Star Wars

The Acolyte Has Once Again Changed Everything We Know About the Jedi

Watch for splinters.

The Acolyte

For the longest time, it seemed like the only powers that be in the Star Wars universe were the Jedi and the Sith (and the various institutions they served). But The Acolyte is shifting our perspective, showing the Jedi not as galactic heroes but as a ruling class that regulates the use of the Force.

In Episode 4, however, it’s revealed that the Jedi may not have such a tight grip on the Force after all. In fact, the entire way we think about the Jedi has shifted, opening up possibilities for the future of Star Wars both in-universe and in reality.

In The Acolyte Episode 4, Vernestra Rwoh grapples with the threat Mae poses to the Jedi. While she discusses a plan of attack with Sol, she suggests Mae may be part of a “splinter group.” It’s a brief line, but it has huge implications for Star Wars.

Vernestra Rwoh suggests another Force-wielding group could have been involved in Mae’s survival.


Despite how long and vast the Star Wars saga is, the Jedi and Sith have spawned surprisingly few splinter groups. Most deviations from the norm aren’t groups that broke away from the Orders but are instead enclaves within them, like Kylo’s Knights of Ren, who differed from the mainstream Sith but still followed their creed.

Even within the old, non-canon Legends timeline, splinter groups were few and far between. The most consequential example is the Jedi Exiles, who existed more than 6,000 years before the prequels. Once members of the original Jedi Order, they were banished for exploring the Dark Side and eventually settled on Korriban, where they subjugated the local Sith race and formed the Sith Order.

Now, however, it seems such splinter groups aren’t so uncommon after all. With their presence established, even in passing, could we see their role in the future or past of the Star Wars universe? The upcoming Rey-focused sequel could show how Rey leaves the complicated legacy of the Jedi behind by establishing a new group, or James Mangold’s upcoming Dawn of the Jedi prequel could portray the story of the very first Jedi and Sith.

Then, of course, there’s the question of what The Acolyte has in store. Was Vernestra Rwoh’s comment just a throwaway line, or is a group that’s moved beyond the Jedi and Sith pulling the strings here? Hopefully, we’ll find out soon, and an already grey plot will get the moral nuance it deserves.

The Acolyte is streaming on Disney+.

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