Movie Reviews

We All Thought Kylo Ren Was The Furthest Star Wars Would Go With Shirtless Sith Lords


  • The Acolyte’s Qimir has the most revealing shirtless scene in Star Wars, surpassing Kylo Ren’s scene in The Last Jedi.
  • Qimir’s scene serves a specific purpose in The Acolyte’s plot, highlighting his power of deception and vulnerability.
  • The Acolyte pushes Star Wars boundaries with an intimate, vulnerable scene, setting a new standard for future live-action content.

Star Wars has had shirtless dark-side users in the past, such as Anakin Skywalker or Kylo Ren, but The Acolyte took it so much further. Star Wars has a long history of showing its main characters without a shirt: Luke Skywalker got the franchise’s first shirtless scene came in The Empire Strikes Back. Since then, Star Wars has included more shirtless scenes, usually via Star Wars‘ most powerful Sith Lords. The most recent example wasn’t necessarily a Sith Lord – it was Kylo Ren’s scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi – but it continued a trend of dark side users baring their chests.

The Acolyte episode 6 drew inspiration from the dark side users who came before, but the Stranger went the extra mile. In a first for the franchise, Qimir stripped naked and walked into the water to bathe himself. The Acolyte only showed his legs and chest, of course, but it was still much more revealing than anything else in the live-action Star Wars movies and shows. Qimir’s shirtless scene didn’t just take a shirtless scene further than Star Wars has gone before, it even improved upon the most recent example.


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Qimir’s Shirtless Scene Is Way More Intense Than Kylo Ren’s

The Stranger (Manny Jacinto) exposes his bare back and the scar along it before entering the water on an unknown planet in The Acolyte episode 6

While they both feature a shirtless dark-side user, Kylo Ren and Qimir’s shirtless scenes couldn’t be more different. In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren’s shirtless scene was mostly played for a laugh. Qimir’s, however, was deadly serious. Taking his shirt off tempted Osha both to strike him down and to be more vulnerable herself, which brought her closer to the dark side. It also revealed quite a bit about The Acolyte‘s Sith Lord, like his sprawling scar, which led him to reveal more about his past life as a Jedi.

Adam Driver as Ben Solo Kylo Ren in Star Wars

Ben Solo/Kylo Ren

The son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, Ben was manipulated by Palpatine through the Force for most of his life, influenced toward the dark side of the Force. A misstep by Luke Skywalker ultimately left Ben feeling he had no choice but to embrace the dark side, and he became Kylo Ren, a key figure in the First Order. Kylo Ren’s heart remained deeply divided, however, even after he ascended to become Supreme Leader of the First Order. He was ultimately redeemed by Rey, with whom he shared a remarkable Force bond, and by the love of his parents.

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Jedi, First Order

Qimir’s Scene Serves A Specific Purpose

The Stranger (Manny Jacinto) putting his shirt back on in front of a body of water in The Acolyte episode 6

Another aspect of the scene that made Qimir’s removal of his shirt better than Kylo Ren’s was the purpose it served in The Acolyte‘s plot. Showing Qimir without a shirt showed his vulnerability, but it also showed how he weaponized that vulnerability. He may have seemed defenseless, but Qimir was still just as dangerous with his shirt off as he was on the battlefield. Having no shirt on let him slip past Osha’s guard, just as his cortosis helmet and gauntlet allowed him to slip past the Jedi’s lightsabers. This scene highlighted the best weapon in Qimir’s arsenal: his power of deception.



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Star Wars Has Found A Way To Push This Boundary

Kylo Ren standing shirtless in The Last Jedi

Kylo Ren’s shirtless scene also emphasized his vulnerability, but it wasn’t the main way The Last Jedi communicated that he was vulnerable. Kylo Ren’s entire characterization centered around his vulnerability, and having his shirt off was just one way the sequel trilogy displayed that. It was an intense, personal moment, but Qimir’s removal of his shirt pushed the boundaries and made Star Wars intimate in a way Kylo Ren’s never did. Qimir’s shirtless scene was perhaps the most revealing and intimate scene Star Wars has ever shown in live-action, and The Acolyte pushed the franchise’s boundaries expertly.

New episodes of The Acolyte premiere on Tuesday nights on Disney+.

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