Has The Acolyte Episode 3 Broken Star Wars Canon?


No, The Acolyte episode 3 hasn’t broken Star Wars canon – and in fact fits surprisingly well with it. The discourse ahead of The Acolyte episode 3 was explosive to say the least, with critical commentators insisting this would somehow break the lore irreparably. There’s already been a backlash against The Acolyte in some circles (with review bombing on sites like Rotten Tomatoes), and this episode was seen as the moment when the fandom would turn on the Disney+ show.

The Acolyte episode 3 is certainly controversial. It’s a lore-heavy episode, one focused on a new Force cult who live on the planet Brendok, and it strongly implies a shockingly negative view of the Jedi – although, to be fair, George Lucas himself wanted viewers to be disillusioned with the Jedi, so that’s not a problem. The core issue lies with the origin of Osha and Mae, which some argue has the surprising effect of making Anakin Skywalker less special as a character.

Osha & Mae’s Controversial Origin Story Explained

The twins were conceived by the power of the Force

The Acolyte episode 3 is an unusual one, an entire flashback episode revealing some of what really happened on the planet Brendok 16 years before the show’s main events. It explores a coven of witches who have secreted themselves on a remote planet, hoping to remain hiidden from the watchful eyes of the Jedi and the Republic. Similar to the Nightsisters of Dathomir, the witches have unique Force powers that mark them as distinct from the Jedi and the Sith.

Osha and Mae are the only children on Brendok, and it’s strongly implied they were created by the power of the Force. During one conversation with Mother Koril, Mother Aniseya discusses their unusual conception; although she doesn’t explicitly state she created them, the implication isn’t exactly subtle. One comment in particular stands out; “There is no father,” a word-for-word quote from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, where it applied to Anakin Skywalker as the Chosen One.

No, Mae & Osha Aren’t Star Wars’ Anakin Skywalker Replacements

Anakin is still unique

Does this mean Star Wars has introduced two new “Chosen Ones,” a century before the events of The Phantom Menace? That’s the claim some are making, but it’s exaggerated and based on a misunderstanding of what is happening in The Acolyte. Assuming Mother Aniseya’s comments are accurate, the clear implication is that she is responsible for creating the twins through use of the Force. In contrast, Anakin Skywalker – the true Chosen One – was conceived by the will of the Force itself.

Meanwhile, there’s one obvious difference between Anakin and the twins; the fact that he is male, while they are female. Osha and Mae were presumably conceived by Mother Aniseya using the Force to manipulate the Midi-chlorians in Mother Koril’s womb, and there would only be X chrosomes present – explaining why both twins are female. Anakin is still miraculous in that he was a male child, with the Y chromosomes somehow created by the will of the Force. The words “There is no father” may imply a correlation, but it’s much less exact than it seems at first glance.

Mother Aniseya’s Force Power Has Been Part Of Canon Since Revenge Of The Sith

This is a power mentioned before

Even more remarkably, Mother Aniseya’s use of the Force was set up 19 years ago – in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. She is clearly using a similar power to that of Darth Plagueis, whose tragic tale was told to Anakin Skywalker by Palpatine himself. “Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life,” Palpatine told Anakin, before focusing on the idea of conquering death as another of Plagueis’ abilities.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if this were how Plagueis learned the power.

Again, assuming the conversation between Mothers Aniseya and Koril is to be believed, this is almost certainly what is being discussed in The Acolyte; a forbidden dark side power that allows a Force user to create life by directly influencing the Midi-chlorians. In fact, given the shadow of the Sith looms over The Acolyte, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this were how Plagueis learned the power. Far from breaking canon, The Acolyte fits surprisingly well.

The Sith have often been shown coveting the Force powers of other dark side cults. In ancient times, there was a faction of Sith known as Darkseekers who sought out rival cults, learned their secrets, and exterminated them. Palpatine himself did this with the Nightsisters of Dathomir, learning as much as he could about them before attempting genocide rather than risk a rival faction. Ahsoka recently revealed even the ancient Sith language of ur-Kittât predates them, so there’s a definite precedent for Darth Plagueis discovering his power from the coven.

Osha & Mae’s Origin May Yet Contain Some Surprises

Don’t assume the truth has been told just yet

It’s important to note there may be more twists in Osha and Mae’s origin story. The Acolyte is employing a smart narrative technique from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, that of the unreliable narrator, because episode 3 is told only from Osha’s point of view. Showrunner Leslye Headland has hinted more will be revealed in later flashbacks, presumably from Mae’s perspective:

“If you keep watching the show, we do talk about that and explore that . I would say there isn’t one answer to it. Some characters believe certain things, and other characters believe other things in terms of what she means by that. So you’re going to have to watch and decide which side of that argument you’re on.”

Unlike shows made for binge-watching, The Acolyte episode 3 takes advantage of Disney+’s weekly drop formula. It is designed to conceal as much as it reveals, meaning it’s far too soon to say where this story is going. That’s why the above discussion continually notes that it is assuming Aniseya is telling the truth; that may not be the case. Only time (and the next five episodes) will tell.