Mae and Jedi Master Indara fight head-to-head in The Acolyte Episode 1 | Agents of Fandom

‘The Acolyte’ Episode 1 Recap & Review: A Spectacular Murder Mystery Adventure

Star Wars television heads to the High Republic Era to explore a story about the Sith.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Acolyte Episode 1 “Lost / Found.”

Although not every Star Wars television show lately has been a major hit, when they get it right, they really get it right. Both Andor and Ahsoka are recent proof of spectacular viewing experiences from Lucasfilm. Now, with The Acolyte premiere on Disney+, they have another masterpiece on their hands.

The murder mystery style of storytelling from Leslye Headland is brand new to Star Wars and provides a fresh and unique genre to the universe. Amandla Stenberg stars in not one but two different roles in the series, and they’re spectacular in them both. The unexpected twists and turns along with the excellent fight choreography make The Acolyte the best first episode of any Star Wars series to date. Check out all the details from the premiere in our The Acolyte Episode 1 “Lost / Found” recap below.

Amandla Stenberg Shines in a Surprise Role Throughout ‘The Acolyte’ Episode 1

Amandla Stenberg as Mae in The Acolyte Episode 1, with a hood over her mouth | Agents of Fandom
A surprise twist and high-stakes fight start The Acolyte off on a high note. Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+.

Similarly to Ahsoka, The Acolyte begins with an opening crawl explaining how the series dates 100 years prior to Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Mae (Stenberg) is immediately introduced to viewers as she searches a bar on the planet Ueda for a Jedi. It’s clear this is a different time period than any Star Wars content we’ve seen before, as the energy in the room is unique to when an Inquisitor searches for Jedi after Order 66. Not a single soul is worried; no one at the bar fears Mae whatsoever.

She locates Jedi Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss) in the corner of the bar and easily dispatches everyone in her way who stands between them. After challenging the Jedi to a fight, Mae quickly realizes this foe is far superior to the others in the bar. Indara is able to easily subdue Mae in an incredibly choreographed fight sequence. However, after removing Mae’s mask, Indara realizes she recognizes the young assassin.

Unfortunately, the Jedi’s upper hand doesn’t last long. Mae’s fighting style is brand-new to Star Wars, using the Force to push small knives at her foe. While she’s clearly outmatched, Mae is able to use Jedi Master Indara’s compassion against her, forcing her to divert her attention by launching one of her knives at the bartender still in the building.

Despite their skill differential, Mae is able to slay Indara with a knife to the heart while she’s trying to protect the innocent civilian. Although Carrie-Anne Moss and her character Indara were featured throughout the promotional material, her surprise death levels up the stakes in The Acolyte Episode 1.

‘The Acolyte’ Premiere Is Full of Exciting Surprises

Jedi Master Indara grabs Mae's arm in The Acolyte Episode 1 | Agents of Fandom
Jedi Master Indara recognizes the assassin, but Mae isn’t who she thinks. Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+.

The bombshells don’t stop there, as the episode transitions to introducing a brand-new character completely (well, almost completely) hidden from the series’ marketing campaign. Osha (Stenberg) is found repairing a ship in space before being greeted by a young Jedi from her past named Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett). It’s revealed that Osha was once a member of the Jedi Order but chose to leave the group over six years prior.

It’s unclear to Osha why her old friend is there. However, her past secrets quickly unravel throughout The Acolyte Episode 1. Osha was found by the Jedi when she was eight years old but almost wasn’t admitted due to her age and grieving state. She lost everyone close to her after her twin sister Mae set fire to their home, killing the entire family. Yord reveals he is there to take her into custody: Osha is under arrest for murdering Jedi Master Indara, completely unaware her sister is still alive.

Yord accompanies Osha to a prison transport and returns on his own to Coruscant. However, Osha immediately finds herself in the middle of a prison break with all the other inmates. Although she doesn’t want to partake because she trusts the Jedi, an asteroid field crashing into the ship forces her hand.

Osha tries to grab her droid Pip just beyond arm’s reach, but her attempt to use the Force falls flat. Thankfully, the ship tips, and the droid Pip falls right into her hands. She manages to escape her cell, but it’s too late to stop the ship from crashing into the snowy planet of Carlac.

Master Sol Is the Embodiment of a True Jedi in ‘The Acolyte’ Episode 1

Jedi Master Sol teaches younglings at the Jedi Temple in The Acolyte Premiere | Agents of Fandom
The Acolyte returns to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, a century before Anakin Skywalker and the fall of the Order. Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+.

Meanwhile, Osha’s former Master and Jedi Knight Sol (Lee Jung-jae) is on Coruscant, teaching younglings the ways of the Force. Jedi Master Vernestra (Rebecca Henderson) interrupts his lesson to reveal the unfortunate news that his former Padawan, Osha, is a murder suspect. While the conversation is relatively uneventful, it’s cool to see this version of the Jedi Order. Jedi who are brand-new to the screen, outside of the Skywalker Saga, are finally getting their chance to shine.

Despite the Jedi Masters getting most of the screen time in The Acolyte‘s premiere, Sol’s Padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen) steals the show. The young Jedi in training is humorous, logical, and seemingly a very capable young warrior. Vernestra fills them in on Osha’s situation, and they decide to bring her in for questioning. However, it’s revealed that the prison transport was sabotaged by the inmates, and Osha is missing.

Jecki, Sol, and himbo Yord head off to Carlac to find Osha. It’s clear Jecki doesn’t fully respect Yord, as his skills seem to be lacking for a Jedi Knight. However, despite Jecki’s pleas for her and Sol to do the mission solo, the three embark for the barren planet.

Still unconscious, Osha dreams of a younger version of her sister Mae and begins to speculate that she may actually be alive. The Force vision appears similarly to the dyad in between Rey and Kylo Ren in the sequel trilogy. She wakes up and begins to scour the planet for information. However, Sol quickly finds his former apprentice. The former Master and Padawan are reunited and despite all the charges and evidence against Osha, Sol believes in her pleas of innocence.

‘The Acolyte’ Episode 1, “Lost / Found” Is a Masterclass in Storytelling

Jedi Masters Vernestra Rwoh and Sol talk strategy in The Acolyte Episode 1 | Agents of Fandom
Jedi Masters Vernestra and Sol plan an investigation into the death of Jedi Master Indara. Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+.

Although Osha’s story concludes on a positive note in The Acolyte premiere, the power of the dark side grows. The episode concludes with Mae reporting to her Master, a dark figure wielding a red lightsaber. He challenges his acolyte Mae to defeat a Jedi without a weapon, and the series debut ends on a sinister note.

There are still a plethora of questions yet to be answered, but the mystery of The Acolyte Episode 1 is off to an incredible start. Amandla Stenberg, Dafne Keene, and Lee Jung-jae headline an incredible cast that inspires hope that The Acolyte will be something special. If the series premiere is any indication, Lucasfilm has struck gold.

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'The Acolyte' Episode 1 Review "Lost / Found"

'The Acolyte' Episode 1 Review "Lost / Found"
4.5 5 0 1
4.5 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • The series premiere features beautifully choreographed action sequences.
  • Amandla Stenberg, Dafne Keene and Lee Jung-jae headline a spectacular cast.
  • The murder mystery style of storytelling is a fun and unique twist to Star Wars.
  • The High Republic time period set outside of the Skywalker Saga feels unique and fresh, yet true to the heart of Star Wars.

The Bad

  • The episode was fast paced but felt quick and it was a necessity for them to drop two at once.
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