Star Wars: The Acolyte proved right away that it was a series unafraid to kill its major characters. And ever since it dispatched Jedi Master Indara in its first episode, the Star Wars series has pulled no killing punches. But in episode four of The Acolyte, we were truly stunned by one character’s sudden death. Beware, spoilers await you in this article.

wookiee jedi kelnacca dead in the acolyte

In episode four of Star Wars: The Acolyte, we could not have expected to find Wookiee Jedi Master Kelnacca dead in his forest hideaway. We knew, of course, that Mae was on the hunt for the Wookiee Jedi. He was one of the four Jedi stationed at Brendok during her childhood tragedy. Two of those Jedi are already dead. As mentioned, Mae killed Master Indara, and she also killed Jedi Master Torbin in previous episodes. But we at least got to see both of those Jedi battle for their lives before they met their ends. (Even if Master Torbin did it while in the deep trance of the Barash Vow.)

However, Kelnacca, the very first Wookiee Jedi to ever appear in live-action Star Wars, did not get that chance. Instead, when Mae finds him on the planet Khofar, ready to turn herself into the Jedi, death has already visited the Wookiee Jedi. The mysterious, villainous Sith Lord, known to us only as the Master, got to Kelnacca first. We see two lightsaber slashes decorating the Wookiee Jedi’s chest, and, yep, he seems quite dead.


We do get to see Kelnacca in flashbacks during episode three of Star Wars: The Acolyte. And it’s possible we will see him again in other looks at the past. But this The Acolyte death still feels incredibly premature. After all the excitement at finally bringing a Wookiee Jedi to live-action, we really only see him alive for a scene or two. And we don’t even get to see him in action. It would at least have been cool to see the Wookiee Jedi take on the Master in an epic lightsaber battle before meeting his death. But, instead, all we get is a slumped-over version of the Wookiee character, dead where he sits before we can ever encounter him in real-time.


Kelnecca’s actor, Joonas Suotamo, shared that the death of the Wookiee Jedi was a shock to him. He reveals that Kelnecca dying was a surprise for him, sharing, “No, that wasn’t discussed. I learned it as we went, and it was very surprising. So I wasn’t aware initially, but ever since studying film at university, I’ve been on the story side as well, so I thought it was a necessary thing to happen in terms of it follows the story and is very sad and very dramatic. And what a shock too to see all these powerful Jedi to meet their fate in such a way!”

Perhaps there’s still a chance Kelnacca is not fully dead but only partially dead. We’ll have to wait for more episodes to see. But The Acolyte really did kill Jedi Master Indara in its first episode. So it feels like we have to believe Kelnacca’s death is also a permanent one. And that seems like a huge shame given the no doubt fascinating existence and history of the character. Wookie Jedi don’t come around every day, after all… Not to live-action Star Wars outings, at any rate. Maybe one day we can visit Wookiee Jedi Master Kelnacca in a show all of his own.

Originally published on June 18, 2024.