Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for The Acolyte episode 6.


Summary

  • Osha dons the Sith Lord’s helmet, paralleling Darth Vader and symbolizing her changing allegiance.
  • Osha is being lured by the dark side, as Qimir offers her a connection to the Force and a sense of belonging.
  • The helmet strengthens Qimir’s connection to the Force and the dark side, and Osha’s decision to wear it may lead to a dangerous path.


Star Wars: The Acolyte episode 6 sees another character don the Sith Lord’s menacing helmet – and it has major implications for the rest of the season. The Acolyte episode 6, “Teach / Corrupt,” takes the intensity down a notch and focuses on character development and backstory rather than violence and spectacle. As the series is now nearing the end, a quieter episode at this juncture was important. Osha and Mae (Amandla Stenberg) have switched places, and their futures may have just taken a serious turn.

One of the biggest reveals of The Acolyte episode 6 was that the Sith Lord, otherwise known as Qimir (Manny Jacinto), was formerly a Jedi. He intuitively uses his frustration and anger with the Jedi Order to lure Osha closer, cultivating a bond between them. Though Osha is convinced that she left the Jedi of her own accord, Qimir feels differently, persuading her that she was cast out, just as he was. He believes she longs for freedom and the truth, and one important moment in the episode seems to confirm his suspicions: Osha puts his helmet on.


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The Sith Lord’s Helmet Deliberately Parallels Darth Vader

Darth Vader's helmet edited with The Stranger from The Acolyte in Star Wars
Custom Image by Yeider Chacon

As soon as Osha puts the helmet on, it’s clear the scene is meant to deliberately parallel the creation of Darth Vader. Not only does her breathing through the helmet sound eerily similar to Vader’s mechanical breathing, but it also symbolizes the birth of a new Sith apprentice. All Qimir wants is a pupil, an Acolyte – he wants to harness the power of two. Now that Osha has worn the helmet, she’s one step closer to becoming her sister’s replacement. The helmet signifies Osha’s changing allegiance, just as it did for Vader in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.


Of course, unlike Darth Vader, neither Qimir nor Osha actually needs the helmet to survive. In Vader’s case, it’s an integral part of the suit that kept him alive after his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. As such, Qimir’s fearsome helmet also parallels Kylo Ren’s in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Kylo didn’t need a helmet, either. He wore it to “honor” his grandfather and intimidate his enemies. The show has done a lot to mirror Qimir and Kylo Ren’s characters – including subtly using Kylo’s theme music – so it’s no surprise this parallel exists as well.

Osha Is Acknowledging The Lure Of The Dark Side


There’s no denying it: Osha is being lured in by the dark side. Though she’s adamant that her connection to the Force has been lost, Qimir offers her a different perspective. All those emotions that the Jedi are taught to suppress – anger, fear, loss, desire – not only lead to the dark side but can awaken the Force within as well. Osha is understandably wary of Qimir’s motives, but it’s also clear that she wants something. Maybe not power, maybe not revenge, but truth, freedom, and most of all, the Force. The dark side can technically offer her all of that and more.

Qimir is clever. He preys on Osha’s desire to feel like she belongs to something greater than herself and offers her the opportunity to restore her connection with the Force at the same time. She’s lived a tragic life, full of pain and sorrow. Her entire coven died, she believed her sister had perished along with them, she joined the Jedi Order and made the difficult decision to leave, and she’s watched people she cares about be killed brutally right in front of her, helpless to stop it.


Qimir is ruthless, but he is also unnervingly empathetic. There’s a tentative bond there, one that Qimir can no doubt convince Osha is worth exploring.

Is it any wonder Osha feels the lure of the dark side? That she wants to belong somewhere, with someone? If not her sister, if not her mothers, if not Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), who seems to have been lying to her for years, why not someone who understands her pain? Why not stay with someone who wants her to be there more than anything? Qimir is ruthless, but he is also unnervingly empathetic. There’s a tentative bond there, one that Qimir can no doubt convince Osha is worth exploring.

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Osha Is Reconnecting To The Force… Through The Dark Side

The Acolyte season 1 episode 6-40
Image via Disney+

The helmet is a big part of Qimir’s plan. He explains to Osha that it works as a sensory deprivation mask like they used to train with when they were both still a part of the Jedi Order. For both the Jedi and the Sith, it can strengthen their bond with the Force, allowing them to commune with their power without the distractions of the outside world. In a sense, the helmet acts the same way as Master Torbin’s Force field did in The Acolyte episode 2. No interruptions – all that matters is the wearer’s mind, the Force, and their emotions.

Master Torbin was practicing the Barash Vow, a vow which allows certain Jedi to dive into a deeply meditative state, often to atone for their sins or reinvigorate their connection with the Force.


Interestingly, of course, these sensory deprivation helmets are normally supposed to be used to train – Luke Skywalker wears something similar once Obi-Wan Kenobi begins to train him in the way of the Force during the original Star Wars movie. The fact that Qimir wears it at all times, even during The Acolyte episode 5’s massacre, is telling. He’s not just wearing it to hide his identity and intimidate his opponents. He’s wearing it because it makes him even stronger. Who can touch him if he is driven solely by the Force and the dark side?

Clearly, Osha misses her connection with the Force. In The Acolyte’s double-episode premiere, she tries to reach out to the Force to save herself from the destruction of the prison transport, and she is visibly frustrated when she can’t access her power. When she puts on the helmet, when she submits to Qimir’s persuasive arguments, Osha opens herself up to all the negative emotions she’s ever bottled up. She may not realize it yet – or she’s just in denial – but putting the helmet on is the first step on a dangerous path.


Osha may not realize it yet – or she’s just in denial – but putting the helmet on is the first step on a dangerous path.

One has to wonder whether Qimir ever offered Mae the chance to wear his helmet. It’s unlikely, as Mae wasn’t aware of her Master’s true identity until his mask was ripped off during the battle on Khofar. So, what’s the difference between Mae and Osha? Why is Qimir so much more interested in the sister who used to be a Jedi? Is it because of their similar training? Their rejection of the Jedi Order? Or does he see a greater capacity for darkness in Osha than there ever was in Mae?


In any case, Osha’s decision to wear the Sith Lord’s helmet changes everything. Mae may not be the show’s true Acolyte. Instead, it’s looking increasingly likely that Osha was Qimir’s target all along. What they might accomplish together, should Osha fully choose to join him, could be devastating. There are only two episodes left in this season of Star Wars: The Acolyte – anything could happen next.

New episodes of The Acolyte premiere Tuesdays exclusively on Disney+.

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