The Acolyte shakes up what we know about the Force in Star Wars

The Acolyte offers another reading of the Force, through a clan of witches with very different rituals. Episode 3 also changes the way we look at the Jedi order.

Clearly, we cannot deny The Acolyte a clear effort to shake up the lore of Star Wars. Very early on, the question arose as to whether the series did not contradict The Phantom Menace. Since then, it is clear that the first three episodes have generated many reactions, particularly on the particular origins of two characters.

Episode 3 of the series, available for streaming on Disney+, continued on this path by offering a renewed reading of the Force. This ” kind of fluid created by all living beings, an energy which surrounds and penetrates us and which maintains the galaxy as a single whole “, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Luke Skywalker in A new hope.

The following contains spoilers.

For further
Warning, the rest of the article contains spoilers // Source: NumeramaWarning, the rest of the article contains spoilers // Source: Numerama
Warning, the rest of the article contains spoilers. // Source: Numerama

The Light Side, the Dark Side of the Force

Since the beginnings of Star Wars, the Force is essentially approached through two prisms: the Light Side and the Dark Side. This first facet (also called Light Side) is used by the Jedi order and all notions around Good are linked to it. The second concerns the Sith order and brings together negative feelings. It’s Evil.

This duality is foundational in the saga of George Lucas, because it is on it that the history of the Skywalker family was built. Star Wars is above all the story of the rise, fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker thanks to his son, after having lost himself in Darth Vader. He is the Chosen One meant to restore balance to the Force.

In the universe of Star Wars, this Manichaeism mainly reflects the vision that the Jedi and the Sith have. However, this approach to the Force is only one way of approaching this “ energy that holds the galaxy together “. Elsewhere in the universe, other people sensitive to the Force were able to build different cults, new philosophies.

This other way of seeing things was especially developed in the works of the extended universe (Legends). The Acolyte constitutes the first major audiovisual production of the franchise to put its foot in the dish to this extent. Thus, the coven of witches to which Aniseya, Koril, Mae and Osha belong do not even speak of Force, but of Thread.

The Wire, another approach to the Force

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The Acolyte thus offers us a sequence showing the magical practices of the small group led by Aniseya. This is when we hear them talking about Thread, and not Force. However, it remains an invisible energy that connects living beings together. Aniseya describes this to Osha and Mae as follows:

All living things are connected by the same Thread, a thread woven through all of existence. Some call it the Force and claim to use it, but we know that the Thread is not a power that can be manipulated. By pulling the Thread, everything is turned upside down. It is he who binds you to your destiny. It connects you to others. »

It is also on this occasion that we understand that witches seem to have a keen sense of the collective. The demonstration made by Aniseya reveals certain limits when acting alone (“the power of one”), which are overcome by acting in pairs (“the power of two”) or in groups (“the power of many”) .

Source: LucasfilmSource: Lucasfilm
Aniseya. // Source: Lucasfilm

Osha and Mae being not only sisters, but twins, this element is certainly not trivial.

Moreover, Aniseya tests the good understanding of the two children in a practice test of the Thread. A practice which does not fully satisfy the witches, due to the differences of views between Osha and Mae, who no longer get along very well. This, even if the Thread already united them to each other before their birth.

Star Wars has, throughout the extended universe, developed many other allegiances around the Force. The Force itself has been defined differently than how the Sith and Jedi read it. Ashla, Bogan, Darkness, White Current, magic, shamanism, the rainbow of the Aing-tiis monks, Pelekotan, aura, Kashi Breath. There is no shortage of concepts.

Jedi don’t really like competition?

If The Acolyte offers a point of view on the Force, the series also decenters in relation to the Jedi order. Those who are presented as the guardians of peace and justice also appear more like a religious order which does not seem to like competition too much. At least, from the point of view of the clan led by Aniseya.

The galaxy has proven to us that it does not like women like us, witches with such abilities », she confides to the two little girls. During a relatively tense exchange between the witch and Indara, a Jedi master, we guess that the magical training of children is an exclusive prerogative of the Jedi order.

At the time of The Acolyte, the Jedi Order is still very much in place. // Source: LucasfilmAt the time of The Acolyte, the Jedi Order is still very much in place. // Source: Lucasfilm
The Jedi have a certain monopoly on access to the Force. // Source: Lucasfilm

In other words, the coven of witches is not supposed to be able to train the two twins in the mysteries of the Force (or the Thread). But the planet on which the discussion takes place is not in the Galactic Republic and, in theory, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Jedi. Indara also believes that she has the right to test the Force sensitivity of the two girls.

Series The Acolyte reveals in contrast with the existence of this clan of witches a certain propensity of the Jedi order to monopolize access to the Force. This is a striking departure from the way witches practice their art. On the witches’ side, we tolerate the idea that the two girls could join the Jedi. The reverse would be less certain.

Source: Numerama EditingSource: Numerama Editing

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