The Acolyte‘s fourth episode saw Mae’s mysterious dark master step out of the shadows. Who is this sinister Force user wielding a red lightsaber and sending his student to murder Jedi? That unknown masked figure has kept their identity a secret even from their disciple, but might we already know who they really are? These are the four most likely Star Wars suspects for The Acolyte‘s unknown Master.

who is the acolyte's mysterious villain
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Mother Koril and Mother Aniseya

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We’re combining these two under one banner because they’re both obvious candidates to be Mae’s Master for the same reasons. The Jedi tracked down a coven of powerful witches in hiding because the Jedi didn’t want any unauthorized people training young kids in the ways of the Force. (Especially in ways some consider “dark.”) The Jedi knights didn’t stop Mae from ascending, but they did prevent Osha. They then tested the two girls in the ways of the Force for possible acceptance as Jedi Padawans. That unwelcome intrusion led to the coven’s destruction. An angry Mae, who already had dark side tendencies, caused a deadly fire when her sister was about to leave with the Jedi.

Master Sol said everyone died in that fire, but there’s plenty of reason to doubt the Jedi have been completely honest about what happened on Brendok. Even if Sol is telling the truth, though, he thought Mae died only for her to show back up years later. What if someone else also survived? Someone like the leader of the group, the girl’s powerful Mother Aniseya? Or the stern but loving witch who carried the twins. Mother Koril? Either would make for a powerful Master, both literally and thematically.

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If the Master is really Mother Aniseya or Mother Koril (no other witch we met makes sense as a serious possibility) it will mean Jedi arrogance about who can use the Force will have created the very enemy who will destroy them. They could have left those witches to live their lives in peace. Instead they gave them a reason to hate the Jedi.

Of course, someone else on the show who also has close ties to Mae hates the Jedi, too.

Qimir

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The number one, most obvious Master suspect—the one we’d wager on—is Mae’s associate, Qimir. He helped her kill Jedi and already seemed to be hiding a big secret before episode four made his activities even more suspicious. Manny Jacinto’s soft-spoken former smuggler is way too capable and knows way too much to just be a random trader. His introduction to the show made us wonder if he’s really a dark side user like Mae.

Our suspicions only grew during episode four. Qimir, who easily stopped a surprise Mae attack in episode two, somehow fell for a basic trap. He then got tied up and left behind right before Mae decided to turn her back on their Master and turn herself over to the Jedi. Except that’s when she found Master Kelnacca already murdered. How did someone cut down a Wookiee Jedi? And in his own home? No one, not even his fellow Jedi, even exactly knew where Kelnacca lived.

Except Qimir. And he wasn’t seen after Mae left him hanging in that tree.

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The strangely capable, brilliant Qimir is an otherwise unknown figure aiding and abetting the murder of Jedi. He also (correctly) speaks about Jedi arrogance and knows things about the Order no one else does. And in episode four he disappears right before a powerful Jedi is killed and the Master reveals themself to the Jedi.

That’s a pretty big series of coincidences, enough to have us believing Qimir is the Master. But we can’t be totally sure just yet, especially when there’s a notorious fourth candidate. It’s a “wise” figure Star Wars fans first heard about from the most infamous Sith Lord ever.

Darth Plagueis


The Legend of Darth Plagueis

In Revenge of the Sith Chancellor Palpatine emotionally manipulated Anakin, worried about Padmé dying, with a story the Jedi would never tell him. Palpatine recounted the tale of the Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis the Wise.

Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

Star Wars later confirmed what the scene only suggested, that Darth Plagueis was Palpatine’s master. Palpatine did tell Anakin Plagueis taught his apprentice “everything he knew.” Unfortunately for Plagueis, who had been obsessed with immortality and saving those he loved, he could not save himself when Palpatine murdered Plagueis in his sleep.

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Star Wars has further expanded Plagueis’ story offscreen, albeit only slightly, and shown what he’s look liked. But he’s never appeared in a movie or TV show. That is unless he already has because Mae’s masked Master, the one who will put the Sith on the path to power in the galaxy far, far away, is Plagueis. That would further connect the twins to Anakin

It’s also possible our third and fourth candidates are one in the same, because Qimir is Plagueis. That would be quite a revelation, but it might not be the show’s biggest secret. Because while we will inevitably learn the identity of Mae’s Master, the show might be hiding something even more important behind that zippered mask: the Master is actually the Acolyte of the show’s title, which means they have an even more powerful master.

To find out why read our piece Who Is The Acolyte’s Title Actually Referring To?

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist who can’t wait for Darth Plagueis to finally show up. You can follow him on  Twitter and  Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.