Is Manny Jacinto’s Qimir Hiding a Major Dark Secret on THE ACOLYTE?

The Acolyte‘s official description of Qimir makes Manny Jacinto’s character sound like a fun rogue, the type of secondary figure we frequently meet in the galaxy far, far away. Lucasfilm calls him a former smuggler-turned trader and supplier of unusual items who has “survived in some of the shadier starports” around. He’s also known as a “shiftless drifter with seemingly no cares at all other than his own amusements.” But his debut in episode two of the new Disney+ Star Wars series indicated there is much more to the insightful and cunning Qimir than he wants anyone to know. His dark side affiliations, unusual wisdom, and clear purpose suggest he’s hiding the biggest secret in the High Republic.

New Star Wars the Acolyte character Qimir
Spoiler Alert

The Acolyte takes place during the High Republic, a time when the Jedi dominated the galaxy without any equals. As the series has shown, the guardians of peace also had outposts on every planet. Denizens of every world interacted with the highly-esteemed Jedi. They also thought no one could realistically fight those powerful Force users. Bar customers laughed at Mae when she challenged Master Indara in the show’s premiere. People of this era clearly had a personal awareness and intimacy with the Jedi Order a century and a half later before Order 66.

And yet, the ubiquitousness of the Jedi does not fully explain Qimir’s deep insights into them. He doesn’t just know about them like most people. He’s not intimidated or awed by them, either. Qimir has a meaningful understanding of who they are, what they want, and how they operate. He also sees they are vulnerable.

A figure in black walks near a Jedi floating in the air on The Acolyte

“Everyone has a weakness,” he told Mae about the Jedi everyone else thinks unbeatable. She proved him correct twice when she killed two Jedi in very different ways. The death of Master Torbin especially showed the depth of Qimir’s intuition about the Order and its members. He knew Torbin’s decade-long trance (as part of his Barash Vow) indicated the Jedi had not really found peace. Qimir somehow understood—even though the Jedi hadn’t spoken to anyone in ten years—the past still haunted Torbin enough he’d willingly atone with fatal poison.

Qimir also apparently knows what planet the wookiee Jedi Master Kelnacca is living on, something the Force sensitive Mae didn’t. He also managed to talk himself out of what seemed like an obvious and inevitable arrest by the Jedi. Qimir then skillfully eluded their detection when he helped smuggle Mae off the planet. And that followed the supposed smuggler-turned-trader without a care in the world physically overpowering Mae, a warrior who’d just bested multiple Jedi.

Manny Jacinto holds a small flower on The Acolyte

Indara didn’t even consider Mae a real threat until she recognized Mae could use the Force. Yet somehow Qimir quickly fought back and overtook Mae when she surprise attacked him in that alley. How did he do that? Han Solo couldn’t beat a Force-user in hand-to-hand combat, but this rogue can? And that’s just one of the many intriguing questions the second episode of The Acolyte raised about Qimir. How does he know so much about the Jedi, including what they seek, the lies they tell themselves, where they live, and their own vulnerabilities? And how did he so quickly recognize Osha wasn’t Mae?

One possibility is that Qimir is Force-sensitive himself and has received the same training Mae has from her mysterious Master we saw at the end of episode one. Qimir said he serves that masked figure with the red lightsaber, just seemingly in a different way than Mae. She’s the warrior, he’s simply an accomplice. But it’s not as though a dark side devotee couldn’t hide their identity from another Force user like Mae. Palpatine kept his Sith identity secret from the entire Jedi Order while working closely with them.

The Acolyte Mae

There’s an obvious issue with that explanation, however. If the masked Master is the very Sith who will revive the dark Order, they would only have one Padawan. “Always two there are. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” If Mae is the Master’s “acolyte,” Qimir can’t also be.

But what if he is the mysterious Master? Despite his official character description, Qimir obviously cares about something. He has a purpose. He’s not just helping Mae kill Jedi, he wants to expose the lie the Order tells itself. That’s the same purpose the Master has. He/she said they wants to “kill” the dream the Jedi live in.

Qimir is also is working with Mae, who knows almost nothing about him (just as she doesn’t even know her Master’s true identity.) Yet Qimir is sharing seemingly unknowable knowledge about the Jedi with her, all while he can physically overmatch her. All of which points to the fact he’s pretending to just be a normal servant of their mutual leader.

A masked figure in black holds a red lightsaber atop a rock by the ocean on The Acolyte

Star Wars fans know a powerful Sith Lord can keep a secret identity from everyone. Qimir might be hiding his own as the Master. If he is there, his story would be the kind of poetry George Lucas said drived Star Wars. Qimir’s own story would mirror that of Palpatine, whose own rise was made possible by a dark side user who took on the Jedi during the time of the High Republic.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist who thinks Manny Jacinto deserved an Emmy for The Good Place. You can follow him on  Twitter and  Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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