The Sith Master in The Acolyte

‘The Acolyte’ Just Confirmed a Popular Fan Theory About Mae’s ‘Sith’ Master

Meet Star Wars' new Sith Lord.

A phenomenal new episode of The Acolyte has arrived on Disney+, and it dropped a huge bomb about the identity of Mae’s (Amandla Stenberg) elusive Sith Master. So, who is he, and more importantly, does his introduction ruin Star Wars canon?

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The man behind the mask was finally revealed in The Acolyte’s latest episode, appropriately titled “Night.” Picking up immediately after the cliffhanger ending of episode 4, “Day,” Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), Yord (Charlie Barnett), Jecki (Dafne Keen), and the rest of the Jedi enclave skirmish with Mae’s dark side Master in the jungles of Khofar, and it’s safe to say that luck isn’t exactly on their side. Meanwhile, Mae and Osha (Amandla Stenberg) get caught up in the action, leading to an awkward confrontation—and eventually, a betrayal.

Spoilers for The Acolyte season 1, episode 5 ahead!

When we first met Mae’s Master in episode 1, the question of who—or rather, what—he really was loomed large. On social media, fans immediately began speculating about this shadowy dark sider, and whether or not his red lightsaber confirmed that he was, indeed, a Sith. Thanks to Jedi Ki-Adi-Mundi (who found himself at the center of some truly unhinged internet discourse), we know that the Sith “have been extinct for a millennium” during the time of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (or, at least, the Jedi believed the Sith had been extinct all that time), raising concerns about whether or not the identity of Mae’s Master would break canon. And, well … it’s complicated.

We’ve suspected Mae’s Master all along

Episode 5 confirms the longstanding theory that—unbeknownst to her—Mae’s Master is Qimir, a.k.a. “The Stranger” (Manny Jacinto), who she thought was nothing more than her quippy, ex-smuggler sidekick. The Acolyte viewers are, perhaps, a little more observational than Mae, as fans caught on pretty quickly that something was off about Qimir, who casually dropped bits of the Sith Code here and there. Things come to a head on Khofar after Mae decides to switch sides and “betray” her Master to make amends with her twin sis. Needless to say, Qimir (or, as the fandom has taken to calling him, Darth Teeth) isn’t too happy about this development and takes it upon himself to massacre the Jedi.

It’s a lesson Mae won’t forget anytime soon, as Qimir is absolutely ruthless, striking down our beloved Yord and even putting three holes in Jecki’s chest. Gone too soon! Qimir goes on to tell Sol that he’s “accepted his darkness” and that the Jedi “might call [him] a Sith,” all but confirming that the dark sider at least thinks that he’s a Sith Lord, even if he supposedly has “no name.” Osha, Sol, and Mae somehow make it out alive, but not before Mae assumes her twin’s place, jetting off with Sol and leaving her twin defenseless against Qimir. Does Sol not realize … ? Okay, okay, I digress.

To spice things up, the episode also introduces an interesting new material from Star Wars Legends: cortosis. This metal is capable of short-circuiting lightsabers, and as we see in episode 5, makes striking down even the most powerful Jedi Knights look like child’s play. Armor aside, we’ve gotta talk about Qimir’s lightsaber. His unique weapon seems to feature two kyber crystals that can transform it into a dual-wield blade—a typical hallmark of the dark side. We’ve seen Cal Kestis use a similar lightsaber in the Star Wars Jedi video games, but Qimir’s seems to have two emitters that can ignite from either side.

Jacinto’s portrayal of Qimir is downright scary, and in a way, his performance rhymes with Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine. Still, Jacinto puts his own spin on his portrayal of The Stranger, which is a little campy and over the top—but then again, I would argue many of the best villains are exactly that. Qimir is cunning, conniving, (dare I say … hot?), and always a step ahead of the Jedi, making him a serious threat. If he can convince Osha to step into Mae’s shoes as his apprentice, then things aren’t looking good for everyone involved. This is the Sith plan, after all, and Qimir might not be the only one out there.

Look, it’s important to note that an Acolyte isn’t necessarily an apprentice. And if Yoda’s grim warning of “Always two, there are. No more. No less. A Master and an apprentice” in The Phantom Menace is anything to go by, Qimir might be the least of our worries. Ultimately, this is a show about balance, and how power can tip the scales too far in one direction, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that there are more Force-users like Qimir running around. Either way, the Jedi—and the Republic—are in trouble, that’s for sure.

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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.