TV

The Acolyte Just Rebooted a Very Obscure Dark Side Power

Since when can the Force do that?

Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo) in 'The Acolyte' Episode 7, "Choice."
Lucasfilm
The Acolyte

The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to powers some might consider unnatural, and also some powers no one has ever used in Star Wars before. In The Acolyte Episode 7, “Choice,” the Witches of Brendok manage to possess the bodies of two Jedi. But is this a new Force power, or something Star Wars has already shown us?

In terms of onscreen canon, the Force possession we see in The Acolyte is fairly new. And even if there are a few precedents, the scope of this power is a game-changer not just for the Jedi in The Acolyte, but pretty much all of Star Wars, from the distant past to the unknown future. Spoilers ahead.

The Star Wars Witches Go Bene Gesserit

Koril (Margarita Levieva) is one of The Acolyte’s most powerful witches.

Lucasfilm

The action of “Choice,” which takes place in a flashback, shows us the full breadth of the Witches’ powers for the first time. In Episode 3 we saw Mother Aniseya briefly possess Tobin, but we didn’t really know what his eyes turning black meant.

But in “Choice,” we see that Mother Aniseya was able to inhabit Tobin’s mind, controlling his movements, mood, and behavior while compelling him to reveal his secrets. At this point, the possession seems like a kind of extended mind-meld, or Force-telepathy in overdrive. But then, later in the episode, the witches’ united power allows them to turn one of the Jedi into their puppets.

Thanks to a focused group effort, Wookiee Jedi Kelnacca is possessed and made to fight Sol. This makes possession similar to the Bene Gesserit power of “the Voice” we see in Dune, in which a wielder could command other people to do their bidding.

Super Mind Trick or Dark Magic?

Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) wields the Force (or the Thread) in ways we’ve never seen before.

Lucasfilm

We’ve seen possession magic in various non-canon Star Wars material before, albeit in different and limited ways. The Dathomirian witches were able to create zombies, which we saw in Ahsoka Season 1. The Killik, an insect species, could control Jedi minds in the novel Dark Nest I: The Joiner King. And in the Dark Empire comics, the resurrected Emperor was capable of moving people against their will, which we also saw Snoke do in The Last Jedi.

But telekinesis isn’t the same as full-on possession. In a way, what the witches accomplish with Kelnacca isn’t too different from a classic Jedi mind trick, just on a much larger scale. In The Force Awakens, Rey instructs a stormtrooper to release her and drop his blaster. What else could she have made him do if she continued to focus her powers on him?

The Acolyte makes it clear that the Force-possession of Kelnacca requires a massive group effort. It’s also visually clear that this method of possession is separate from what the Nightsister witches were doing with their zombie stormtroopers in the finale of Ahsoka, which had a green tint to them. In “Choice,” Torbin even assumes the Brendok witches are Nightsisters, but Indara and Sol shut down his theory.

So although we’ve seen (or read about) Force powers similar to this kind of possession, what the witches are doing in The Acolyte is a new kind of Force trick. And if these witches can control a Jedi, then they’re wielding a power much greater than anything we’ve ever seen in Star Wars canon before.

The Acolyte streams on Disney+.

Related Tags