The Acolyte Comes Out the 2nd Most Successful Star Wars Series Despite the Hate
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The Acolyte Comes Out the 2nd Most Successful Star Wars Series Despite the Hate

Despite the criticisms and backlash, The Acolyte has outperformed other Star Wars series, like Ahsoka and Andor, though it's still no match to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Star Wars: The Acolyte Credit: Lucasfilm / Disney+

Five episodes into Star Wars: The Acolyte, the show has faced an incredible degree of backlash, from many complaining that it’s helmed by a female showrunner, Leslye Headland, to featuring a diverse cast to allegedly ruining the canon. It has even become the subject of a review-bombing campaign. The negative reactions reached new heights when Wookieepedia updated Ki-Adi-Mundi’s profile to acknowledge his appearance in the series, leading to its editors receiving death threats. But despite the hate, the show has come out as the second most successful Star Wars series, as proven by a third-party analytic Reelgood.

In a talk with ScreenRant, Reelgood revealed that The Acolyte had performed well since its June 4 premiere on Disney+. The app examines viewing trends across all the US streaming platforms and analyzes its data to see how the latest Star Wars series performs compared to other live-action shows from the franchise 14 days after its release.

As it turns out, it is the second most successful when it comes to streaming and engagement, even beating Star Wars: Ahsoka, though it had a lower viewership than Ahsoka in its first week. It has outperformed the average top 100 TV shows by a factor of six. It has also outdone Star Wars: The Mandalorian Seasons 1 to 3, The Book of Boba Fett, and Star Wars: Andor. However, it has been defeated by Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, which outperformed the average top 100 TV shows by a factor of eight, making it the most successful Star Wars live-action series.

However, it’s good to note that Reelgood defines “engagement” as aggregating user interactions with titles across its platforms. Its data includes playbacks, tracking, and other interactions.

Star Wars: The Acolyte Streaming and Engagement Data Credit: Reelgood via ScreenRant

What is Star Wars: The Acolyte backlash about?

Ahead of its release, The Acolyte has already become the subject of massive online backlash. Its review-bombing campaign is quite evident, only receiving a 14 percent average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, though it has an 83 percent average Tomatometer rating. Its over 25,000 ratings are even more than what all three seasons of The Mandalorian receive.

Though some criticisms are reasonable due to its pacing and dialogue problems, others are illogical. The biggest debate so far is Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi's cameo, accusing the show of breaking the canon due to his age, which has never been specified in the canon. The Cerean Jedi first appeared in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, where he declared that the Sith had been extinct, while The Acolyte implied that he had an idea about the dark force’s return after being part of the task force following Mae’s (Amandla Stenberg) Sith Master, Qimir / The Stranger (Manny Jacinto).  

It also received criticisms for being woke, with some dubbing it The Wokelyte for being female-centric, casting Stenberg, who came out as gay in 2018, and for overall prominence of women and people of color. Some even complain of it being spearheaded by Headland, who’s openly queer and the first woman to create a Star Wars series.

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The release of Reelgood’s data only proves that The Acolyte is doing well despite the hate and criticism it receives. However, its overall impact remains to be seen, as the show still has three episodes left before it concludes.

The Acolyte Episodes 1 to 5 are available on Disney+, while new episodes are set to release every Tuesday.

About the author

Jonnalyn Cortez (1239 Articles Published)

Jonnalyn is a book lover who discovers Netflix and gets stuck on the couch watching all day. If she’s not busy writing about her favorite fandoms, she plays with her Star Wars-inspired-named dogs, Chewie and Wookie.