‘The Acolyte’ Premiere Recap And Spoilers: Who Is Mae’s Sith Master?

Disney’s Star Wars lore has been criticized for its sequel-era live-action ventures quite often, which resulted in an added emphasis on the stories set during the period between the prequel and original- trilogy timeline, as seen in numerous animated and live-action series released in the last couple of years. However, this time around, the creative minds have turned the clock even further back and brought viewers to the High Republic Era of Star Wars with the recently released series The Acolyte. By doing so, they have given fans something they have been asking for for a long time: a proper Jedi-Sith intrigue that doesn’t get bogged down by Skywalker family drama.

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With a tone that seems to combine the light-hearted vibe of the original trilogy with the Jedi/Sith dualism of the prequel saga, murder mystery as the central plotline, and well-integrated martial arts choreography, The Acolyte is the Star Wars franchise’s first proper effort to move in a new direction after a long time. The first two episodes of the series have proven intriguing enough to open up a wider scope for the franchise as a whole, without depending on cameo fare or fan service tropes.

Spoilers Ahead

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How Did Osha Find Herself in the Jedi Murder Mystery?

The events of The Acolyte are set a century before the Fall of the Galactic Republic, a time of peace when the Order of Jedi Knights enjoyed an amicable relationship with the Republic. Viewers are taken to planet Ueda, where a hooded, masked female assassin is seen entering a bar in search of a Jedi Knight, Master Indara (Carrie-Ann Moss), and challenges her to a battle to death. As the unarmed assassin forces a reluctant Indara to battle with her, the Jedi Master counters her assaults with ease, and upon realizing that the assassin is proficient in the Force as well, she asks the identity of her master. The assassin continues her relentless melee and knife attacks on Indara, often changing the course of battle by taking innocent bystanders hostage. Eventually, Indara captures and unmasks her, and she is surprised to see a familiar face beneath. However, using this as her opportunity, the assassin distracts Indara with a throwing knife directed towards the barkeep, and as the Jedi Master uses the Force to stop the knife, she finds another already planted in her heart in the process. After killing Indara, the assassin moves to take care of the witness, the barkeep, but seeing a child accompanying him, she decides to spare his life. 

As the scene shifts to a Republic cargo ship, viewers meet the Meknek, Osha Aniseya, and her droid, Pip. Osha and the killer assassin look exactly alike, and viewers are led into a deliberate identity confusion. Osha runs a routine repair work on the outer hull of the ship when a fire breaking out causes her to freeze. It is later revealed that during her childhood, Osha witnessed her entire family burn to death—a repressed memory that has traumatized her ever since. Moments later, Jedi Knight Yord Fander and his Padawan Tasi Lowa meet the captain of the cargo ship and demand the presence of Osha, a former Jedi whom the Order suspects to be the murderer of Master Indara. Osha personally knew Yord Fander during her tenure in the Jedi Order, and she congratulates him for finally becoming a Jedi Knight. But Yord is revealed to not be too keen on catching up with his old friend, as he and his Padawan quickly get into an interrogative conversation with Osha. It is revealed that Osha left the Jedi Order almost six years ago, and due to her having some unresolved issues with Indara, along with the testimony of the barkeep pointing to her as the culprit, she is the prime suspect in this case. Osha is promptly sent to a prisoner ship operated by Droids, as a crime of this magnitude demands swift justice. 

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Did Jedi Master Sol Learn the Identity of the Assassin?

At Coruscant, the wise Jedi Master Sol is seen training Padawan younglings about the varying meaning of the Force with great care when Master Vernestra Rwoh pays him a visit to share the news of Indara’s murder. Master Sol had taken Osha under his wing almost sixteen years ago during his time on planet Brendok, when her twin sister, Mae, had burned her entire family to death, leaving the eight-year-old Osha orphaned. The news of his former apprentice taking up arms against the Order itself surprises Sol greatly, but he grants Vernestra his support in bringing Indara’s killer to justice nonetheless. 

On the other hand, after her fellow prisoners attempt to break out of the prison ship and break free using all the escape pods, Osha crashes into the planet Carlac. The news reaches the Jedi council, and Sol requests Master Vernestra to let him visit Carlac. Despite the update that there are apparently no survivors of the crash, Sol is positive that Osha is still alive, and he wants to bring his former apprentice in himself. After Vernestra grants Sol permission, he takes his current apprentice, Padawan Jecki Lon, and Jedi Knight Yord Fander along with him and sets off towards Carlac. En route, Sol reveals Osha’s sordid past to Jecki and Yord, who are surprised to learn about Osha’s twin sister Mae. However, Sol doesn’t entertain the idea of Mae being the killer, as he had seen her die during the vicious fire on planet Brendok. 

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Osha, on the other hand, sees a Force vision of her twin sister Mae, who confesses to killing Indara. Seeing the Jedi Vector (High Republic era Jedi transporter) approaching, Osha tries to flee, but Sol and co. eventually catch up to her, and the Master Jedi ends up saving Osha from a deadly fall using the Force. As Osha tries to plead her innocence to her former master, Sol seemingly puts his trust in her and takes her to the ship. 


Why did Osha and co. venture to Planet Olega?

In the final moments of the first episode, Mae is seen on an unnamed planet, taking guidance from an unknown Force user whose dark attire and red Lightsaber indicate his allegiance to the Sith order. The menacing figure refers to Mae as an acolyte who can essentially destabilize the Jedi order by striking at their ideals and breaking them from within. 

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Mae later visits the Jedi Temple of planet Olega and tries to kill Jedi Master Torbin, who has taken the Barash vow (rejecting everything materialistic and external influence and totally committing to the Force as a form of penance). However, the assassin pitifully fails this time, as the strong force field protecting Torbin appears to be impenetrable. As approaching footsteps rush towards the chamber, Mae makes a timely escape. The news of the attack on Master Torbin reaches Sol, and due to the culprit matching the physical appearance of Osha, who was on Carlac at the time, Master Vernestra believes Sol’s assumption about Mae being the killer. She asks Master Sol to prioritize the investigation at the moment, check out the situation at Olega, and take Osha along with him as well for additional assistance. 

Meanwhile, Mae visits an apothecary shop, where her associate, Qimir, is temporarily stationed. She provides her with a Bunta leaf (native to Brendok) to formulate a poison to kill Torbin and asks him not to inform their ‘Master’ about it. From their conversation, we learn that Mae is on a mission to kill four Jedis, and a successful completion of the mission will guarantee her a chance to be trained by this ‘Master’ of hers. After Qimir formulates the poison and gives it to Mae, she once again sneaks into the Jedi temple, and this time she tries a different approach to break Torbin’s barrier. She tries to appeal to Torbin’s guilty conscience by mentioning that the incident in Brendok all those years ago has prompted him to take the Barash vow for penance. She offers him the chance of retribution by presenting him with the poison or the option to confess his crime to the Jedi Council. Surprisingly, this trick works, as, breaking his suspended-in-air posture and the vow, Torbin approaches Mae and states that he has been waiting for her arrival. Right at that time, Sol and co. reach the Jedi temple, and as Torbin takes the poison to end his life, Sol realizes they were too late through a disturbance in the Force. Mae once again escapes in the nick of time, but this time her connection with Qimir is discovered by the Jedis. 

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After tricking Qimir to wring out a mention about Mae’s master with Osha’s help, the Jedis corner him and learn that Mae will return to him once again. As the Jedis prepare to capture Mae, Sol senses the past grief and anger still channeling through Osha as she wants to take revenge on her sister for her past actions. Sol insists on confronting Mae alone, as he wants to rectify his past mistake and save the girl this time around. Osha mentions that this is exactly what Mae wants, as she seeks to kill all four Jedi who were stationed on Brendok all those years ago: Indara, Torbin, Kelnnac, and Sol. Master Sol reassures Osha and leaves to ambush Mae. 


Who is Mae’s Sith Master?

As Yord spots Mae, Sol wastes no time confronting her, and as he evades all of Mae’s incoming attacks, Sol tries to learn about Mae’s secretive master, whom he presumes has apparently failed in training her in Jedi arts. As Sol tries to pry into Mae’s mind to learn the identity of her Master, he gets surprised to learn that the psychic hold of the Force user (Master) is so strong that even Mae doesn’t know the identity of her Master. However, Sol senses that Mae still harbors thoughts about her sister, Osha. Mae lashes out, stating that she thinks that her sister has died, and Sol reveals to her that, on the contrary, Osha is alive. 

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Eventually, Mae finds herself cornered by the Jedis as Yord and Jackie join as well, yet somehow, she manages to escape. As she flees by stealing a speeder, she gets shocked to see Osha alive. Osha fires her blaster at her, but being distracted after seeing her twin sister after such a long time, she misses her. As Mae escapes, Sol knows where she might head next, and he asks Master Vernestra’s permission to allow them to visit Kelnnac, but to no avail. On the other hand, Mae meets with Qimir and tries to threaten him for betraying her. Qimir states that he will make it up to her by taking her to Khofar, the planet where Kelnacca, the Wookie Jedi, lives. During the final moments of the episode, as the scene shifts to Khofar, two random strangers are seen outside an establishment who get scared away by a Wookie, who is none other than the Jedi Master Kelnacca. 

Although calling Mae’s mysterious Master a Sith right off might not sit well with Star Wars purists, we think the indications are pointing in the right direction. With Mae somewhat reminding us of the assassin Sith, Darth Cognus, we would like to take a guess and assume that her master could either be a new character exclusive to the series or a popular Sith figure during the final years of the High Republic, like Darth Tenebrous. The crafty manipulation to provoke Mae to use childhood trauma to exact vengeance on the Jedi speaks of a powerful presence, which will hopefully be revealed in the upcoming episodes. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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