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How many seasons will ‘The Acolyte’ have? Future of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise

Part of the ‘Star Wars’ space-opera franchise, the series ‘The Acolyte’ premiered on Disney+ this week - and its showrunner is eyeing multiple future seasons.

El estreno de ‘The Acolyte’, nueva serie del universo de Star Wars, ha llegado. Te explicamos de qué tratará y cómo verla.
Lucasfilm Ltd.

The showrunner of The Acolyte says she’d be happy spending the rest of her career making the new sci-fi series, which is part of George Lucas’ iconic Star Wars franchise. Speaking to the entertainment news outlet Collider late last month, Leslye Headland declared that it’ll take “at least three” seasons to tell the story she aims to tell, adding: “I’d love to keep doing it forever.”

“This is my dream job,” she went on. “I’m saying three because I’m hoping they’ll allow me to do that, but if I could snap my fingers, it would just be: This is my job until I retire. I can’t think of a higher creative or career peak than working on Star Wars. So I really am good; I don’t want to do anything else.”

Headland, who is also the co-creator of the Netflix series Russian Doll, says she has already begun mapping out the storyline for a potential second season of The Acolyte. She revealed to Collider that she has “a lot of ideas” on the future conflicts that may arise between the show’s characters, “specifically in the second season”.

The Acolyte: release date and series synopsis

The Acolyte premiered on Disney+ on Tuesday 4 June 2024; for now, the first two episodes of the show’s eight-part opening season are available on the streaming service. The remaining six instalments will be released weekly until the finale drops on 16 July.

The series is set in Star Wars’ High Republic era, around a century before the plot of the film franchise begins with 1998′s Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. In The Acolyte, which features Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg in the lead role, Jedi peacekeepers are forced to investigate a series of crimes in conjunction with a former Padawan learner.

The Acolyte - watch the trailer:

Will The Acolyte earn a second season?

While official audience figures for the first two episodes of The Acolyte are yet to be released, the series’ trailer offered up an indication of its viewership potential. Released in March, the teaser accrued 51.3 million views in its first 24 hours - a record for a Lucasfilm Disney+ series.

As far as its critical reception is concerned, The Acolyte has a 93% rating on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, with AV Club’s Manuel Betancourt describing it as “an engaging and addictive watch”. However, its high Rotten Tomatoes score belies the fact that a number of the TV world’s most prominent critics are clearly unconvinced by the show.

“Bang in the middle”

The Seattle Times’ Rob Owen complains of “too many dull exposition pitstops”, while Decider’s Joel Keller says The Acolyte has “promise”, but is hampered by “storytelling hiccups” such as “one-dimensional” characters. Meanwhile, Slate’s Sam Adams feels the series’ makers were not bold enough in their approach, noting: “The show pulls back from its most audacious possibilities in a way that suggests the heavy hand of brand management, chipping away at anything that might rock the boat.”

The Independent’s Ed Power concludes: “It’s a spirited effort, but in the continuum of Disney’s Star Wars hits and misses, The Acolyte lands bang in the middle.”

“Just barely tolerable”

Among regular viewers, moreover, The Acolyte has so far proved a bit of a flop. With a 33% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, the series has attracted some excoriating write-ups among the punters.

“There is no sign of genuine creative ambition in this show,” one internet user says, while another declares: “This latest Disney foray into the Star Wars universe is just barely tolerable.” A third reviewer says simply: “Awful writing, even worse acting”.

How much does Disney+ cost?

Viewers in the United States can get a subscription to Disney+ Basic, which includes ads, for $7.99 a month. The ad-free Disney+ Premium plan costs $13.99 a month or $139.99 a year. Starting at $9.99 a month, there are also a series of bundle plans, which include one or both of Hulu and ESPN+.