Movie Reviews

The Acolyte Is Finally Redeeming Kylo Ren & Rey's Last Jedi Story, 7 Years Later

Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for The Acolyte episode 6.


Summary

  • Osha’s character mirrors Rey’s in The Last Jedi, with both seeking companionship and connection to the Force.
  • Qimir and Osha’s relationship in The Acolyte parallels Kylo Ren and Rey’s, with the potential for a dark side romance.
  • The Acolyte explores the dynamics of dark side relationships, offering new possibilities for Star Wars storytelling.


Star Wars: The Acolyte may be able to take the story set up for Rey and Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi one step further. Though The Acolyte episode 5 was the most action-packed, violent, and traumatic one yet, The Acolyte episode 6, “Teach/Corrupt,” ended up being much more critical to the story despite being a quieter and slower installment. Osha (Amandla Stenberg) is in a dangerous position – now that she’s alone with Qimir (Manny Jacinto), she’ll need to be on high alert if she wants to avoid her sister’s fate.

Worryingly, though, Osha doesn’t seem to mind Qimir’s company. Yes, she tries to steal his lightsaber and correctly reminds both Qimir and the audience that feelings of anger, fear, loss, and desire can lead to the dark side, but she seems to be intrigued by him, too. As it stands, it’s looking increasingly likely that Mae and Osha will be switching sides. Qimir wants a pupil and he has now chosen Osha. With every passing moment, Osha and Qimir’s roles in the narrative reflect Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren’s (Adam Driver) in The Last Jedi more and more.


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The Acolyte Has Already Established Qimir’s Parallels With Kylo Ren

The Stranger in The Acolyte reaching out his hand to the left and Kylo Ren wielding his lightsaber to the right in a combined image
Custom Image by Tara Salvati

The Acolyte has been hinting that Qimir’s role in the story is akin to Kylo Ren’s throughout the show. Qimir’s helmet, his obsession with the “power of two” (closely related to the power of the Force Dyad), and even the subtle use of Kylo’s musical theme have been incorporated into the storytelling. Additionally, both Kylo and Qimir are relentlessly violent and brutal when they want to be, yet unnervingly understanding when required. Underneath it all, they’re both lonely, and they know how to relate to their female counterparts.


Osha’s Character Mirrors Rey’s In Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars Rey Last Jedi Osha Acolyte Custom Image
Custom Image by Kevin Erdmann

Though Osha’s part in the story has been relatively innocent so far, it looks as though that’s all about to change. The references to The Last Jedi in The Acolyte episode 6 are striking – the setting is incredibly similar to Ahch-To, Osha’s outfit is reminiscent of Rey’s in The Last Jedi, too, and much like Rey, Osha is – perhaps subconsciously – looking for companionship. Rey lost her parents, and Osha lost her coven. Rey was new to the Force, and Osha needs to reconnect with the Force. Kylo helped unlock Rey’s power, and Qimir wants to help Osha rediscover hers.


There’s one main difference between Osha and Rey, though. While both Qimir and Kylo try to bring them over to the dark side, Rey is much, much more reluctant in The Last Jedi than Osha seems to be in The Acolyte. Rey was convinced she could bring Kylo back to the light. Osha put on the Sith Lord’s helmet.

Are Osha and Qimir The Franchise’s New Reylo Pairing?

All these similarities have led to an obvious question: will Qimir and Osha have the romance that Kylo and Rey never got to explore? “Reylo,” as the pairing is more commonly known, is, by far, the most contentious dynamic in the entirety of the franchise. Kylo asks Rey to join him in The Last Jedi – he holds out his hand and pleads with her, hoping that she can see their potential together, and she does hesitate. She believes in him, and there’s a moment where it seems like Rey might abandon the light and choose Kylo and the dark side instead.


She doesn’t, of course – Rey was set up as the sequel trilogy’s hero, and by the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, she’s managed to defy the darkness inside of her and help Kylo Ren find his old self again. Kylo’s redemption arc and Rey’s role in it is a clear and understandable mirror of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker’s story in Return of the Jedi. There was interesting potential in The Last Jedi, though – potential that Osha and Qimir can now deliver on.

Romance has been an integral part of Star Wars storytelling since the beginning. These stories wouldn’t exist without Princess Leia and Han Solo’s love story or Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala’s tragic romance. Plenty of Jedi romances have been explored, too; Obi-Wan Kenobi’s relationship with Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla in Star Wars Rebels, Cal Kestis and Merrin in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and plenty of High Republic era romances exist in the books as well. What about a Sith romance, though?


A relationship between two Sith could be incredibly compelling. Those who use the dark side are driven by passion and desire, after all. How far would they be willing to go for the one they love?

A relationship between two Sith could be incredibly compelling. Those who use the dark side are driven by passion and desire, after all. How far would they be willing to go for the one they love? How easily would they be willing to betray them to gain more power? Character-wise and plot-wise, there are endless possibilities. The Jedi are taught to suppress their feelings. The Sith, and others who use the dark side, are empowered by them.


Audiences never got to see Kylo Ren and Rey give in to their desires. Rey is a Jedi through and through, and Kylo was always going to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. Qimir and Osha can provide a brand-new and incredibly compelling type of Star Wars story, one in which those affiliated with the dark side can express some measure of vulnerability alongside their lust for power, manipulative nature, and toxicity. If Osha gives in to her desires, there’s no telling what may happen next in Star Wars: The Acolyte.

New episodes of Star Wars: The Acolyte premiere on Tuesdays exclusively on Disney+.

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