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Four episodes in, who is actually The Acolyte in the latest Star Wars show?

Does the series title really belong to one specific character, and if so, is it who it first appears to be?

The Acolyte
Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+

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Something to think about with regards to Disney+’s The Acolyte is this: who, exactly, does the title of the series refer to?

Four episodes in, and the answer to that is arguably less clear than ever. Mae, who would have seemed to have been the obvious candidate for the title by the end of the second episode of the series — she is, after all, the one who seems to be taking direction from the suspicious figure only referred to as the Master so far in the show — appears to have strayed from her path by episode’s close, having decided, not entirely unreasonably, that the rules are different now that she knows that her twin sister isn’t dead, after all. If the flashback episode last week demonstrated anything, it’s that Osha was a very important figure to her sister when they were younger; it’s no surprise that Mae is feeling differently about everything knowing Osha’s alive, although the sudden speed of her turnaround is, admittedly, a little surprising.

Does that mean that Mae isn’t the Acolyte of the series’ title? Or, perhaps, that the eponymous acolyte doesn’t have a show named after her because she’s successful in her mission, but because she isn’t, suggesting that the series is actually about something else entirely: the journeys of a character who doesn’t subscribe to the Jedi way of looking at the Force at all. (I mean, I’d watch it.)

Alternately, we should think about what we know about the acolyte already — the person, not the show. We’re told, in episode 2, that the acolyte can destroy the Jedi without a weapon. It’s not a passing comment; in episode 4, we find out that such a thing is “the final lesson,” according to the Master. That seems, as Mae points out, impossible on the face of it — but it’s really not, because we’re arguably seeing it happen in real time during the series. Look at what’s happening to Sol as he is forced to reckon with Osha, and his role in the events that have led to the current situation; without a weapon being used against him, he’s already in the process of being destroyed, even if he doesn’t realize it. See his comment to Osha in this episode about having to “face our past,” for example.

And who does he say that to…? Oh, that’s right, Osha — the twin whose actions led to the destruction of her mothers’ coven, who was forced out of the Jedi Order for reasons we are still somewhat unclear of, and who asks Sol entirely seriously to kill Mae if she cannot be saved. Osha is clearly not evil, that much should be obvious from anyone who’s seen the first half of the season, but she is emotional, somewhat chaotic, and far more powerful than she gives herself credit for. If the Master really does want to bring down the Jedi Order, she might be a far better person to help than Mae. But then, maybe that was the plan all along. Maybe, unwittingly, Osha has been the true acolyte all along. After all, why wouldn’t the Master kill her when he had every chance at the end of this episode…?

The Acolyte continues every Tuesday at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern, on Disney+. Four more weeks until we find out just how wrong I might be.


Turn back the clock 100 years before the earliest Star Wars movie and enter the era of the Disney+ series The Acolyte. We have everything you need from guides on the cast, the episodes (and their release dates), it's not-for-kids rating, where it fits in the Star Wars timeline, how the show asks who 'deserves' to use the Force, as well as bigger picture things such as a complete Star Wars watch order, and a comprehensive guide to the Star Wars timeline, and all the upcoming Star Wars movies & TV shows on the horizon.

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Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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Star Wars: The Acolyte

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