The Acolyte Is The Most Star Trek Thing Star Wars Has Ever Made

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Fifteen years ago, J.J. Abrams rebooted Star Trek by making it more like his favorite sci-fi franchise, Star Wars. Now Lucasfilm is returning the favor. The Acolyte is easily the most Star Trek thing Lucasfilm has ever put out…but that’s not a bad thing.

Federation/Old Republic Switcheroo

It could very well be me, but watching the first two episodes of The Acolyte on Disney+, I definitely got a Star Trek vibe. Specifically, Next Generation, although that’s the series I have the most experience with, so your mileage may vary. Regardless of the specific series, parts of The Acolyte definitely feel more like the Federation than the Old Republic.

The Jedi Order, for instance, functions much like Starfleet—at least in the part of the High Republic Era when the show takes place. The scenes where Jedi stand around calmly discussing The Acolyte‘s central mystery feel exactly like any number of similar situations from Star Trek. You know the scenes I’m talking about where Picard and Riker have a back-and-forth involving that week’s mysterious cosmic anomaly?

Data-Like Detachment

As Star Wars fans, we’ve never really gotten to see the Jedi order when they weren’t actively fighting a war. Perhaps it’s just the relative calmness of a Jedi order at peace, but The Acolyte‘s Jedi feel less like Space Wizards and more like the crew of Star Trek’s eponymous Starship Enterprise. Of course, given the Jedi groove is usually one of cold detachment, it’s an Enterprise where everyone is Data—or Spock if you want to go old school.

Kung Fu Fighting With A Hint Of Mystery

Don’t get me wrong, The Acolyte isn’t all Star Trek vibes. The fight scenes, for instance, are definitely more evocative of martial arts films. But despite what the trailer would have you believe, The Acolyte has much less kung fu fighting than advertised. Most of the show so far deals with a mystery involving a force-wielding Jedi murderer. And speaking of mysteries…

Look, I know, mysteries aren’t the first thing you think of when you hear Star Trek, but the franchise has certainly dipped its toes in the genre a heck of a lot more than Star Wars. How many episodes of Next Generation involved Sherlock Holmes or Picard cosplaying Dixon Hill, the Dick Tracy-esque private eye? Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country could practically be categorized as a whodunit.

Other Parallels To Consider

In other words, The Acolyte revolving around a mystery only helps to make it feel more like a Star Trek series. If you need another link between the show and Paramount’s baby, look no further than the main character’s droid Pip. Osha (Amandla Stenberg) carries around a small rectangular droid that looks just like an old-school tricorder.

A Treat For Fans Of Both Franchises

But here’s the thing: The Acolyte taking a few pages from Star Trek is not a bad thing. Personally, as one of those rare Star Wars fans who doesn’t hate the competition, I’m enjoying the slower-paced Trek-like nature of the new series. We keep saying that we want Lucasfilm to do something fresh and different with Star Wars away from the Skywalker saga, and you can’t get much different than Star Trek.

I can definitely see some fans being turned off by The Acolyte‘s similarity to Star Trek. I can also see some hardcore Trekkies getting mad at me for daring to compare Trek to dumb ol’ Star Wars. All I can say is that, as a Star Wars fanatic who dabbles in Star Trek, I personally found the melding of the two to be an interesting experience.

If anything, it’s enough to get me to watch the next episode.

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