Spoilers

The Biggest Star Wars Villains Are Suddenly Way More Complicated

Let’s talk about tonight’s episode of The Acolyte.

The "Sith" Lord in 'The Acolyte.'
Lucasfilm
The Acolyte

Since it began, The Acolyte has pushed all of us to unlearn what we’ve learned about the history and nature of the Jedi. In the first three episodes, we discovered that not only are Jedi extremely bossy about how one can use the Force and where, but also nosy and controlling when it comes to how people outside of the Republic teach their kids to use the Force. But in Episode 5, “Night,” The Acolyte is not just redefining the Jedi, but the history of the Sith, too.

For those who were wondering if the secret Sith Lord would be revealed in this episode, the wait is over. But now that we know who is under the helmet, we have even more questions about the Sith than ever before. Spoilers ahead for The Acolyte Episode 5.

The Dark Lord, revealed

It was Qimir all along!

Lucasfilm

As many fans correctly guessed, the red lightsaber-wielding baddie is none other than Qimir (Manny Jacinto), a character who was previously posing as a kind of sniveling lackey while pretending to help Mae. After slaying all the random Jedi who came along for the mission, Qimir remains under his helmet until Jecki (Dafne Keen) manages to slice it open. Then, Qimir is revealed, but not before lightsabering Jecki into an early grave. Yord (Charlie Barnett) also tries to stop Qimir and ends up on the wrong end of a lightsaber, too. Qimir is not messing around, and his powers are 100 percent derived from the Dark side. To make this point, he tells Sol: “I’ve accepted my darkness. What have you done with yours?”

Both Yord and Sol (Lee Jung-jae) recognize Qimir, which is because they met him in the apothecary earlier in the series. But for now, Qimir’s statements about his status as a Sith, and what that means for the Jedi, are fairly shocking.

Is Qimir really a Sith?

What does Qimir think about himself? Does he label himself a Sith?

Lucasfilm

When Sol asks Qimir what he is, he retorts: “I have no name, but Jedi like you might call me a Sith.” Qimir then proceeds to unpack the idea that the Jedi labeling the Sith is partially a question of semantics: “I don’t make the rules. The Jedi do. And the Jedi say I can’t exist.” This one line basically changes everything we thought we knew about the Sith. Not only does it seem like Qimir might be one, but it also seems to imply that, on some level, the Jedi define the Sith in a way that the Sith might not define themselves. In a sense, to Qimir, the word “Sith” is like a slur rather than a religion he follows. So the question is: Do all Sith see themselves as Sith?

In The Phantom Menace, Ki-Adi-Muni pointed out that the Sith had been “extinct” for at least a thousand years. The Acolyte takes place only about a century before that moment, and Qimir is using the word “Sith.” But even if Qimir fully accepted labels, he hasn’t formed a full Sith unit because he doesn’t have an apprentice. He mentions he wants a “pupil...an acolyte,” but clearly, the clandestine nature of being a Dark side user has made that process difficult.

Qimir also makes it clear that the only way he plans to keep his secret is by slaying any Jedi who discover his identity. “They see my face, they all die.” Meta-textually, this line could be read as a way to preserve canon. If Qimir kills every single Jedi he meets, then everything about Yoda and Ki-Adi-Mundi’s information remains legit.

Then again, Ki-Adi-Mundi isn’t on this mission, and the Jedi High Council doesn’t even know about it. In this way, The Acolyte is in a fairly canon-safe bubble in which several new pieces of information about Sith and the Jedi could be revealed and not change the status quo. What Qimir’s declarations in this episode have done is given us a larger view of the Force, with details both fascinating and terrifying.

The Acolyte streams on Disney+.

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