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‘The Acolyte’ revelations leave big questions for Star Wars universe

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Note: This article contains spoilers for “The Acolyte.”

“The Acolyte” did not hold back with its fifth episode, which debuted Tuesday night on Disney Plus. The episode not only revealed the latest Star Wars show’s big bad — or, as Star Wars usually does it, the evil person behind the creepy mask — but also featured thrilling and dynamic lightsaber battles that resulted in several Jedi deaths and raised alarming questions from the Star Wars faithful about what’s going to happen next.

For the uninitiated, “The Acolyte” centers on twin sisters Osha and Mae (both played by Amandla Stenberg), who find themselves on opposite sides of the star wars after they were separated by an attack on their family’s enclave. Osha spent her remaining childhood among the Jedi, while Mae took apprenticeship under a villain who wears a dark cloak, wields a red lightsaber and speaks in coded riddles. He also has the obligatory creepy mask, with a smile that stretches just a little too long.

Under her unnamed master’s tutelage, Mae attempted to kill four Jedi knights that she deemed responsible for killing her family. Osha, meanwhile, has been helping the Jedi with their investigation into her evil twin.

All of that led us to the show’s fifth episode, titled “Night,” in which the masked villain confronts the Jedi on the planet Khofar and reveals himself to be … well, read on.

What happened on ‘The Acolyte’ last night?

The episode kicks off with Darth Smiley (our name) battling a handful of Jedi knights. He disposes of the less-skilled ones quickly and then battles Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), who had previously trained Osha and was leading the investigation into Mae.

During the skirmish with Sol, two other Jedi — Master Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett) and his Padawan apprentice, Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen) — try their hand against the masked figure. Jecki holds her own, pulling an Ahsoka-esque move of wielding two small lightsabers in the tussle and forcing her opponent’s mask to fall off.

It turns out the masked villain is Qimir (Manny Jacinto), a ditzy smuggler seen previously in the show as a friend to Mae. But he’s not ditzy now; he’s a Sith, and he’s terrifying.

Qimir takes revenge by stabbing the young Jecki three times, killing her. Master Yord tries to avenge Jecki’s death, but Qimir lays waste to him in a matter of seconds, snapping his neck in what might be one of the most graphic Star Wars deaths to date.

Sol, Osha and Mae eventually escape from Qimir, using a droid to attract nocturnal birds who drag the villain away into the trees.

The twin sisters stand around in the jungle, arguing over the skirmish. Plot twist: Mae knocks out Osha, puts on her clothes and assumes her identity, leaving with an unassuming Sol.

Qimir returns to the jungle where he finds an unconscious Osha alone and eerily tells her, “What extraordinary beings we are. Even in the revelation of our triumph, we see the depth of our despair.”

The episode’s climax raised big questions about the state of the Star Wars galaxy.

Qimir identifies himself as a Sith after Sol knocks his mask off. (“I have no name, but the Jedi like you would call me Sith,” he says). And Mae would have been his acolyte (Sith are fans of having a master and apprentice, no more, no less). He’s got a red lightsaber and a mask apparently made out of lightsaber-busting cortosis, all very Sithy.

That said, there’s some debate about Qimir’s true lineage and job title. He told Sol that he doesn’t have a specific name and that the Jedi would identify him as Sith, though didn’t outright say he was a Sith. And there’s a quote from Master Ki-Adi-Mundi in “The Phantom Menace” film where he tells the Jedi Council, “The Sith have been extinct for a millennium,” suggesting that, well, Sith haven’t been around in a while. (The Jedi master was briefly spotted in Episode 4, raising even more questions about that comment.)

But there is also speculation Qimir be something completely different, which could tie into the sequel trilogy.

Is Qimir related to Kylo Ren?

Many fans on social media Wednesday were quick to point out that Qimir’s costume resembled another figure in recent Star Wars lore — Ren.

Ren is a mysterious figure in the Star Wars pantheon, mostly described in comic books as the leader of the Knights of Ren (a group of evil force-sensitive space knights) who wields a red lightsaber. In the lore, Ren even combats Darth Vader and has a run-in with bounty hunters during the Imperial era. Decades later, Ben Solo — the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa who features prominently in the Star Wars sequel trilogy from the 2010s — took on the moniker Kylo Ren after he became leader of the knights after his fallout with the Jedi order.

To add fuel to the speculative fires, Star Wars fans pointed out that a few musical notes in “The Acolyte” during Qimir’s battles resembled Kylo Ren’s theme from the sequel trilogy and that Qimir’s mask looked a lot like Kylo’s mask.

Qimir’s full intention, and his connection to the wider Star Wars galaxy, remain one of the questions moving forward in “The Acolyte,” which has three more episodes in its run.

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