The newest chapter in the Star Wars Universe, The Acolyte, has been chock full of dramatic twists and turns. From the family drama at the core of the story to the larger tensions between the Republic and the Jedi Order, The Acolyte has made it clear in its first two episodes that fans should set aside their expectations. As the series’s opening fight shows, absolutely anything can happen. 

This also applies to the source material that The Acolyte pulls from. As the Star Wars Universe’s first live-action project set during the High Republic, a century before the events of the prequels, the show is in a unique position to incorporate details about the time period from existing High Republic novels, comics, manga, and audio dramas. So far we’ve seen a Wookiee Jedi, a familiar sight to High Republic readers. But one moment in episode 2, “Revenge/Justice,” forges an even deeper connection to The Acolyte’s source material as it introduces the concept of The Barash Vow. 

The Acolyte Introduces the Barash Vow to Live-Action Star Wars

Barash Vow The Acolyte

While on her quest for revenge against the Jedi who were stationed on her home planet of Brendock, Mae (Amandla Stenberg) tracks down Master Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman) at a Jedi Temple on Olega. Torbin is in a state of deep meditation, levitating high off the ground, and is impenetrable to Mae’s attacks. Later, another Jedi at the Olega temple notes that Master Torbin “hasn’t spoken to anyone in years,” suggesting that he has been in this state for quite a long time. When Mae confronts him again, she states that she knows he has taken “the Barash Vow,” explaining the meditative form that he has been in. 

What Is The Barash Vow?

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The Barash Vow was first represented in Darth Vader #2 (2017) by Charles Soule (one of the architects of the High Republic publishing initiative) and Giuseppe Camuncoli. But it wasn’t officially named until it popped up in the 2021 young adult High Republic novel, Into the Dark, by Claudia Gray. There, it the Barash Vow was described as a vow that a Jedi takes in order to reform their relationship with the Force, typically after they’ve made a mistake they wish to atone for. Those who take the vow go into a state of silent meditation, sometimes for years. Not every Jedi who takes the Barash Vow committed a grave error like Torbin, but it can certainly provide some respite after traumatic events. 

Where Does the Name “The Barash Vow” Come From in the Star Wars World?

Still, you may be wondering, why is this Star Wars state even called the “Barash Vow?” It takes its name from the first Jedi who took the vow, Barash Silvain. The origins of the concept can be seen in Star Wars: The High Republic – The Blade comic book miniseries by Charles Soule, Marco Castiello, and Jethro Morales. Barash Silvain was a Kage Jedi who formed a very close bond with one of the greatest swordsmen the Jedi Order has ever seen: Porter Engle. Porter and Barash met as younglings, and eventually became so close that they referred to each other as “brother” and “sister,” doing everything together. 

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While on a mission to the planet Gansevor, Barash made a huge error in judgment, resulting in dramatic political consequences. Though Porter assured her that everything would be smoothed over, Barash felt immense guilt for letting her emotions get in the way of assessing the situation. After taking a moment to reflect, she decided that it would be best for her to mend her relationship with the Force before she entered back into the fold of her usual Jedi activities. 

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The Origins of the Barash Vow Mirror The Acolyte‘s Story

The Acolyte bringing in the Barash Vow is a pointed choice, considering the parallels between Barash Silvain and Porter Engle’s relationship with that of Osha and Mae’s relationship on the show. Jedi are discouraged from forming attachments with anyone or anything—hence why the Jedi Council was hesitant to accept 8 year-old Osha into the Order. The Jedi view familial relationships as potential sources for distraction, the type of emotional interference that prevents a Jedi from acting impartially through the Force. Both Osha and Barash had memories of their families before they joined the Order, putting them at risk. For Barash, this was even more serious because the memory of every member of the Kage species begins from birth. Even though the Jedi had taken her in at a young age, she still had years and years of crystal clear memories with her family that she had to reconcile. 

Clearly, by the time The Acolyte takes place, Barash Silvain’s sabbatical from the Jedi Order provided a template for later generations of Jedi to reconnect with the Force. Perhaps the origin of the Barash Vow informed Master Torbin’s decision to take it, considering the role he played in Mae and Osha’s separation. Either way, for fans of the High Republic novels and comics, it is immensely gratifying to see an element of a beloved character like Porter Engle get incorporated into a live-action project. The Acolyte is set centuries after the events of Porter and Barash’s separation, so it is heartening to see their legacy live on, even if the circumstances are tragic. 

A More Unified Future for Star Wars


Ultimately, seeing elements from High Republic stories in The Acolyte points to a more unified future for the Star Wars franchise. Since the High Republic publishing initiative began in 2021, the line has grown to include dozens of novels, comics, manga, and audio dramas spanning two different time periods within the High Republic. As such, it would fair to say that the High Republic has its own distinct mythos. It would be remiss for Disney and Lucasfilm to ignore this in their live-action projects. So far, The Acolyte has struck a fair balance between forging its own vision of the High Republic and honoring the source material that has come before. 

Unfortunately for Master Torbin, the Barash Vow did not provide him with the solace he sought. Barash’s decision to take the vow would continue to affect Porter Engle for decades, even though he understood why his sister needed to take time away from the Jedi Order. Hopefully, for the Jedi’s sake, the Order can strike a balance between achieving atonement for their mistakes and justice for those they’ve wronged on The Acolyte