Movie Reviews

The Acolyte Episode 6's Ending Introduces The High Republic's Darth Vader (& It's Not Who You Think)

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Acolyte episode 6.


Summary

  • The Acolyte episode 6 introduces a potential Darth Vader replacement in the High Republic Era, with Osha donning a Sith helmet and exploring dark side connections.
  • The episode’s title, “Teach/Corrupt,” hints at Osha’s transformation into a Sith character, while answers about the mysterious night on Brendok are finally teased.
  • In The Acolyte episode 7, directed by Kogonada, audiences will learn the truth about Brendok.


The Acolyte episode 6’s ending continues the mysteries of the show, introducing a potential Darth Vader replacement in the High Republic Era. After The Acolyte episode 5’s climactic reveals, The Acolyte episode 6 was suitably slower-paced. The franchise-best lightsaber duels of The Acolyte were replaced for dialog-heavy moments, with Osha exploring her new dynamic with Qimir, Sol reckoning with his past, and Vernestra Rwoh piecing the puzzle together.

As such, The Acolyte episode 5 offered a lot of interesting character dynamics. Naturally, however, Qimir and Osha’s relationship was the most intriguing. Manny Jacinto and Amandla Stenberg take center stage from The Acolyte‘s ensemble cast in episode 5, as Osha’s anger leads her to find some uncomfortable common ground with Qimir/the Stranger. As of The Acolyte episode 6’s ending, teases about the fateful night on Brendok are provided, as is the unlikely replacement for Darth Vader in Star Wars‘ High Republic Era thanks to some pointed references.


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Osha Dons The Sith Lord’s Helmet In An Amazing Darth Vader Callback

Osha Gives Into The Temptation Laid Out By Qimir

Mae and Osha hugging in the foreground in a slightly red hue and Darth Vader in the background in a deeper red hue

In The Acolyte episode 6’s ending, Qimir is shown mending his helmet after Jecki broke it the episode prior. Not only does he outright namedrop cortosis in The Acolyte after theories of the ore, but he mentions that it has other properties outside shorting out lightsabers. Qimir mentions that the helmet acts as a sensory deprivation mask, blocking out everything except the Force and, as the Stranger puts it, “what you bring with you.” He urges Osha to try the helmet on, but she tells him she does not trust his intentions.


That said, The Acolyte episode 6’s ending shows Osha putting the helmet on, bringing about several Darth Vader references. For one, the point-of-view shot of the helmet being lowered onto Osha’s head and the view from inside the helmet is strikingly similar to Anakin’s transition into Vader from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Afterward, a shot of Osha from the outside is shown, and all that is heard is her muffled breathing through the visor of the cortosis helmet.

WIth Osha, though, the Vader connections are more prominent than they are with any other character…


As has been the case since 1977, any breathing sound coming through a helmet immediately evokes thoughts of Vader. The parallels are likely intentional by the creators of The Acolyte episode 6 due to the exploration of dark side members like Qimir. WIth Osha, though, the Vader connections are more prominent than they are with any other character, potentially teasing her as the unlikely replacement for the dark lord of the Sith in the High Republic era.

The Acolyte Episode 6’s Title Sets Up Osha’s Transformation Into A Sith Lord

Osha’s Vader Connections May Go Deeper In The Acolyte’s Future


The Acolyte‘s many episodes have played with the idea of titles thus far. The first two episodes of the show were titled “Lost / Found” and “Revenge / Justice” respectively. Both halves of these titles referred to the split motivations of Mae and Osha, with “Lost” and “Revenge” linking to the former and “Fonud” and “Justice” applying to the latter. The Acolyte episodes 3, 4, and 5 forewent the two-word monikers with more simple titles like “Destiny,” “Day,” and “Night.” The Acolyte episode 6 reverts to the title conventions of the first two episodes, with the installment dubbed “Teach / Corrupt.”

The titles of The Acolyte episodes 3, 4, and 5 were singular to represent Osha and Mae experiencing the same events in each entry.


The title of The Acolyte episode 6 refers once more to the two sides of Osha and Mae’s story. This time, however, The Acolyte episode 6’s title could link to the idea that Mae and Osha’s sides were reversed. A theory after The Acolyte‘s premiere was that “Lost” and “Revenge” actually linked to Osha, not Mae. This could mean that the “Teach” side of The Acolyte episode 6’s title refers to Osha being taught by the Sith, rather than corrupted. This would track with Mae’s story, as she sees the Jedi as corrupt.

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If this is the case, The Acolyte episode 6’s title furthers the Darth Vader connections with Osha. If Osha is indeed being taught by the Sith, The Acolyte could be setting up her transformation into a Sith character rather than a Jedi. Interestingly, this would tie to the “Corrupt” side of The Acolyte episode 6’s title too, as most Sith do not see that they are being corrupted by the dark side. Regardless, Osha’s interesting journey could be going down a darker path, which The Acolyte episode 6’s ending makes clear with evident Vader connections.

Master Sol Prepares To Finally Confess The Truth To Mae

Answers About Brendok Are Finally Going To Be Provided

The Acolyte's Sith wielding his red lightsaber and Master Sol look pensive
Custom Image by El Kuiper


On the flip side of The Acolyte episode 6’s story was Sol and Mae. Sol is left naturally shaken by his encounter with Qimir, with The Acolyte episode 5’s Jedi deaths weighing on the Master. Sol is evidently unsettled, not even able to sense Mae’s presence until later in the episode. Sol asks how he could not sense Qimir on Olega in The Acolyte episode 2, with Mae even offering some genuine answers by stating the Stranger fooled everyone. By the time of The Acolyte episode 6’s ending, Sol figured out that Mae was posing as Osha.

Not only will audience members find out what happened on Brendok, but Mae will too…

Interestingly, this came after Mae pressed Sol for answers about Brendok. The mysterious origins of Mae and Osha in The Acolyte episode 3 have been the catalyst of the show, though not all answers from the tragic night have been given just yet. Many assumed that Mae held those answers, but her questions in The Acolyte episode 6 indicate she is as in the dark as Osha was. Finally, after many episodes of teases and hints, Sol seems ready to confess to Mae exactly what happened 16 years ago.


These answers will come in The Acolyte episode 7, directed by Kogonada, the director of episode 3’s Brendok-heavy events. Finally, not only will audience members find out what happened on Brendok, but Mae will too. With Osha connecting deeply to the Force thanks to Qimir’s helmet, she will likely be made aware of what happened when she was a child. These answers are teased in The Acolyte episode 6’s ending, making the events of episode 7 some of the more anticipated since the show began.

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