The Jedi with their sabers all in a line

The Two Worst Villains in ‘The Acolyte’ Aren’t Who You Think They Are

It’s easy to watch The Acolyte and label Qimir (Manny Jacinto) and Sol (Lee Jung-jae) as the two worst villains of the show. However, there are two other characters whose egregiously selfish and senseless actions are largely to blame for what happened on Brendok.

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To be clear, Qimir and Sol are villains, too, and their actions aren’t excusable. At the very least, though, one could argue that they’re trying to do the right thing in a misguided manner or that one can slightly empathize with their actions. Sol makes numerous awful choices that have disastrous consequences, but he is initially convinced that he’s actually saving the lives of two little girls. He also immediately regrets his actions, showing that he never intended the horrific outcome on Brendok. He was selfish in what he did, but it can’t be denied that he genuinely cared for Osha (Amandla Stenberg) and thought that what he was doing was partially for her sake.

As a Sith and murderer, Qimir is a major antagonist in The Acolyte. Thus far, though, there’s no evidence he was a part of the central massacre on Brendok. On top of that, he’s quite a complex villain. He has very clearly been hurt by the Jedi in the past, claiming to have had his own Master turn on him. Additionally, he felt he had no choice but to kill the Jedi, as their close-minded ways meant they would never allow a dark side Force user to simply exist, whether he was a threat or not. Again, his actions aren’t excused, but there’s this complexity to him. He blurs the lines of good and evil by allowing viewers to admit that there might actually be a reason for the way he is, rather than him just being plain evil.

However, the two villains largely responsible for the massacre on Brendok don’t boast any of Qimir or Sol’s complex motivation or misguided good intentions.

The Acolyte unveils Mother Koril’s and Torbin’s villainy

The Acolyte reveals two unlikely major players in the Brendok massacre: Mother Koril (Margarita Levieva) and Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman). While Mother Koril appeared far more severe and frigid than Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith), it was easy for viewers to assume she was merely fiercely protective of the girls. However, her actions are much harder to justify after The Acolyte episode 7, “Choice.” In the episode, it is revealed that Mother Koril is willing to defy Mother Aniseya’s wishes to let Osha go with the Jedi.

It almost seemed as if Mother Koril would go on the offensive whether the Jedi ever threatened the coven or not. She is wholly opposed to acknowledging that the girls should have any autonomy and even goes as far as to act as if she is their sole mother. On top of that, her interest in the girls appears to be over some kind of role the coven wants them to play when they’re older. Hence, it doesn’t appear she is even pretending that she has the girls’ best interest in mind, but is serving her own interests by preventing them from going with the Jedi.

The worst thing Mother Koril does is inspire Mae to start the fire that destroys the coven. While she doesn’t explicitly tell her what to do, she goes behind Mother Aniseya’s back to order the girl to do everything she can to prevent Osha from leaving, even encouraging her to “get mad.” Given the high tension between the Jedi and the witches, it’s highly cruel and selfish to tell a child to get directly involved in the conflict, pitting her against her sister and encouraging her to take drastic actions. It almost seems like Sith-coded behavior. Although the fire doesn’t ultimately kill the witches, the chaos it sparks kickstarts the bloodshed.

Then, there’s Torbin, who is the most frustrating villain in the show. While Padawans, like Anakin Skywalker, can be difficult, the level of disrespect that Torbin shows Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss) is surprising. Disgruntled about the mission on Brendok, he repeatedly talks back to her, refuses to obey her orders, and scoffs at the importance of their mission. Perhaps his attitude might be excusable if he had some deep convictions about the Jedi’s actions. Instead, though, he simply acts this way because he dislikes the mission and wants to go home. When he learns that what the Jedi seek might lie with the witches, he decides to go charging into their coven uninvited when tensions are already high, refusing to heed the Jedis’ orders to stop.

Ultimately, Torbin is the reason why Sol ends up going to the coven and going rogue on his mission to get the girls. Without Torbin’s actions, Sol would’ve never had an opportunity to return to the coven without Indara’s supervision. He literally jeopardized and cost numerous lives because he didn’t like his job. In fact, if both Mother Koril and Torbin were simply removed from the picture, the deadliest event in The Acolyte wouldn’t have happened at all. Mother Aniseya was doing the right thing, and Indara likely would’ve forced Sol to accept the Jedi Council’s orders and never allowed him to go to the coven without supervision. Mother Aniseya and Indara were two strong and capable leaders whose plans to keep the peace between the witches and Jedi fell apart because Torbin and Mother Koril refused to respect their leadership and wisdom, and inspired Sol to do the same.

Viewers should certainly be angry at Sol for his responsibility for Brendok, but Torbin and Mother Koril also played a major role in the events. They are also arguably the worst type of villains, acting out of irrationality and selfishness and stirring little emotion in viewers other than frustration.

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Rachel Ulatowski
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.