Movie Reviews

The Acolyte's Composer Responds To The Show's Divisive Fan Reaction

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Acolyte episode 4!


  • The Acolyte
    composer Michael Abels values fan reactions and closely follows discussions surrounding the show.
  • Abels compares fan passion about
    The Acolyte
    to reactions towards Jordan Peele movies he’s worked on.
  • While not agreeing with all criticisms, Abels believes
    The Acolyte
    honors what is important about Star Wars for many fans.

The Acolyte composer Michael Abels has responded to the new Star Wars show’s divisive fan reaction, responding to what people have been saying about the latest series in the franchise. Episodes of The Acolyte have been getting a plethora of negative reviews since the show began, dividing the fanbase on the quality of the series. Discussion surrounding episode 4 continued to widen this rift, with Ki-Adi-Mundi’s appearance 100 years before The Phantom Menace bringing in the latest bout of criticism.

Speaking with Screen Rant, Abels responded to The Acolyte‘s divided fan reactions, explaining how he follows much of the discussion surrounding the show. Comparing his work on the Star Wars series to that of Jordan Peele movies he’s composed for, he understands why fans are so passionate. But he also believes the series is honoring the franchise regardless of negative reception. Check out what Abels had to say below:

I have been reading, and I’m going to continue reading, because it’s really important for me to know about the reaction. Jordan Peele movies have a huge fan base, and people dissect every aspect of the trailers when they come out. It’s remarkable. Also, not everybody likes Jordan Peele movies, and they have a lot to say about that. So, that’s not new to me.

What is new is the level of passion about this. I have been a Star Wars fan all my life, but not compared to some people. I really am a newbie compared to some people and how deeply they’re into it, and I have a very mixed reaction. I do love that people are so passionate about it and feel like it’s so personal to them; what Star Wars means to them. I would be a composer without Star Wars, but my life is forever blessed because of the music from Star Wars, and that’s really personal to me. I have to respect that other people have other things about Star Wars that are as personal to them as the music is to me.

I can’t say that I agree with some of the things that they choose to be passionate about, like the age of characters. I don’t think that’s quite as important to me as the things I care about. It’s just not what makes Star Wars to me. But I think that our show is honoring the things that are important about Star Wars for a lot of people, and I love that the show is reaching those people who can appreciate what we’ve done for Star Wars.

The Acolyte Backlash Happens In A Context

People Who Worked On The Show Can Also See Fan Responses

As Abels’ statement indicates, people who worked on the series are likely watching fan responses to the Star Wars series pour in, especially the negative reactions dominating online discourse. While some viewers harshly criticize the show for what they believe are “woke” attributes, others are simply displeased with The Acolyte‘s characters and storytelling. While the show has been getting positive reception from critics so far, it’s clear there’s a genuine divide being seen by not only the general public, but by those who worked on the show as well.

Because everyone from Abels to the writers and actors can watch the public outcry against the show, it could be discouraging to see such a large amount of hatred aimed at the show. The context of the show getting review bombed in places like Rotten Tomatoes also doesn’t help, as it indicates a massive amount of displeasure for the series overall. But, while The Acolyte episode 4’s quality has generally been the weakest so far, the fact some are still reviewing the show positively means the overwhelming negativity doesn’t represent everyone’s views.

Despite how much backlash the show has received, The Acolyte‘s viewership data indicates it’s still a decent Star Wars entry for Disney+. While that doesn’t mean everyone watching it is enjoying it, the show’s metrics are the key to its long-term success. With season 1 having reached the halfway point, though, it seems the negative reception will continue for quite some time – something those working on the series will end up having to endure because of the online discourse.

Due to review bombing,
The Acolyte
currently has a 14% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, contrasted with an 84% critics score.

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