conversation he had with Indara this seems like obvious overcompensation (oh, you don't think I shouldn't have a padawan? Well, I feel an intense psychic connection to this girl, she should be my padawan!). This seems like the tragic hubris that sets the whole thing in motion, more than Torbin's actions. Torbin is rash and kind of weak-minded, but he's just a kid, and anyways maybe Indara should have trained him better.

I really like that there's a certain amount of The Wire style institutional critique directed toward the Jedi Order in this show, versus yet another round of good-guy vs bad-guy lightsaber battles. I guess they can get away with it because it's back in a different era.
posted by whir at 3:44 PM on July 10 [6 favorites]


I thought this was a good Star War. It continues to have the best laser sword fights I’ve seen in years. I’ve been thinking about why Acolyte’s lightsaber combat feels so much better than similar scenes in the animated series, and I got my answer when I saw Joonas Suotamo hurl himself through the gloom at the other actors. Conflict in the Acolyte is really physical. Everyone and everything has heft and volume. The wounds look like they hurt. A lot.

This show does its best storytelling when it allows its characters to just be. It took me until now to understand why the dialogue sometimes feels clunky, and I think it’s because the lines are always purposeful, they’re there to move the plot forward or tell us more about the internal state of the characters. You almost never get the incidental interactions which knit an ensemble into a cohesive group. But when the show allows the actors to move through space, to emote, and to be present with each others, this becomes a real good space wizard story.
posted by Kattullus at 3:58 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Abandoned mining facilities aren't known for their spotless safety record in our universe; given the baseline temerity of the Star Wars universe, this was likely a disaster waiting to happen.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 4:12 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


If feels like there's an awful lot of story left to tell in one very short episode. I really hope the get another season where we learn about how Osha failed her Jedi trials/ left the order, and I'd also like to learn about how Mae and Qimir's relationship developed.
posted by peppermind at 4:25 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


I'm glad whir brought up The Wire and institutions. In this episode I find nothing to appreciate about either of these institutions. From the Jedi who feel the right to take over the lives of children with Force sensitivity to the Witches who feel completely justified to just whole cloth make a child then place the burden of messianic leadership on them. Too much, witches. That said, kudos to the singular leaders of both groups who do decide--too little too late-- "hey let those kids do what they wish!"

The institutional momentum really is "OUR FORCE CULT KNOWS BEST" -- leaving a blast radius of death and despair that persists forever or so. Every flashback has amplified how much every single adult has failed these kids despite believable good intent. But like The Wire and Greek myth, individual human goodness can't fix what's broken.
posted by artlung at 5:36 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]


>>I don't completely understand Torbin's motivations (boredom???)

The lesser-known path to the dark side; boredom leads to indifference, indifference leads to apathy, apathy leads to fucking around and finding out what a faceful of wookie claws feels like.
posted by Molesome at 12:53 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


I've seen some chatter that internally at Lucasfilm, Acolyte has been given the greenlight for season two. How reliable that information is, I honestly can't say, though I suspect a certain amount of it falls into how expensive the show is to produce. With the Mandalorian appearing to have transitioned into "we'll make a movie!" instead of additional tv seasons, Andor only having one season left, that doesn't leave a lot on the D+ slate for Star Wars shows. We have Skeleton Crew, which I have heard zero reception news about, but, you know, Jude Law in space, it'll be interesting. So there's at least a decent chance that if the executives like the show that they may say "keep going!"
posted by Atreides at 7:11 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Torbin's arc seems rash, but it makes sense to me.

I identify with a teen from the big city forced to live in the country. Torbin is forced to be part of the ascetic no-hugs Jedi in east planetary nowhere in the middle of galactic nowhere. No excitement. And he's told that the group is staying until we solve the mystery of the Vergence which by the way we don't know how long that'll be. And then --miracle!-- he's presented with a ticket home. The ticket home happens to consist of sentient beings with their own wants and needs, but no matter, Jedi custom is snatching kids away to the big city, so why not snatch these kids. In theory win-win for Torbin and Jedi dogma.

in practice it results in only tragedy. Too bad about the kids. Too bad about the women who had their own issues but were trying to care for the kids.

And 3 out of 4 Jedi on that mission are like "well, they're bad Force users, so yes, let's snatch them up."

Torbin never recovers from this teenage failure. He never learns from it. I read his arc as wallowing in levitating self-pity. Because of the secrecy he's never called to to be judged for this. When offered to take poison he takes it willingly. No accountability. No opportunity to learn form his mistakes. Easier to die. Pity.

The institutional Jedi learn no lessons either. How might we Jedi change the way we steward Padawans so they don't go nuts on the away mission? How might we better evaluate troubled Padawans? (ahem, Anakin). And the secrecy magnifies the Jedi-learn-no-lesson problem.

Pretty good tragedy. And yeah, I'll take more if it's on offer from Disney.
posted by artlung at 8:22 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


I agree with your read that Torbin's meditation was a sort of contemptible wallowing.

It's much better in the Star Wars Universe if your ticket off the lonely country planet is an old man and a jackass with a flying saucer. You get to rescue a princess!
posted by Nelson at 8:27 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Torbin also gets to do his wallowing inside a Jedi temple with Jedi all around. He gets protection and care and nobody thinks to suggest: "hey man, you seem pretty sad, maybe you need some mental health counseling?" - nope, that's ol' Levitating Torbin. "He's very holy you see. Everyone says so."
posted by artlung at 8:32 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


I keep thinking if there is a vergence, just being there applies additional pressure to everyone's weaknesses. Or maybe the jedi approach the the force has not prepared them well for its influence.
posted by td2x10e3 at 2:56 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I didn't think this was a strong episode at all. Sol especially is a complete paternalistic jackass throughout, and the decisions being made all round were pretty insane. Does this galaxy far far away have no conception of making adult decisions? A list of the dumbass things people on this show decide to do:

1) Torbin is bored and wants to go home so he hops on a speeder to go solo-assault a fortress full of witches. Well, he is a padawan still, but this is... hard to justify rationally nonetheless.

2) Sol sees two girls, spies on them for ten minutes, concludes they are in danger, then concludes only one of them should become his padawan (fuggit let the other one stay with her family, it's not as if I thought they were abusive moments ago). Oh also he murders their mother, surely this will lay the foundation of a fantastic master-padawan relationship.

3) Indara goes from being like "we should consult the council" to "the council said no we should stop interfering" to "let's lie to the council" in the span of about a day. Also, the strategy of "I don't educate my padawan myself I let him figure it out" seems to be working out... suboptimally.

4) Aniseya leads a coven who creates a pair of identical (cloned?) children to become the future leaders of said coven only to be like "welp my small child wants to go join a Force religion other than my own, this is fine, totally a decision she is capable of making over which I have no right to object." Oh, and in a tense moment she decides to explode into a cloud of smoke prompting the Jedi standing next to her to stab her with a lightsaber, which apparently is still lethal to smoke-people. Wise move.

5) The other mother-figure whose name I can't remember decides to spur one of the twins to "get mad" at the other one which surely won't encourage her to want to become a Jedi if for no reason than to escape her psycho sister, then brings a stick to swordfight. Then pulls her own exploding smoke trick but does it outside of lightsaberin' distance, so I guess points for that.

6) Kelnacca was fine actually, except for letting himself become possessed.

7) All the other witches either stand around just chilling while Mae breaks some shit and starts a fire, or they side with other-mother and proceed to volley arrows at the one Jedi padawan who has been deflecting them with 100% success rate. Then I guess just sort of give up on that strategy when the wookiee appears and... I don't know, go join the chilling half of the witch coven rather than try some other method of attacking the Jedi? Makes sense!

Like damn everyone on this whole planet fell out of the idiot tree and hit every branch on the way down.
posted by axiom at 3:34 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Torban really was the worst wasn't he?

I have worked some biological survey gigs with the random DOT or state employee on the crew that doesn't know what they are doing and just wants to leave, and I know that character.

whereas I could have watched a whole episode of space botany. What trees are those trees? What cemeteries did they find with their ground penetrating radar? Space Cultural Resource Surveys? ack, if only that padawan knew the joys of shovel tests.

I also saw the wound as permanent brain damage / depression from having your brains squished by a wookie claw

I had previously thought that we would have had a more explicit corruption of Sol by the dark side by now....but perhaps the them is "being stupid with the overwhelming power of the jedi is bad enough"

I feel like we may get into that, but they are going to open any dark sider things up for season 2.

Where did Darth Maula get to? did she die?
posted by eustatic at 4:49 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Where did Darth Maula get to? did she die?

My money's on she's how Darth Bortles finds out about what really happened.
posted by axiom at 5:08 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Also, those trees would have grown quickly if the planet was surveyed as lifeless 100 years ago; or maybe it's the vergency? Or the planet was surveyed as "lifeless" but actually wasn't.

Master Trinity & co. must be really low down the totem pole: "If you have an issue, If no one else can be bothered to help and if you can find them. Maybe you can hire, The C-Team."
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:37 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


In storytelling terms, Sol was the weak point here. It's clear the show wanted us to recognize that Torban was screwing up badly and Darth Maula was making bad decisions out of aggression, anger and possessiveness.

We were also supposed to recognize Sol as making mistakes, but I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to be scratching our heads this hard wondering what part of his thinking wasn't a mistake. I assume we were supposed to see some good intentions, but the "best case" was he separated Osha from her sister and family. This problem goes back to the angry "Jedi don't steal children" followed by the non-sequitur "We demand the right to test!" in episode 3; the Jedi have some very questionable tenets that make them tough to identify with.

I'm personally willing to chalk it up to the writing and plotting not quite being up to the task it set itself, and will agree to pretend that Sol had good intentions that went horribly wrong. (Unless the show forces me to further confront the inconsistencies in the finale.)

Trinity and Mother Witch were the voice of sanity here. People are overstating their problems IMO; either one, on their own had ways out of the situation if they were heeded. Both underestimated the bullheaded idiocy of their underlings.

Torban really was the worst wasn't he?

Well, yeah. But TBF he was mind-controlled immediately before this. I can't imagine anything more shattering. It must have been hugely traumatic even if it didn't leave lingering, amped-up "get me off this planet" urges.
posted by mark k at 6:42 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I'll buy Torban being shook by the mind control as an explanation. But they didn't show us that, they just showed us him whining about how he wants to go to Coruscant for some power converters Twi'lek dancers. Maybe that's another case of the writing and directing falling short, like you say they did with Sol.
posted by Nelson at 6:54 PM on July 11


I'll buy Torban being shook by the mind control as an explanation. But they didn't show us that, they just showed us him whining about how he wants to go to Coruscant for some power converters Twi'lek dancers

...except he wanted to bail long before he got whammied. He was just terrible all along.

Maybe that's another case of the writing and directing falling short, like (...) with Sol.
I can absolutely see where this perspective is coming from, and certainly I wouldn't try to claim the writing was strong here.

I think, taken as a character-centric story, the writing is somewhat weak.
But if you look at the entire thing as primarily a critique of the Jedi philosophy (which happens to have some shitty characters in it) then the comparison to The Wire* is quite apt.


* A show which I, for one, certainly watched all of and don't recall ever actually enjoying**.
** Apart from that "Fuck" scene. That was good.

posted by coriolisdave at 7:02 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Sol really has that missionary zeal. He just knows what’s right. That’s the root of every rash decision he takes.

The moment that sealed how screwed up Jedi operating procedures are was when they straight up broke into an inhabited castle. If you’re on a righteous cause, you knock on the damn door. Otherwise you just broke and entered. That ain’t right.

It puts me in the mind of colonial missionary horrors.
posted by artlung at 7:14 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


The good intention was, Sol thought the witches were planning to make Osha a child sacrifice. He said the witches didn't treat the girls like children. They only had the two girls in the group, which he thought was strange. He saw a couple times that Mae was strong in the Force, and at least once that Osha was a disappointment. There was the two-in-one rhyme. Mae got the coven facial marking in an important ceremony, marking her as a future leader, and Osha didn't have it. (There's also whatever he knows about other Force cults and covens.) He was horribly wrong and blundering in, and that's clear to the audience because we saw them being treated as beloved children, but ouch.

And then the irony that one of Osha's mothers did actually decide to sacrifice her - at her request, to the Jedi.

The kicker was when Mae ran in to report the fire, he thought she was Osha - suggesting that his deep connection with Osha is entirely wishful thinking. (He also couldn't sense that Mae had survived? They tested those kids on computer-generated images, and then an actual Jedi couldn't sense a sentient being, ow.)

That episode was an impressive clusterfuck all around.
posted by mersen at 7:16 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


I'll buy Torban being shook by the mind control as an explanation. But they didn't show us that [. . . ] Maybe that's another case of the writing and directing falling short, like you say they did with Sol.

Yeah, my Torban character is in-universe speculation, I'm not claiming it was well presented if that was the intent.

...except he wanted to bail long before he got whammied. He was just terrible all along.

I do think the point there is that he was whammied on this pre-existing weak point.

If I were imagining edit suggestions to this story, I think I'd want to make it explicit that the mind control push by Mother Witch seriously messed his judgment and made him easier for Sol to manipulate into joining him. And so that act of aggression also contributed to the tragic outcome.

(I know, of course, it's easy to imagine head canon and not easy to fit stuff into 35 minutes of show.)
posted by mark k at 7:19 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The good intention was, Sol thought the witches were planning to make Osha a child sacrifice. He said the witches didn't treat the girls like children.

Oh! I didn't make the full on ritual child sacrifice leap! That makes sense.

The kicker was when Mae ran in to report the fire, he thought she was Osha - suggesting that his deep connection with Osha is entirely wishful thinking

On this point, the fact that they were both identical in force-stuff (more identical than identical twins) explains the mistake, as well as why he couldn't instantly tell that Mai had replaced Osha during the last episode.
posted by mark k at 7:22 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


I've long though that the worst thing anyone ever did to Star Wars was turn the Jedi from rare, mysterious, powerful space wizards into this huge bureaucratic institution that more or less ran the galaxy, or at least policed it (within a couple of decades of Han dismissing the Force as a "Hokey religion). This series has strongly reinforced that impression.
posted by synecdoche at 4:15 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


I've long though that the worst thing anyone ever did to Star Wars was turn the Jedi from rare, mysterious, powerful space wizards into this huge bureaucratic institution that more or less ran the galaxy, or at least policed it (within a couple of decades of Han dismissing the Force as a "Hokey religion). This series has strongly reinforced that impression.

I'd say George Lucas recognized this very thing, which is why we have the Prequel films and the Clone Wars. This show is supposed to be a bridge toward why the Order was in a position to be destroyed by Palpatine a short century or so later. Granted, I think he worked back to that from the starting point that the Jedi were already mostly wiped out. The High Republic storyline that lives in the background of the show is somewhat the story of how the Jedi Order began a contraction from the wider galaxy, but also, began to find itself becoming entwined with the Republic government - to an extent by this show, there's governmental reviews of the Jedi being conducted.

A recent, and enjoyable, book, Will of the Force by John Jackson Miller (a great SW author, btw), looks at the Jedi High Council one year before The Phantom Menace and the setting is established with a decision by the Jedi to close a temple on a planet, one of many, that they are doing in cooperation and discussion with the Republic. I.e., they are so twisted together with the Republic, they involve the Chancellor's office in discussions on what temples they should close.

An additional factoid from the newest Maggie Lovitt interview with show creater, is that the witches were all killed (minus the twins). Leslye leaves it up to the viewer to decide if Master Trinity somehow did it when breaking their connection with Kelnacca or if they were just unconscious and then perished in the fire.
posted by Atreides at 8:21 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Nerdiest interview with Leslye Headland in which she says that
- the miners on Brendok uncovered the vergence and it killed them
- Mother Talzin was an inspiration for Aniseya
- the coven uses a mix of magic and the force
- Indara killed the witches
- Koril is not dead at the end of the episode
- Qimir will be Osha's master
- it's up to the viewer to decide whether Mae threatened to kill Osha when starting the fire
- this story has a connection to Darth Plagueis
posted by medusa at 9:32 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Oh! I didn't make the full on ritual child sacrifice leap! That makes sense.

Except it doesn’t! The Jedi rock up on a planet where they have no jurisdiction, spy on some random people they stumble upon, instantly decide that they are child abusers based on nothing but assumptions and vibes, interrupt a church service, try to con one of their children into joining the space cops, break back into their locked house, murder their leader, kill literally all of the community except their two kids, let one of the kids die (Sol easily could have force grabbed both kids instead of holding up both sides of the bridge), and then did a full blown cover up of their mass killing.

Was it a comedy of errors? Sure. But even in Sol’s version of the Rashomon structure the Jedi are massive assholes - the entire tragedy is avoided if they just mind their own fucking business.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:57 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts, I don't think anyone's saying it makes sense like reasonable people could think the Jedi were justified there. Your summary is entirely correct! Just that Sol's actions make more sense character-wise if he was trying to Save The Child(ren).

Speaking of: has Sol gone totally off the rails again? It occurred to me that he expects Mae to help him after telling her that story. Yikes. And he's gone AWOL instead of reporting the Sith who just killed a lot of people to avoid being reported, too.
posted by mersen at 6:41 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Just that Sol's actions make more sense character-wise if he was trying to Save The Child(ren).

His actions make sense - his motivation doesn’t. There’s no basis for his belief that the children are in danger. He creepily spies on a mother speaking slightly sternly to her kids who ran off into the forest, and instantly decides that the coven are wicked witches who are going to eat the kids for dinner.

It’s so at odds with the wise Jedi master we have come to know.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:52 PM on July 13


the wise Jedi master we have come to know.
Is he a wise Master, though? His one and only Padawan flunked out, all we’ve seen of him is:
- ISO standard platitudes
- he can fight good
- he lets his emotions take control
- he’d rather run and hide (and kidnap someone) than face the authorities

This guy is flawed af
posted by coriolisdave at 9:38 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


That’s a fair point, he’s a terrible Jedi. He just has a calm and soothing affect.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:38 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


the Jedi have some very questionable tenets that make them tough to identify with.
[...]
It puts me in the mind of colonial missionary horrors.


Or Waco. This episode in particular kept hitting me as a kind-of-on-the-nose Waco parable.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:35 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


I found Sol's parallel with Qimir interesting. Their desire for one apprentice got too many people killed.
posted by dogstoevski at 6:28 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


I want someone to ask the showrunner if there’s a deliberate dad joke embedded in the plot here--if someone in the writer's room had been itching with this apocalyptic pun ever since "The Matrix" and finally pounced on the chance while they were breaking the story:

SHOWRUNNER: "So what are these jedi doing on this remote planet when they bumble into the witches?"
WRITER 1: "Oh! Oh! Indara is leading a botanical research mission, collecting samples for study!"
SHOWRUNNER: "A jedi botanist? Why in the hell would she be a jedi botanist?"
WRITER 1: "Because she's CARRYIN' MOSS!"
SHOWRUNNER: "SECURITY!"
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 7:49 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


« Older Movie: The Discreet Charm of t...   |  Movie: Deathtrap... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster