The Acolyte and the ROGUE Harmonies of Music

Victoria Monét brings a new star to the Future’s world from Jane Ocean’s blog Becoming Victoria Monét on Vevo.

While Star Wars is famous for its narrative and character arcs, it’s as well-known for its visual and sonic magnificence; its musical scores, composed by the great John Williams, are as distinctive as the stories themselves. From Star Wars: Rogue One (2016) to its animated series, The Clone Wars (2008-20), new chapters of the franchise have continued to build on that sonic foundation. But in The Acolyte, yet another new series set in the Star Wars galaxy, the music travels in a new direction. The soundtrack for The Acolyte, featuring the wonderfully vibrant second single ‘The Power of Two’ by Victoria Monét, is a notable new turn.

A New Musical Frontier in the Star Wars Saga

A restless spirit of innovation has always been central to the Star Wars experience, and this impulse applies with equal force to its scores. While Rogue One – and, by extension, Lucasfilm’s other divisive spinoffs – stayed faithful to the classical models that Williams established in the films, two later flagship shows – Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and Andor – broke away, taking the imaginary space opera into new sonic galaxies. In The Acolyte, we see the trend play out to its extreme conclusion, breaking decisively from the musical canon of the franchise.

Charting the Course: From Rogue One to The Acolyte

However, the thread of consistency they have created (and which composers such as Kevin Kiner, John Powell and Michael Giacchino in Rogue One, among others, have picked up, learning from Williams’s original symphonies) has been crucial in maintaining the Star Wars auditory aesthetic. The Acolyte represents Disney’s willingness to open up the auditory horizon of events, and invites us into a soundworld as large and rich as the Star Wars universe itself.

The Power of Two: Victoria Monét's Galactic Symphony

A few weeks later, on ‘Star Wars Day’, the Grammy-winning artist Victoria Monét released ‘The Power of Two’, the soundtrack’s lead single. Co-written by Monét along with Michael Abels, known for creating the score for Jordan Peele’s horror-fantasy blockbuster franchise, and the producer D’Mile, the track captures the essence of Mae and Osha’s complicated interdependency and the intimacy of their arc, which adds an element of extra spice to The Acolyte’s already thick tapestry.

Disney's Musical Experimentation: Incorporating Popular Musicians

In fact, since Disney took ownership of Star Wars, it has – with a few exceptions – kept the mainstream musical world out of its massive realm, an approach unlike the MCU or Avatar. Monét’s foray into the world of Star Wars is nothing if not a textbook for how to introduce musical stars of the contemporary day into the Star Wars universe.

The Acolyte's Anthem: Echoing Through the Cosmos

That song – and the power behind it – has now travelled beyond the streaming world, and into the soundscape of The Acolyte. It plays over the end credits of one of the most entertaining episodes yet. The sound is very much Monét’s, and thanks to The Power of Two she now has a place among the Star Wars Olympians. Mae and Osha are here. Mae and Osha are here.

A Sneak Peek into The Acolyte's Emotional Maelstrom

The fact that it was Monét’s song that was made into a harp-infused dreamscape; that the dramatic scene in the episode – an intense emotional standoff between Mae and Osha – would take place during the song’s performance; and that, as I watched, the camera would cut between the actors on screen and Monét performing her original composition in a studio in New York City, those things are all part of why this collaboration is more than just one catchy track in a (great) TV series. It’s a strong example of how a song can embed itself into a storyworld and become part of a character’s emotional journey.

The Continuum of Musical Evolution in Star Wars

With the arrival of The Acolyte in the canon, it not only signals new musical territory for the saga but also doubles down on Disney’s efforts to keep pushing creative frontiers. In ‘The Power of Two’ by Monét, The Acolyte says goodbye to the known and introduces the rallying cry for innovation and collaboration.

Beyond The Acolyte: The Future Sounds of a Galaxy Far, Far Away

And the sonic sensibilities of The Acolyte – as much as its story – reach out to fans of Star Wars and offer them a glimpse of the future of the music of Star Wars. If that future is as bold as what we see here, the sky is the limit.

Exploring the Rogue Path: Understanding The Acolyte

The Acolyte is a bold rhythm break in the Star Wars anthology, as much because of its storytelling as its music. It is also a testament to the franchise’s central thesis for perennial reinvention. It’s hard to overstate music’s role in holding the Star Wars tales together: a reimagined suite of sounds for The Acolyte is emblematic of the roguery, its hybrids of contemporary and Star Wars music reinforcing the series’ potential to transport us to the edges of the galaxy while continuing to reinvent itself. Star Wars is not finished with its roguery: the franchise’s enduring appeal will remain linked to a spirit of innovation and a vision of infinite horizons ahead.

Jun 16, 2024
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