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

Is there a familiar face behind the mask of the big bad in the latest Star Wars series?

The Acolyte
Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney+

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The end of the fourth episode of Disney+’s The Acolyte is, perhaps, the finest cliffhanger of the show to date, in that it finally brings the Master into proceedings as more than someone who’s talked about, or a figure standing over in the distance, flashing his lightsaber in an attempt to be interesting.

Except, of course, there’s always the possibility that we’ve been seeing them in action this entire time.

Spoiler warning for The Acolyte episode 4, and speculation warning for the series as a whole. Do not read further unless you’re willing to learn things you might not want to know. You have been warned.

If there’s one thing we know about The Acolyte from the four episodes so far, it’s that the show loves some misdirection. There was the whole “Osha has a twin” reveal, the “Torbin will actually commit suicide, because the Jedi are guilty for some reason we don’t know” reveal, and the entire third episode’s flashback to deal with — so it only stands to reason that there’s something going on when it comes to the Master, right? Especially as the Master is a character who’s been there wearing a mask all along… who does that, except for people trying to hide their identity? (Okay, it is also a Sith thing, which is a fair point, but go with us on this for a second.)

Also, as we’ve already suggested, the series is almost a murder mystery, so maybe there’s something to the idea of this being a whodunnit after all… but the “dunnit” in question is, “plot the downfall of the Jedi Oder.” Which is to say: what if the Master is someone we’ve been watching the entire time?

The end of the show’s fourth episode offers some weight to this theory, simply because: how else would the Master know where everyone is, and how could he have gotten to Khofar so quickly? (Well, that last part is perhaps a moot point in a science fiction world where people have faster than light travel.) There is, to quote Game Changer’s Sam Reich, an obvious answer: he’s been there the whole time.

I think the Master is actually Qimir (Manny Jacinto). Or, perhaps, vice versa.

Maybe Qimir really is just this curiously omnipresent weasel who somehow knows a lot about what the Master wants and specifically wants from Mae, without knowing any useful details of who the Master actually is; there have been stranger and less believable characters in the history of Star Wars as a whole. Nonetheless, there’s certainly something about him that stretches credulity and makes it feel as if he knows a lot more than he’s letting on. Put that together with the fact that he disappears before the Master appears, and the question of whether the two are actually the same person has to at least be asked, surely…?

Of course, if the two are one and the same, it raises plenty more questions: is Qimir as we know him just an act, or is the Master a lot more chatty than we’d expected? Why the ruse in the first place? And where did Qimir, who certainly seems of a similar age to, say, Yord Fandar at least, learn of the teachings that he’s been sharing with Osha?

All of this may be idle speculation; the very next episode could begin with a scene wherein the Master looks off-camera and there’s Qimir as well, saying, “See, I told you that’s where they were!” Nonetheless, there’s something in this series that is hooked around the concept of pairs — please note that the first two episodes of the series have two titles, that Osha and Mae’s pairing and “the power of two” are core to the whole story, that the idea of there being an opposing force to the Jedi is very central to the whole thing — that suggests that there’s a secret identity under the mask of the Master waiting to be revealed: a man who lives two lives, if you will. In that light, the question then becomes… if he’s not Qimir, who is the master?

The Acolyte continues every Tuesday at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern, on Disney+.


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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