Recap: Did ‘The Acolyte’ Episode 4 Just Break Canon Again?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 19, 2024 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
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The Acolyte Episode 4 Recap - Who is the Sith?
The Acolyte Episode 4 | Image via Disney+

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

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Summary

An improved Episode 4 still has some drawbacks, including a frustratingly abrupt ending, but it suggests more interesting stuff still to come.

First, the good news: The Acolyte Episode 4 is an improvement over last week’s episode, which according to some may have irreparably broken Star Wars canon forever, such that anyone cares. “Day” suggests a much more exciting show The Acolyte might become in its remaining episodes.

The bad news, though, is that I still have a fair few issues with it. There’s also another bit of weird continuity detailing, complaints about which will inevitably and annoyingly overshadow any meaningful discourse that people might have about the episode itself.

So, you know – that’s fun.

The other problem is that there isn’t much plot here, and there isn’t much to discuss outside of implications and theories and personal complaints that others might not care so much about. So, I’ll give a brief recap of the actual events now and then get to speculating and moaning below.

Kohar, Bazil, and the Hunt for Kelnacca

The Acolyte Episode 4 Recap - Who is the Sith?

The Acolyte Episode 4 | Image via Disney+

“Day” finds both the Jedi and Mae and Qimir heading to Khofar, the jungle planet where Jedi Master Kelnacca has been hiding out. Osha plans to abandon the quest entirely, but Master Sol talks her into coming along since he needs her to talk Mae into surrendering after seeing Mae visibly soften at the news of her sister in Episode 2.

Every conversation between the Jedi confirms that we haven’t heard the complete story about what happened on Brendok, so I suspect we’ll return there in the near future to get the other side of events.

Anyway, the Jedi – including Sol, Osha, Yord, Jecki, and some other goons – use a Tynnan tracker named Bazil to track Mae through the dense forest, while Mae and Qimir make their own way through the woodland. Sol cuts a moth in half, and Qimir gets conveniently caught in a trap (there’s no way out. Because I…)

Mae’s plan, for some reason, is to surrender herself to Kelnacca, since she has had quite enough of her master’s annoyingly draconian orders. However, when she finds Kelnacca, he’s already dead, having been killed off-screen, presumably by her Sith master.

The Jedi arrive just in time, and so does the Sith finally, who imperiously floats into the scene with a smiling mask and a red lightsaber and sends all of the Jedi flying with a powerful blast of Force energy.

And then the episode ends.

That Isn’t A Cliffhanger!

I’m an advocate of weekly releases, especially for big watercooler titles like this, but I really wish streaming shows would stop confusing an abrupt ending for a proper cliffhanger.

“Day” runs a shade under 30 minutes, and almost all of that is spent on traipsing through the forest. The appearance of the Sith is the moment everyone has been waiting for since the trailers. To cut there doesn’t build anticipation for next week’s episode. It’s just annoying.

There’s also a chance that next week’s outing could be another flashback bottle episode, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that it won’t be, or I’ll have to spend the entire recap moaning.

Who is the Sith?

The Acolyte Episode 4 Recap - Who is the Sith?

The New Sith Lord in The Acolyte Episode 4

The big question everyone will be asking after this episode will be about Mae’s mysterious Sith master. Who are they?

It seems very obvious at the moment that it’s Qimir, which makes me think it probably won’t be. It’ll be fine if he is – the whole “hiding in plain sight” thing is very Sith, and there have been multiple clues thus far that he’s much more switched on than he pretends to be.

And there’s also the fact that he and Mae were separated before she found Kelnacca. It makes sense that it’s him.

Of course, it could be a red herring. I thought the Sith had a pretty feminine build, which makes me think it might be a woman – perhaps Mother Koril? – but it’s not like Qimir is an especially big guy.

Either way, the real question is who the Sith lord actually is – in other words, are they somebody that Star Wars fans might recognize, such as Darth Tenebrous or Plagueis?

At this point, it’s basically impossible to say since I have no idea how seriously the showrunners are treating the timeline (more on this below), so it’s not worth speculating just yet. What I do think, though, is that the Sith we see in the forest is the apprentice, not the master.

Does The Acolyte Episode 4 Destroy Star Wars Canon Again?

The Acolyte Episode 4 Recap - Who is the Sith?

Ki-Adi-Mundi in The Acolyte Episode 4

Another week, another baffling storytelling decision that is giving the anti-Acolyte YouTubers fits.

This episode features a cameo of a recognizable Jedi from the prequel trilogy – Ki-Adi-Mundi, the long-headed Cerean who quite notably sat on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace and said that the Sith had been extinct for over a millennia.

It’s definitely him – the camera lingers to make the point and the credits confirm it. Some have quibbled that he shouldn’t be alive at this point, but others have countered that his official date of birth was consigned to the Legends continuity and is thus no longer canon. It’s nitpicking either way.

The bigger question is how his presence relates to his famous line. If he outright denied the existence of the Sith in Episode I, then he had a reason to do so. He doesn’t go to Khofar with the others, so there’s a chance that all of the Jedi who did might be wiped out before they can report what they have seen.

But the likelier explanation is that Ki-Adi-Mundi was just lying in The Phantom Menace. Remember, at that point, the Jedi were so arrogant and relaxed that they didn’t realize that the chancellor was a Sith Lord. The idea of them covering stuff up to obscure the fact they had been sitting around doing nothing for years isn’t just possible, it’s likely.

Either way, Ki-Adi-Mundi being present suggests, at least to me, that The Acolyte fully plans on explaining all this. So, for now, I still don’t think The Acolyte has broken Star Wars canon. But at this point, it is cutting things a little fine.


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