Dean-Charles Chapman as Master Torbin in The Acolyte
(Disney+)

‘The Acolyte’ Teases a Dark Past for Its Most Mysterious Jedi Master

The Acolyte has arrived on Disney+, and while it introduced many interesting new characters, viewers are likely to be most intrigued by the mysterious Master Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman).

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The Acolyte takes place during the High Republic era when the Jedi Order was still flourishing. It quickly introduces viewers to Osha (Amandla Stenberg), a young woman who left the Jedi Order and now works as a mechanic. However, when a Jedi Master is murdered by someone matching her description, she is pulled back into the Order and must convince everyone that the true culprit in the crimes is her twin sister, Mae, who was previously thought to be dead. Meanwhile, Mae is on a mission of vengeance against four Jedi, including Master Torbin.

Who is Master Torbin?

It’s hard not to be intrigued by Torbin, as a Jedi like him has never been seen in live-action before. After killing Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss), Torbin is the next hit on Mae’s list, and she breaks into the Jedi Temple on Olega, where he resides. It becomes apparent he’s quite different from other Jedi as she finds him levitating in solitude. The man gives no indication that he’s aware of her presence or hears her challenge to fight, remaining silent in a cross-legged position several feet in the air with his eyes closed.

At first, it seems like Torbin will be an easy hit, given his trance-like meditative state. However, as Mae throws her first punch, her fist stops several inches from the Master. It appears he has constructed a force field out of the Force to surround his entire body. No matter how hard Mae punches and kicks, she can not get anywhere near touching him. Later, when Sol (Lee Jung-jae) arrives at the temple, the Jedi who greet him reveal that Torbin has been in this state for years and has spoken to no one. Unfortunately, before they can get to him, Mae returns with a vial of poison.

Instead of forcing him to take the poison, she offers him a choice: confess his wrongdoing to the Jedi Council or receive “forgiveness” by drinking the poison. Surprisingly, Torbin emerges from his meditative state, revealing he has been waiting for Mae. He asks for her forgiveness before willingly drinking the poison.

What did Master Torbin do?

It is probable that Torbin’s appearance left many viewers scratching their heads with his strange use of the Force and decision to take his own life. However, there is an explanation for his meditative state. It appears that Torbin has taken a Barash Vow. The phenomenon was first introduced in Star Wars comics, and The Acolyte is the first time it has appeared in live-action.

The Barash Vow is an oath in which a Jedi abstains from all of the duties and activities commonly associated with the Jedi Order. Without distractions, they immerse themselves wholly in The Force. While some take the vow to strengthen their connection with the Force, the vow is most often utilized as a form of penance. It originated with Jedi Master Barash Silvain, who took the oath of penance for a mistake she made that resulted in many lives being lost.

In Torbin’s case, it is pretty clear he has taken the Barash Vow as penance for some wrongdoing. Unfortunately, his years-long meditative state seemingly could not clear his conscience for whatever it was he did. The Acolyte has yet to provide the reason why Mae is targeting Torbin and the other Jedi, though there have been mentions of a fire that killed Osha and Mae’s family when they were children. Mae has been accused of starting the fire but one can’t help but wonder if the tragedy is somehow tied to the Jedi she seeks vengeance on.

Viewers will simply have to stay tuned to find out what Torbin did, which was seemingly so terrible he felt the need to pay the price with a Barash Vow.


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Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.