Everyone on the internet likes a moan and a whinge, right? It’s just what we do. We are so used to being disappointed by Hollywood that we usually start from a broad, general position of negativity and go from there. We know this. We accept this. We own this. However, even with this baseline, it has been a long, long time since we saw anything land with such a damp splat as the trailer for The Acolyte.

The response has been swift, and savage. The trailer landed about five days ago. Sure, the first couple of memes to drop may have been gentle.

This did not last. The first sign that things were going wrong was on YouTube. Here, Disney / Lucasfilm deployed the standard tactic. First of all, their trailer started to get ratioed into oblivion. Within the hour, their +4 million subscribers official Star Wars channel had delivered a damning verdict.

Within a few hours the number was rumored to have headed towards a million downvotes. We don’t know if that is true, as downvotes were turned off in a blind panic.

So you head to the comments for clues as to what is going on and how fandom was connecting to their first look at the new content. There was an expectation that the comments section would also be disabled. As of this morning, it was still active, and the general theme and tone was very, very bad for Disney / Lucasfilm.

Of course, this is the internet and it is like the Wild West, while home to millions of unsung comedians:

The seemingly represented a new low for Star Wars and, at first glance, was everything the people had feared from The Acolyte. Afterall, the showrunner Leslye Headland had already allegedly said it was:

“Lesbian fan fiction with a Star Wars veneer.”

Of course, all of this provided easy red meat for the internet commentariat, us included. It was the subject of almost immediate content from channels such as The Critical Drinker and Nerdrotic. The opinion was completely uniform.

The response was quick, and uniformly savage


They had to mobilise, and fast, to prevent the backlash from being picked up in the mainstream and having The Acolyte completely dead on arrival, and they did. First of all, they pointed to the numbers, with Lucasfilm releasing a statement:

“Released yesterday, the trailer for The Acolyte garnered 51.3 million views in its first 24 hours. This is a new digital-only record for any Lucasfilm Disney+ series, surpassing every trailer for The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka. We’re grateful for your support, and can’t wait for you to experience the series.”

Then the defense mobilization started. YouTube shorts started trending in defense of the show, with a comically as-expected array of defenders front and center.

“Headland doesn’t ‘care’…”


Within this circus, it was of course inevitable that the race card would be deployed, and so it came to pass. IGN writer Isaiah D. Colbert said the problem was Star Wars fans and that they “hate black people”. Yeah, that will help.

No self-examination. No regard for why the entire response was negative. No questions asked like “Maybe we are making content that is completely at odds with what our fan base actually wants!”. No, it is the fans who are racist, misogynistic, and deplorable. Of course, this went well. The internet remains undefeated.

I believe that the noted modern philosopher Guy Ritchie had a phrase to describe what The Acolyte already is, over two months before its official release. Not just fucked, but…

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