Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for The Acolyte Episode 6.

The Big Picture

  • The Acolyte
    highlights the parallels in both Mae and Osha’s path but also with Qimir and Sol as teachers.
  • Episode 6 calls back to characters from the Skywalker Saga like Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka.
  • Force echoes and Kylo Ren’s theme music hint at deeper connections and mysteries.

Last week, The Acolyte arguably brought its most laudable episode yet, offering a big reveal and lightsaber battles up there among the best of Star Wars. An entire host of Jedi, led by Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), made their way to the jungle planet Khofar in an attempt to intercept Mae (Amandla Stenberg) before she could kill the Wookie Jedi Master Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo). Mae, tasked by a mysterious master with killing four specific Jedi, gave up her murderous plot, betraying The Master and her aide, Qimir (Manny Jacinto). Well, it turns out the bumbling Qimir was The Master all along. With his identity revealed after having slain all the present Jedi except Sol, including Jecki (Dafne Keen) and Yord (Charlie Barnett), Qimir suggests that the Jedi might call him Sith.

When the bloodbath settled, Mae disguised herself as her twin sister Osha (also played by Stenberg), and she left Khofar with a duped Sol. Qimir Forced-healed a wounded Osha, and Episode 6 begins with the estranged siblings accompanying their opposing teachers. The Acolyte, from creator Leslye Headland, is set about 100 years before the events of the prequels during the High Republic era. Plenty of questions remain in the final episodes, so eyes and ears are tuned toward any clue that can be found. With that comes no shortage of Easter eggs, callbacks, and references to the wider Star Wars lore.

“Teach / Corrupt,” Episode 6’s Title Pits Qimir and Sol Against One Another

Mae, disguised as Osha, looks at Sol, who stares at her sadly in 'The Acolyte' Episode 6
Image via Disney+

Until now, the divergent paths of Osha and Mae have seemed to be the sole focus of The Acolyte‘s central plot, but the parallel between Qimir and Sol is becoming increasingly evident. This episode’s title, “Teach / Corrupt,” does more than mirror the words of these characters. Sol, time and time again, mourns over Mae succumbing to the corruption of Qimir. Qimir, of course, does not see himself as a perpetrator of corruption. He badly yearns to teach; he wants the freedom to take on an apprentice without the Jedi’s permission. Osha and Mae have been set up to be the core comparison made in the series, but it’s looking more like Qimir and Sol — both the good and bad aspects of their practices — will be placed under the microscope.

Osha and Mae Pull Knives on Qimir and Sol, Mirroring Each Other

From the waist down, we see Mae holding a blade in her right hand in 'The Acolyte' Episode 6
Image via Disney+

Wielding the same type of blade she used to kill Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss), Mae slowly approaches Sol on the ship as they head back to the fellow Jedi. Osha, when she wakes up on an unknown planet, pulls a similar knife as she approaches Qimir. It’s an important visual parallel, not only because it reminds us that these two are in similar circumstances with the other’s master but also to show us how alike the twins are. Despite many years apart, with Osha even believing Mae to be dead for some time, and despite walking entirely different paths with the Force, Osha and Mae respond similarly in the face of mistrust. These two are not as unalike as they might wish to think.

‘The Acolyte’ Calls Directly Back to ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’

Qimir stands shirtless in front of a body of water on an unknown planet in 'The Acolyte' Episode 6
Image via Disney+

“Be mindful of your thoughts, Anakin. They betray you,” Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) counseled Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) in Attack of the Clones. Years later, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) would say something similar to Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) in Return of the Jedi. “Your thoughts betray you, Father.” When Qimir approaches Osha on the unknown planet, he notes that she’s wondering how he can read her mind. “I can’t, not exactly,” he says. “Your anger betrays your thoughts.” It’s an interesting reversal of the Jedi teaching we’re familiar with.


‘The Acolyte’ Episode 5’s Big Reveal? I Don’t Buy It

Only a Sith deals in absolutes, but I absolutely don’t believe it.

Droids Glowing Red When Factory Reset

C-3PO's eyes glow red and Babu Frik stands behind him in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
Image via Lucasfilm

Not every Easter egg needs to be read for a deep meaning; some are just fun to notice. When Mae does a factor reset on Pip, Osha’s handheld droid companion, his “eyes” switch to a glowing red. In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) seek the services of a rambunctious Anzellan named Babu Frik (Shirley Henderson). C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) needs to be reset so that he may translate the language of the Sith, an act forbidden by his programming. When he’s reset, his eyes glow red as well. In that movie, it felt like a useful way of visualizing the dark language C-3PO was reciting, so it’s interesting to know that red may just be a droid’s default look.

Hyperspace Is an Unsettling Place for Master Vernestra Rwoh

Master Vernestra Rwoh looks at a robed Jedi in 'The Acolyte' Episode 6
Image via Disney+

Master Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson) appeared in Star Wars media long before The Acolyte, and in Episode 6, the character hints at her experiences in some of the novels. In books like The High Republic: Out of the Shadows and The High Republic: A Test of Courage, Vernestra Rwoh has trouble traveling through hyperspace. Much like her character in the series, however, it’s not because it makes her sick, rather it’s… unsettling. In the novels, it’s explained that Vernestra receives uncontrollable Force visions when traveling through hyperspace. Often, her consciousness is transported to alternate realities or moments in time during these visions, seemingly in an attempt to guide her to important information.

Force Echoes Are Becoming a Mainstay Jedi Power

Master Rwoh and three other Jedi look upon a dead Jecki in the forest of Khofar in 'The Acolyte' Episode 6
Image via Disney+

The ability to use Force echoes, also known as Psychometry, is showing its face in live-action Star Wars again. We first saw it in The Clone Wars, and various entries in Star Wars literature and video games have kept it around. The opportunity to wield it yourself in a game like Jedi: Fallen Order will always be a fan favorite. In her titular series, Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) showed off this ability, sensing the events that previously took place in a given space by tapping into the Force. Now Vernestra showcases this power in The Acolyte, reading Force echoes to ascertain what happened during the bloodbath on Khofar.

‘The Acolyte’ Plays Kylo Ren’s Theme Music Again

Episode 5 gave us an Easter egg of Kylo Ren’s theme music playing as Qimir healed Osha’s wound. During the end credits of Episode 6, the same music can be heard again. No doubt this reference is being made for a greater purpose than the fact that it’s a nice score. Qimir is obsessed with harnessing “the power of two.” The witches of Brendok emphasize “the power of two” during their ritual, and Osha and Mae make great candidates for showcasing whatever “the power of two” could signify. Is the Kylo Ren connection foreshadowing a Force Dyad, a unique bond connecting two individuals through the Force, which Kylo and Rey formed? Are we possibly witnessing an early iteration of the Knights of Ren?

The Acolyte is streaming on Disney+.


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