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19 Years After Revenge Of The Sith, Star Wars Explains How An Acolyte Proves They're Worthy To Be A Sith

Warning! This article contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Acolyte episode 4.


  • The Acolyte reveals more details about the Sith initiation process, particularly regarding their period of hiding and the Rule of Two.
  • Mae is told that she must kill a Jedi without a weapon to prove her worthiness, which will likely entail bleeding the Jedi’s kyber crystal to make a red lightsaber.
  • The Acolyte thus shows much darker tasks for Sith initiation than what was previously known, though they fit into past Star Wars stories.

Star Wars: The Acolyte continues to prove that it has a lot to say about the Sith and the Jedi, and it has now revealed a core part of Sith initiation, 19 years after it was first seen in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The Sith, during the High Republic Era time period that The Acolyte takes place in, were deeply in hiding after being defeated hundreds of years earlier. This completely shook up the Sith hierarchy in the galaxy, changing their numbers from thousands to only two; one master and one apprentice, training in secret.

But The Acolyte is showing viewers these Sith in hiding before the prequel trilogy for the first time in the new Star Wars canon, leading to new revelations left and right. In order for the Rule of Two, this new Sith hierarchy, to stay in place, the master trains their apprentice until the apprentice is strong enough to kill the master, and takes their place. The apprentice, however, sometimes gets ahead of themselves, recruiting a Sith acolyte before they’ve even killed their master.


Star Wars: The Acolyte Episode Guide – Cast Members, Biggest Takeaways & Easter Eggs

Here’s everything you need to follow along with Star Wars: The Acolyte, from references and trivia to main takeaways from each new episode.

A Sith Acolyte Must Kill A Jedi To Prove They’re Worthy

Initiation Into The Sith Ideology

Sith acolytes have been seen before in Star Wars with Asajj Ventress, apprentice to Count Dooku during the Clone Wars. These acolytes are not Sith yet, so the apprentice has not broken the Rule of Two, though the master is never happy to learn that they might be replaced soon. The Acolyte has introduced viewers to Mae Aniseya, who is also not a Sith, but is training under a Sith – likely the apprentice themselves, though audiences don’t know who the new Sith is yet.

The test Mae is continually prodded into completing is killing a Jedi. This makes complete sense, considering other Star Wars stories surrounding Darth Maul that have shown him emerging from the shadows to kill a Jedi apprentice while he and Palpatine were still in hiding, and Count Dooku killing Yaddle only a few years later. This action of killing a Jedi is instrumental to proving oneself to be worthy of becoming a Sith, but also leads to another element of Sith identity.

The Acolyte Then Bleeds The Stolen Kyber Crystal

Red Lightsabers Are Not Natural

The new canon has changed several aspects of the Sith in Star Wars, but the biggest is probably the origin of red lightsabers. In Legends, red lightsabers were powered by artificial kyber crystals, while in canon, the red coloring only comes from bleeding kyber crystals as a process of imbuing one’s own fears and dark energies into a previously normal crystal. This is a key part of becoming a Sith, and could also be tied into the process of an acolyte proving their worthiness.

There is more to just the Sith than their Rule of Two, with their acolytes needing to prove their worth in their own special way before being worthy of holding the title of Sith Lord.

An acolyte must prove themselves by killing a Jedi, but there is also the specification of killing one with no weapon. There seems to be an emphasis on Jedi not being the first to draw their weapons, too. This could be trying to make the connection between lightsaber usage and the worthiness of becoming a Sith, with acolytes needing to be able to completely and functionally destroy a light side user without a weapon in order to earn the right to make their own– through bleeding the kyber crystal of the Jedi they assassinated.


The Acolyte Writer Explains Why Episode 4 Didn’t Show [SPOILER]’s Death

A major death at the end of The Acolyte episode 4 was left shrouded in mystery, with the episode’s writer detailing exactly why this was not shown.

This type of test is not new for Star Wars, as other dark siders have faced similar tasks in different places. In a way, Anakin Skywalker killing Dooku at Palpatine’s behest could have been a similar test of taking a life mercilessly – though he did use not one, but two lightsabers. The Acolyte seems to be going just a bit further in proving that there is more to just the Sith than their Rule of Two, with their acolytes needing to prove their worth in their own special way before being worthy of holding the title of Sith Lord.

The Acolyte episode 4 is now streaming. New episodes release Tuesdays on Disney+.

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