The Acolyte Will Introduce Star Wars’ Coolest Lightsaber Mod

Whip it good.


The High Republic is the oddball of the Star Wars timeline, a whole separate era about the Jedi at their peak set centuries before the prequel trilogy. The prequel-to-the-prequel story has appeared in novels and comics, but now the upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte is bringing it to the small screen.

The Acolyte splits the difference between the novels and the prequel trilogy, as it’s set in the waning days of the High Republic, or about a century before The Phantom Menace. That makes it hard for characters from either side of the timeline to show up in The Acolyte, but an appearance from one fan-favorite Jedi has been confirmed, and she’s bringing her unique weapon with her.

Vernestra Rwoh using her lightwhip in The High Republic #5, published in 2021.

Marvel Comics

Vernestra Rwoh grew up during the High Republic and quickly made a mark on history. Among many other accomplishments, she was a child prodigy as a padawan, and became a full Jedi Knight at just 15. While on her first mission protecting a Galactic Senator’s daughter, she had a Force vision of a new design for her lightsaber, one that transformed it into a whip.

Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland’s wife, Rebecca Henderson, will play Rwoh on the Disney+ show. As a long-lived Mirialan, Rwoh can easily slot into the show’s timeline, but ever since her presence was announced fans have wondered if she would still be using her patented whip. Now, we finally know.

“Vernestra’s lightsaber is purple, and she was able to alter it as a 16-year-old and turn it into a lightwhip,” Henderson told Total Film. Even though an entire century has passed, Vern’s lightwhip is still in working order, promising some innovative action scenes in the upcoming series.

A lightwhip in action in Jedi vs. Sith #4, published in 2001.

Dark Horse Comics

Lightwhips aren’t new to Star Wars, though they are new to the modern canon. First introduced in a comic all the way back in 1985, lightwhips popped up here and there in the now non-canon Legends timeline. But just because Vernestra will wield the same weapon she does in the High Republic books, that doesn’t mean she’ll be the same upstart gifted kid.

“The series is set about 100 years on from when we’ve seen Vernestra [in other stories], so she’s certainly an elder, who thinks she’s seen it all,” Henderson said.

Most fans will meet Vern for the first time in The Acolyte, so they don’t have to worry about the details. All that really matters is that we’ll be seeing a brand new lightsaber, one that promises some Indiana Jones action in space.

The Acolyte premieres June 4, 2024 on Disney+.

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