Star Wars: The Acolyte has been a mystery in terms of its place in the Star Wars canon timeline, as well as what kind of pivotal story it’s telling. Those are fair questions to ask: The Acolyte is set 100 years before the start of the Skywalker Saga, a time period marking the end of the High Republic Era, which started approximately 250 years before the events of The Acolyte take place. With The Acolyte clearly setup to be a bridge between The High Republic and Skywalker Saga, there’s already a lot of potential for surprising new connections between the two eras to be revealed.

Star Wars’ New Witch Obsession

(Photo: Lucasfilm)

Star Wars has a growing fascination with witches, if the last few years have been any indication. The High Republic Phase II explored events 150 years before the first High Republic stories were set, and introduced a much wider collection of Force-user groups than just the Jedi and the Sith, including the Path of the Open Hand, an extremist missionary order and cult. The head of the Path of the Open Hand, “The Mother” believed that no one should use The Force, with the Jedi Order being her biggest target. The Mother made a milestone change to Star Wars lore by discovering and unleashing The Leveler monsters – a species that consumes Force and can turn Force users like Jedi to stone and/or dust.

Star Wars has already established that the Path of the Open Hand eventually breaks down and splinters into various offshoot groups – now the question the Acolyte trailer has fans asking is whether or not this “Mother Aniseya” (played by Jodie Turner-Smith) is some kind of spiritual descendant of “The Mother” and the Path of the Open Hand.

That would be a nice twist in the story of The Acolyte, which has baited us early on with the idea that there was a Sith resurgence during the High Republic era – and all the timeline questions that would raise. However, the footage of The Acolyte trailer suggests that Mother Aniseya and her cult could be the ones secretly hunting down Jedi.

The title of “Mother” is the one used by the Nightsister we met in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rebels, and the Ahsoka live-action series. The ending of Ahsoka teased that the Nightsisters’ mysterious history is much more pivotal than we know – and that their alternative ways of using the Force could be a major new threat to the Jedi – a threat that maybe isn’t as new as we think if there are clear connective lines made between Aniseya’s coven and the coven of Mother Talzin, the unifier of the Nightsister clans who ruled during the Clone Wars era.

All that is certain right now is that Star Wars is highly invested in growing past the binary depictions of Force usage we’ve seen for much of the series.

Star Wars: The Acolyte premieres on Disney+ on June 4th.



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