The fifth episode of Star Wars: The Acolyte was released on Disney+ Tuesday night and it immediately became the most talked-about edition of the series to-date. An episode that was essentially a 30-minute lightsaber fight brought the deaths of multiple popular Acolyte characters, in addition to finally pulling back the mask on the mysterious Sith lord that has been looming large over the season. Following the big reveal, series creator Leslye Headland and the actor behind the eerie Sith mask opened up about the twist. WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Acolyte…

The identity of the Sith turned out to be Qimir, the timid trader played by Manny Jacinto. He was in hiding in plain sight the whole time, and there were plenty of clues leading to his big secret. According to Headland, leaving breadcrumbs behind only made the reveal more exciting.

“I think a good twist is not about hiding everything from the audience and then throwing it on them like, ‘Hey, this is what you didn’t see! We hid it so well that you didn’t see this,'” Headland told EW. “I think a good twist is telegraphing what’s going to happen, and then once it does, executing it without an ounce of pity or sentimentality.”

Jacinto had to hide one character within another for much of the season, which created a unique challenge for the actor. But the reveal allowed a switch to flip, getting him into fight mode almost immediately.

“We talked a lot about how you take a low-status character and convert him to a badass,” Jacinto said. “He’s a guy that is so under the radar, that nobody is paying attention to, and all of a sudden he’s actually the guy pulling the strings.”

“I had almost four months to train for that fight scene,” he added. “That was the first time I really got to dig into something with so much action and really make use of my dance background. We worked on everything. We did boxing, we worked on kicks, we worked on all the choreography. It was tough. They conditioned my body so that I could get through this five-person fight scene.”

Set during The High Republic, Star Wars: The Acolyte delivers an investigation into a mysterious string of crimes, which pits a Jedi master against his former apprentice in a race to uncover the truth. The more that the pair learn about the situation, the darker their journey becomes, as they confront things that darker than either of them could have imagined.

The series stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Joonas Suotamo, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Star Wars: The Acolyte premiered on Disney+ on June 4th.


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