Lost Legends

The Acolyte Could Introduce a Huge Mind-Control Twist

Don’t bug-shame.

Lost Legends

The Acolyte is talking a big game. The latest Star Wars series premieres on Disney+ in just a few days, and showrunner Leslye Headland has already bragged about its lightsaber whip, unique pre-prequel setting, and all the inspiration it’s taken from the old, now non-canon Legends timeline.

But the Jedi murder mystery still seems to have some tricks up its sleeve, and the trailers have teased as much. Could those preview clips also reveal a giant mind-control conspiracy hiding in plain sight? One key shot seems to confirm that an ancient alien species will be brought into canon.

In the official Acolyte trailer, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of women dressed in what looks to be religious garb, like the Star Wars version of Dune’s Bene Gesserit. But there’s one big difference: their eyes are completely black. Perhaps this is a Sith ability or a distinct trait of a certain planet’s people, but the look bears an unmistakable similarity to something featured in the old Legends timeline.

Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.

Mysterious characters from The Acolyte’s trailer may be under the influence of a strange alien species.


In Troy Denning’s 2005 Star Wars novel Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, Luke and his wife Mara Jade search for their missing niece and nephew Jaina and Jacen Solo in the years after Return of the Jedi. Along the way, they discover the Killik, an insectoid alien species that can take control of others and immerse them in a telepathic hivemind, essentially creating an army of zombies.

While Jaina and Jacen managed to escape the Killik’s control, Jedi Raynar Thul was absorbed into the hive mind. Because of his Force sensitivity, he was able to retain some of his autonomy and became the hive’s de facto leader.

These controlled beings, variously called “joiners,” “bughuggers,” and “bugsluts” (yes, really), appeared again and again in Legends canon, including the 2011 video game Star Wars: The Old Republic, where players could get a look at the joiner’s black eyes for themselves — and they look a whole lot like those mysterious women in The Acolyte.

In Star Wars: The Old Republic, joiners were shown with black eyes.

Electronic Arts

Could they be under the control of the Killik hivemind? Will Jedi Master Sol’s attempt to solve a string of Jedi murders bring him to a Killik colony? The Acolyte is set almost 150 years before the species’ first appearance in Legends, but that’s one of the strengths of the Legends timeline not being canon anymore. Its elements can be changed and shifted around the timeline without breaking anything else.

By introducing this strange alien threat to modern canon, The Acolyte can show its heroes and fans a wild new threat without affecting the rest of the TV shows and movies. Star Wars is renowned for its weird aliens, and the Killik are some of the weirdest of all. There’s already a lot going on in The Acolyte, but the High Republic would feel a little more real if its Jedi had to deal with threats just like this one.

The Acolyte premieres June 4 on Disney+.

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