The Acolyte episode 5 review: This is the Bad Place

No one is safe in The Acolyte.
Scene from Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: THE ACOLYTE, season one, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Scene from Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: THE ACOLYTE, season one, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Warning: This review contains spoilers from Star Wars: The Acolyte, episode 5, "Night."

When The Acolyte episode 5, "Night," started with Osha regaining consciousness after being thrown aside at the end of episode 4, I was worried that the whole showdown between the Jedi and the potential Sith Lord had already happened offscreen. I was glad to quickly be proven completely wrong as the episode thrust viewers directly into the chaos of the combat, with the next twenty minutes becoming one extended lightsaber battle sequence.

After four compelling but largely slower-paced episodes of building intrigue, the fast-paced and action-packed nature of "Night" felt like a rewarding payoff. The lightsaber combat was captivating to watch, showcasing a similar fluidity and brilliant choreography of lightsaber duels featured throughout the prequel trilogy.

The Dark Sider's power is chilling to watch as he dispatches Jedi after Jedi, showing exactly why he is to be feared. Sol's status as a revered Jedi Master also shines through as he and his Padawan Jecki Lon are the only Jedi able to hold their own against the Dark Sider.

Qimir being the Sith Lord isn't shocking, given the many hints in episodes 2 and 4, but the moment the mask came off did have me reeling because it coincided with him murdering Jecki. With the deaths of Jedi Masters Indara, Torbin, and Kelnacca, The Acolyte hasn't been afraid to kill its prominent Jedi characters and has shown that no one is truly safe.

Jecki's death hits much harder as, unlike the Jedi killed in previous episodes, the series took time for the audience to get to know and be invested in Jecki. Being a fan of Dafne Keen, not only because of Logan but also because of her leading performance as Lyra in the massively underrated His Dark Materials series, also made watching her demise more upsetting.

As I noted in my episode 4 review, I really enjoyed the bond that was forming between Jecki and Osha, and I am sad that their relationship won't be developed any further. We'll never get to see them going to a cantina on Coruscant and trading stories about Sol as they planned to do. I naively hoped that Jecki would survive the series and learn from the mistakes Master Sol made, which was foolish considering this series' events contributed to the decline and eventual fall of the Jedi Order.

Star Wars: The Acolyte Season 1 Jecki. Image Credit: /

The impact of Jecki's death was so overwhelming that I found it somewhat difficult to fully process what Qimir was saying at first to Sol. Manny Jacinto, who's been carefully balancing sinister and humorous energy so far, leans fully into the sinister side of things, abandoning any semblance of Jason Mendoza from The Good Place as his evil deeds unleashed Star Wars' version of The Bad Place. Part of me wanted him to put the mask back on because of how unnerving he was without it.

It is important to note that Qimir doesn't explicitly say that he is a Sith. When Sol asks Qimir what he is, his actual words are "I have no name. But the Jedi like you might call me . . . Sith." It's still possible that he's just a dark side user as he only says it's the Jedi that would call him a Sith, though I'm sure this will be clarified in the remaining episodes.

"Night" doesn't offer much time to ponder on this point anyway, as Yord Fandar rushes in and gets his neck snapped by Qimir. I'll admit that I wasn't part of the Yord Horde and wasn't as invested in him as I was in Jecki, but his death still shocked me, partly because of the brutal way Qimir killed him.

I thought Yord had a good chance of surviving the series for the opposite reason of Jecki. He embodies the overconfidence and black-and-white thinking that is widespread in the Jedi Order by the time of the prequels. This makes it fitting, albeit even more tragic, that his life ends with him realizing that the enemy had been right under his nose back on Olega in episode 2.

Just when I thought we couldn't lose anyone else, Pip is sacrificed to draw the umbramoths to Qimir. Honestly, the episode could've ended there, as I was already so emotionally drained. I'm glad it didn't, though, as the scene that followed between Osha and Mae serves as a reminder that The Acolyte's greatest mystery has never been about the identity of Mae's master as much as it's been about what really happened on Brendok and what the Jedi did all those years ago.

There is plenty left to explore there, especially with Mae and Osha now switching places as Mae pretends to be Osha and goes back to Coruscant with Sol, and Qimir, who survived the umbramoths, is taking Osha, likely intending to make her his new acolyte. I'm relieved that Bazil is still alive and elated at the idea that he will seemingly be the key to revealing that Mae is an imposter.

As jarring as all the major characters' deaths were, it feels fitting that Sol, Osha, and Mae are the only survivors of Qimir's actions. The sisters' history and attitudes toward Sol and the Jedi have been at the heart of the series from the very beginning and in every episode. The final three episodes will allow us to explore this history and the choices Sol, Osha, and Mae now make more fully.

I'm very curious about what Sol is going to tell Vernestra Rwoh, Ki-Adi-Mundi, and the other Jedi when he returns to Coruscant without Jecki, Yord, and all the other Jedi who traveled to Khofar with him. What happened on Brendok was seemingly swept under the rug, but it's more difficult to do that when numerous Jedi deaths are involved.

Despite taking place at the end of the High Republic era, The Acolyte feels more connected than ever to The High Republic books and comics following the deaths of numerous Jedi and fan-favorite characters, along with certain Jedi struggling to confront difficult moments from their past that still haunt them.

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