Jodie Turner-Smith as Mother Aniseya in episode 3 of 'The Acolyte'

‘The Acolyte’s Inclusion of a Post-Credits Pop Song Actually Makes Total Sense

The final moments of last night’s The Acolyte episode marked a stark departure for the Star Wars universe with the inclusion of a brand new pop song. So, why are fans up in arms about “Power of Two,” and what do its lyrics actually mean in the broader context of the show?

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From the get-go, showrunner Leslye Headland’s The Acolyte has challenged preconceptions of what a Star Wars production can be, bringing a new flavor to the galaxy far, far away—to mixed results. Its unreliable narrator, nonlinear storytelling, and noir overtones make it kind of a puzzling addition to Lucasfilm’s catalog of Disney+ originals when you think about it, which could explain why the more outspoken (cough cough, toxic) side of the fanbase isn’t exactly pleased with what they’ve seen so far.

Now, the penultimate episode has arrived, and one small detail already has the fanboys all riled up: the inclusion of a post-credits song, “Power of Two,” sung by Grammy-nominated recording artist Victoria Monét.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for The Acolyte episode 7, “Choice.”

Last night’s episode of The Acolyte finally got to the bottom of things, showing the Jedi’s POV the night Brendok burned. Upon discovering Force-sensitive twins Mae and Osha (Lauren and Leah Brady), Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae) fears for their safety, and asks Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss) if they can take the girls back to Coruscant. She refuses, but things go awry when Padawan Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman), desperate to return home, jets off with the intention of capturing Mae and Osha himself. The witches fight back, and Sol kills their leader, Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith), with the rest of the coven falling shortly after. Somehow, Mae lights the whole stinkin’ place on fire—the perfect alibi for the Jedi to escape with Osha in tow. And, well, the rest is history.

Why The Acolyte‘s “Power of Two” is so striking

On top of just being a pretty solid episode, The Acolyte also got people talking about its post-credits sequence, which, interestingly enough, features the first Star Wars song to include vocals (if we’re not counting the chorus in “Duel of the Fates,” that is). Of course, many musical scores have been written for the franchise over the years, with John Williams’ being the most memorable. But in terms of recent Disney Star Wars endeavors, all tracks have been instrumental—until now.

Speaking with Screen Rant, The Acolyte’s composer Michael Abels revealed that he worked side-by-side with Victoria Monét and producer D’Mile to create “Star Wars’ first original pop song,” explaining, “The goal was to make it feel both traditional and fresh at the same time.” Well, mission accomplished! “Power of Two” has been available to listen to online for a few weeks now, but the most recent episode is the first to actually feature it in the credits. Its lyrics, “Twin flame / I feel the shame when they call me your name,” allude to the Sith Rule of Two, which directly mirrors our characters’ journeys—the balance of dark and light.

Still, despite the song’s emotional meaning, fans aren’t too happy about it. Shocker! On social media, many have complained that “Power of Two” feels out of place in Star Wars, which has always done its best to create a separate, entirely unique sci-fi universe. Although Andor got pretty close with that low-fi beach music, this is new territory for the franchise, meaning it was bound to be met with backlash. Plus, it probably doesn’t help that the witches’ “the power of one, the power of two, the power of many” chant in episode 3 is one of the most contentious parts of the show so far, leading some to dub the song “cringe.”

The Acolyte featuring Star Wars’ first original pop song makes sense, actually

So, why do people get so heated when franchises like Star Wars feature pop songs? Well, if you’re a sci-fi double dipper like myself, then you may remember NBC’s ill-fated Star Trek: Enterprise, which ran from 2001 to 2005—stay with me, I promise I have a point here. And if you’ve ever bothered to sit down and actually watch an episode (it rules, BTW), you know it’s … kind of the most delightfully cliche, early 2000s show ever, theme song included.

You see, unlike its predecessors, Enterprise ditched Star Trek‘s usual orchestral themes for “Where My Heart Will Take Me,” a rousing, reworked version of Rod Stewart’s “Faith of the Heart,” and I can’t lie, it’s awful. Totally cheesy and, unfortunately for those who have ears, catchy, it’s a true product of its time—a time where “Hey Mickey” or some moody Franz Ferdinand ballad blared over the speakers in every rom-com or high school coming-of-age-flick.

Thankfully, “Power of Two” isn’t nearly as egregious as “Where My Heart Will Take Me,” but it does mark a similar departure in tradition for the Star Wars universe. For Enterprise, putting a modern twist on its opening credits sequence was done so with the intent of distinguishing it from previous Trek entries, as the show took place during an unexplored point on the timeline—100 years before the events of TOS. Sound familiar? The desire to do something new ultimately led producers to rethink one of the franchise’s most iconic bits, and thus, “Where My Heart Will Take Me” was born. Cue acoustic guitars.

So, hearing a pop song like “Power of Two” play at the end of The Acolyte might be slightly jarring, but in a way, it’s kind of the perfect full-circle moment for a show that has challenged the very essence of what Star Wars is and can be. Given that the series takes place during the High Republic era, a.k.a. 100 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, it was always destined to be a different kind of story. Because of this, it’s only fitting that its soundtrack would follow suit by breathing fresh air into our usual instrumental scores. Plus, it’s objectively a good song, okay?!

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Amanda Landwehr
Amanda is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer who lives and breathes Star Wars, Marvel, and all things pop culture. She has worked in digital media since 2021, covering the latest movie/TV releases, casting updates, fan theories, and so, so much more. When she's not rotting away behind her laptop screen, you can typically catch Amanda maxing out her AMC Stubs membership.