Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Star Wars: Why The Acolyte's Mae Has To Kill Jedi Without A Weapon

The first episode of "The Acolyte" opens in shocking fashion, with mysterious warrior Mae (Amandla Stenberg) killing Jedi Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss). It's a good way to set the tone of "The Acolyte" and present how Jedi will, in fact, die over the course of the series. However, there's an intriguing wrinkle to this development in which the audience learns that Mae's mysterious master wants her to kill at least one Jedi without using a weapon, which she attempts to do by trying to goad Indara into attacking her first to no avail. There's a reason why the "no weapon" rule came up, though.

"The Acolyte" creator Leslye Headland spoke with GQ about the importance of Mae being tasked with killing a Jedi with no weapon, saying, "In this time period, we wanted to be clear that Jedi would not attack unarmed people ... I think that what Mae is doing and what killing without a lightsaber is alluding to is that it's a psychological fight. It's trying to bait the Jedi into breaking their code." It's a unique set-up for a "Star Wars" show, especially considering how "The Acolyte" teaser suggested the Jedi would be portrayed as villains

Mae, and by proxy her master, want to show that the Jedi aren't purely good. And if she can tempt one to attack her when she doesn't visibly pose a threat, that could send reverberations throughout the galaxy. 

The Acolyte aims to destroy something deeper about the Jedi

Through the first two episodes, Mae is unable to successfully kill a Jedi with no weapon. She uses a throwing knife to end Indara's life in Episode 1 and convinces Jedi Master Corbin (Dean-Charles Chapman) to willingly ingest poison in Episode 2. Still, Mae has her orders, and one would assume that by the end of "The Acolyte" Season 1, she'll succeed in some manner to kill a Jedi the way her shadowy master wants. 

Leslye Headland explained how resorting to weapons so far showcases a key component of Mae's personality, telling GQ, "Because [Mae's] so undisciplined, she always takes out the knives because she's like, I want to kill these motherf******." In fact, one could almost see this plan from "The Acolyte" as a precursor to what Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) accomplishes successfully during the ending of "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith." After it's revealed that he's a Sith and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) attempts to kill him, Palpatine gives a speech about a "Jedi rebellion," which creates justification to execute Order 66 and turn public sentiment against the Jedi. 

For the Sith, it's not enough to simply kill a Jedi. It's about killing the idea of what the Jedi stand for. Perhaps this is the lesson the mysterious enemy wants to teach Mae. What if her master doesn't want her literally to kill a Jedi but instead destroy one's reputation? It would certainly differentiate "The Acolyte" from other "Star Wars" shows.