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The Acolyte Episode 7's Twist Ending & How It Changes Star Wars, Explained

Contains spoilers for "The Acolyte" Season 1, Episode 7 — "Choice"

"The Acolyte" Episode 7 returns to the flashback seen in Episode 3, this time showing the tragedy on Brendok from the Jedi's perspective. As most fans anticipated, things aren't exactly as they seemed to be in Episode 3, and the destruction of the coven isn't Mae's fault at all. The whole thing is such a chaotic mess that it's hard to point to just one culprit, but suffice it to say that some characters emerge more sympathetic at the end of it, and some come out looking far, far worse.

The episode opens with the Jedi team of Sol (Lee Jung-jae), Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss), Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo), and Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman) conducting wildlife studies in the Brendok wilderness. We're told that the planet was deemed lifeless after a hyperspace accident (likely the Great Hyperspace Disaster from the High Republic novels), so the lush life the Jedi discover there is intriguing, to say the least. Sol believes the planet holds a "vergence" in the Force — a focus point of energy that can create life and have other strange effects. When he discovers a coven of witches living on the planet with two twin girls, Mae and Osha (Amandla Stenberg), he decides the two things must be connected.

Sol's fixation with Osha leads him into conflict with the witches, much to Indara's chagrin. His fear, and the anger of Mother Koril (Margarita Levieva), leads to a deadly confrontation and an enormous lie.

Master Sol's many misdeeds are finally revealed

For most of "The Acolyte," Master Sol has come off as a picture of wisdom and composure. While other members of the Jedi Order seem rigid and dogmatic, Sol presents himself as trustworthy and authentic, at least to Osha. Many fans assumed it was Master Indara who decided to poke the witches' nest and take the children away. In reality, Indara urged Sol to leave them alone. It was he who couldn't let things go, who insisted on disrupting an independent community to abduct a girl he suddenly felt a connection to.

Sol's arc in Episode 7 puts a dark spin on Qui-Gon Jinn taking Anakin Skywalker from his home in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace." In the movie, taking the child is supposed to be a heroic act, as Anakin would be left to a life of slavery otherwise. However, just like Sol, Qui-Gon does not consult the council beforehand, and his decision does ultimately have major consequences for the order. In "The Acolyte," Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) foreshadows this by telling Sol, "Someday, those noble intentions you all have will destroy every Jedi in the galaxy."

Sol's faith ultimately leads him down a dark path. He's so convinced that Osha is fated to come with him that he ignores Indara's warnings, and when Aniseya starts casting a spell (seemingly to save her daughters), Sol kills her, fearing an attack. Later, when Mae and Osha are both in danger, he chooses to save Osha and lets Mae fall to her apparent death. And to top it all off, he lies to Osha when she wakes up, telling her that Mae is the reason her family is dead.

Mae is innocent, and Mother Koril escapes

It turns out that Mae is innocent, though she does start the fire. However, she doesn't do it on purpose. After locking Osha in her room to keep her away from the Jedi, Mae decides to burn one of her books — the one bearing the symbol and story of the Jedi. She immediately regrets this decision, which is made out of anger without really thinking of the consequences. Unable to stop the spread of the blaze, Mae runs to Aniseya for help, kicking off the fight with the Jedi unintentionally.

In reality, it's Mother Koril who's to blame for Mae starting the fire. Determined to keep her children no matter what Aniseya decides, Koril pushes Mae to get angry and urges her to lock up the compound so that no one can get in or out. It's this riling up, this urging toward the dark side, that leads to Mae making a single destructive decision later on.

Of course, once Sol kills Aniseya and the fighting starts, there's plenty more blame to go around. He delivers the blow when he sees Mae starting to turn to smoke, which he clearly interprets as a threat to her. In reality, though, this is more likely a protective spell. Indara is the one who ends up carrying the biggest body count, though, as she appears to sever all the witches' connection to the Force in order to free Kelnacca from their control. If they aren't killed by this, they certainly are when the fortress explodes. Mother Koril, however, appears to get away.

How were Osha and Mae actually created?

"The Acolyte" Episode 7 casts a new light on the Jedi in "Star Wars," with Indara's restraint earning the order some points but her later willingness to lie stealing them right back again. Sol shows just how dangerous religious zeal can be if it isn't tempered by patience and humility. The episode also shows us more clearly how the witches' magic works, adding some interesting new Force powers to the "Star Wars" mythos.

The big question remains, though: How were Mae and Osha created? Their blood tests reveal that they are perfectly identical, right down to their midi-chlorian symbionts. Indara theorizes that a single consciousness could have been split somehow into two bodies, which would certainly explain the creepy poem Mae and Osha are always reciting to each other. Sol and Torbin believe the planet is the cause — that the vergence located there allowed for some kind of manipulation and the creation of unique, sentient life.

There's a lot we still don't know, and with only one episode left in the season, "The Acolyte" may not have enough time to fully answer its remaining mysteries. With luck, we can get a Season 2 to dive deeper into this new Force magic.