‘The Acolyte’ Creator Explains Why You Might Agree With the Sith Lord: “It’s one of the reasons we had him cheat”

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Even before its release, ‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’ sparked controversy, primarily due to statements made by the creator and cast members that many fans found insulting.

Headland clarified that her story aims to showcase the Jedi in an unprecedented light. During the High Republic, they hold institutional power and, under certain circumstances, can be portrayed as the villains.

Headland expressed her fascination with immoral characters and their journey toward moral discovery, which explains why her villain, The Master / The Stranger, is not two-dimensional. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Headland revealed the motivations behind her villain and shared reasons why you might find yourself agreeing with him on certain points.

Well, how is it going to happen? What are we going to see?” There are definitely moments in episodes 2 and 4 where you’re like, “There’s something going on with this guy when he says ‘You look just like her.’” There’s something that you’re like, “Whoa, what’s this about?” But you need a villain that you kind of agree with in some ways. Not his actions, obviously, but when Sol says “What do you want?” and he says “Freedom” — that is something that you can’t argue with.

He wants freedom to be able to be who he is and wield his power the way he wants to. But he also wants freedom on a second level that I think we’ll get more into if we get a season 2. But once we knew he was going to kill Jecki and Yord, then it became about: How are you going to execute this in a way that feels satisfying and believable once it does happen? […]

They see my face, they all have to die.” He’s not like, “I murdered them, that was fun!” He’s like, “I murdered them for preservation. They threaten my existence and therefore I have to kill them.” So, in a way, not that you agree with him necessarily, but you also understand. It’s one of the reasons we had him cheat and resort to trickery, because when you’re fighting for survival, there’s no such thing as a fair fight. You have to survive. And the Jedi cannot know he exists. They must die as far as he’s concerned. So it felt like it had to happen. The people that have seen it are like, “How could you do that?” And I was like, “There was no other way around it.”

‘The Acolyte’ has already depicted instances where Jedi are portrayed as the dominant force users with a monopoly on power. One notable example was the introduction of the Witches of Brendok. These practitioners represent a distinct group of force users who do not align with either the Sith or the Jedi. They seek freedom to practice their “magic” without Jedi oversight.

While one could sympathize with their desire for autonomy, their actions have also portrayed them as antagonists. They have engaged in ethically questionable experiments using the Force, resulting in the creation of twins. Furthermore, they attempted to manipulate and indoctrinate children into their cult, illustrating why the Jedi view their use of the Force with skepticism.

The same applies to Qimir; while he desires freedom, it’s clear that his version of freedom entails oppressing others and exerting control over those around him. Initially, he had the opportunity to practice his Force powers undisturbed. However, he drew attention to himself by instructing Mae to kill Jedi openly, thereby revealing himself and his “apprentice.” Later, he claimed he was compelled to eliminate the Jedi to protect his identity, which he disclosed during a confrontation he initiated.

This rationale seems nonsensical and lacks depth, resembling a simplistic justification for Qimir’s actions and beliefs.

But I digress. Regardless, Headland also mentioned that we can anticipate learning more about Qimiri in the upcoming episodes 6 and 8.

Because it’s Osha’s story, you don’t know much about the Stranger’s background and you’re not really going to learn much about it. But there are a bunch of things in episode 6 and episode 8 that are really big clues as to why he is the way he is and why his philosophy is the way that it is.

What are your thoughts on Headland’s reasoning? Share your opinions in the comments below!

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