The Acolyte: Is Qimir the Sith Master or the Apprentice?

At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge.
(L): Osha (Amandla Stenberg) in a scene from Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: THE ACOLYTE, season one, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L): Osha (Amandla Stenberg) in a scene from Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: THE ACOLYTE, season one, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

The Acolyte reached its halfway mark on a cliffhanger, where a masked Dark Force user attacked Osha and the rest of the Jedi on Khofar.  It has been long speculated that Qimir was behind the mask, and this was confirmed in Episode 5, titled “Night,” amid an epic lightsaber battle that leaves very few survivors.

Though he is not technically confirmed as Sith, given the possible unreliable narrator in Qimir, the question remains: Is Qimir the Master, or is he the Apprentice looking for an acolyte?

Saber Skills

Osha awakens in the middle of a massive lightsaber fight, where the masked Force user is obliterating Jedi left, right, and center. Sure, some of the more non-descript Jedi may have been predictable casualties, but the attacks are so fierce that you cringe when you see the dark figure slashing at Yord, Sol, or Jecki.  He even wears a peculiar metal armor that has the ability to deflect blaster bolts and temporarily short out lightsabers. When Jecki, using Kelnacca’s saber to dual-wield, is able to knock off the helmet revealing Qimir’s face, Qimir breaks his lightsaber in two pieces and puts three holes in the Padawan, sadly ending her life while showing his own mastery of dual-wielding lightsabers.

Strictly Speaking Sith

Qimir’s attention turns to Sol, who holds his own until Mae is used as a hostage. From Mae’s perspective, Qimir is her Master, but he also claims he wants an Acolyte, so it is conceivable that Manny Jacinto’s character is actually an Apprentice – somebody had to train him in ways of the Dark Side, after all. Qimir tells Sol, “Jedi like you might call me… Sith,” which is the first time that infamous enemy has been mentioned so far in this series. However, whether this is directly steeped in Sith connected to the Tenebrous – Plagueis – Palpatine lineage remains to be seen.

Steering Sol

In addition to the anti-Jedi rhetoric spoken by Qimir earlier in the season, he goes on about how the “Jedi say I can’t exist” and that if “they see my face, they all die.” He comments that Mae and Sol’s reunion is a full-circle moment and that their conflict begins right before he cracks Yord’s neck and ends his life. Sol tries to put an end to Qimir, but Osha interrupts in shock, as it is not the Jedi way. Sol claims Qimir’s mind is ‘twisted in darkness’ as Qimir pushes back, saying that he has accepted it but wonders what Sol has done with his.

Swapping Sisters

Before Osha can get the truth from Sol, Mae stuns Sol and tries to reconcile with Osha, telling her that all they have is each other. When her sister tries to arrest her for her murderous crimes, Mae exercises a Force push to knock Osha out and takes the opportunity to swap places (using Yord's golden lightsaber to cut her hair) and escape with a disoriented Sol on the ship. Qimir stumbles upon Osha and appears to heal her, which is not something that the Sith are known to do. “What extraordinary beings we are” exclaims Qimir as he looks at his prospective Acolyte.

Solo Survivor

Though Qimir could very well be an Apprentice to a Sith Lord, there are hints to some other possible clues to his lineage. The closing shot of episode 5 seems to riff on Ben Solo’s theme while Qimir heals Osha, which is an unmistakable reference to Kylo Ren. There are alternatives to the Sith when it comes to Dark Side Force users, which is part of why the Jedi don't even consider the possibility, as the Sith have been extinct for a millennia in their eyes. Perhaps Qimir is attempting to diverge from the Sith and their Rule of Two and will end up becoming the first of the Knights of Ren?

We'll just have to wait and see to find out.