Star Wars

Did The Acolyte Just Reveal Its Big Sith Villain's Secret Identity?

The latest episode of The Acolyte all but confirms who’s under the mask.

The Sith master flashes his red lightsaber in The Acolyte
The Acolyte

Not is all as it seems in The Acolyte, but the series’ biggest twist could be its most straightforward. Episode 4 brings us that much closer to uncovering the identity of its mysterious Sith master, and finally teases the showdown we’ve all been waiting for. Unfortunately, the episode ends on a hair-raising cliffhanger, which means we’ll have to wait another week for potential answers. But while The Acolyte has been playing it pretty safe thus far, it might have already answered its most buzzworthy mystery.

Warning: Spoilers for The Acolyte Episode 4 follow!

Episode 4 sees our cast converge on the forest planet Khofar. While Sith apprentice Mae (Amandla Stenberg) and her sidekick of sorts, Qimir (Manny Jacinto), are there to assassinate the Wookiee Jedi Kelnaccaa (Joonas Suotamo), Mae’s twin sister Osha (also Stenberg), her former Jedi Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), and a group of other Jedi warriors are there to stop them.

Things get interesting when Mae makes the split-second decision to abandon her training — and the commands of her mysterious master — to reconcile with Osha. She’s no longer interested in slaying Kelnacca, one of four Jedi that may be responsible for the destruction of her childhood home. But in a bewildering twist, Kelnacca winds up dead anyway, and Mae’s master makes a surprise appearance to attack the Jedi on Khofar.

Kelnacca, we hardly knew ya.


How did Mae’s master find Kelnacca? His location seemed unknown to most, save for the Jedi and Qimir (who apparently spent a long time searching for him). The Sith could have found the planet on his own; he could have also received the intel from Qimir, since the pair have apparently been working closely together. Kelnacca’s demise suggests that our Sith has been one step ahead of everyone: either he was lurking on the planet before anyone showed up, or he’s always been around, just in a civilian disguise.

It’d make a lot of sense if The Acolyte’s Sith villain was actually someone we already know, and it’d make even more sense if Qimir was secretly the one calling the shots. He seemed harmless enough in Episode 2, though his advice for Mae was always just what she needed to hear. The fact that he’d already visited Khofar, apparently as a favor to Mae, also felt a bit too convenient. All of this could be explained away by the supposed debt he owes to Mae’s master. But Qimir is also visibly agitated by Mae’s decision to defect — especially once she suggests that she could reveal all she knows about the Sith. Such an admission could easily force him out of hiding, and that could explain how our Sith was able to confront the Jedi so quickly.

The Acolyte has all but confirmed the identity of its Sith warrior, but does the show make a smart choice?


The Acolyte has been quietly positioning Qimir as the prime suspect since his first appearance, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s actually the one beneath the mask. The only problem with that reveal is in its predictability: Of course the unassuming scoundrel would be the most powerful person in the room. It’s an amusing twist, but it’s not exactly a sophisticated one. It also seems to defy comments made by showrunner Leslye Headland, who’s been teasing a more subversive story.

“Whatever you think The Acolyte is, it’s not that,” Headland recently told Star Wars. And that was certainly apparent after Episode 3, which refrains from outright solving the biggest mystery from Mae and Osha’s childhood. When it comes to the identity of its big villain, though, The Acolyte might not be all that interested in nuance. That may not harm the series outright, but it might disappoint the fans hoping for a few more meaningful surprises.

The Acolyte is now streaming on Disney+.

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