Vernestra has to be Qimir’s old Jedi Master in ‘The Acolyte,’ right?

The mysteries keep piling up on The Acolyte.

Between twin shenanigans, secret Sith Lords, and what really happened on Brendok, we’ve already got a lot on our plates. But as of episode 6, “Teach/Corrupt,” a new question enters the fray: Who was Qimir/the Stranger’s (Manny Jacinto) Jedi Master?

As the Stranger tells Osha (Amandla Stenberg) in their first (and frankly, very sexy) confrontation following the bloodbath on Khofar, he used to be a Jedi. But according to him, the Order threw him away — just like they did with Osha. Among those who tossed him aside was his old Jedi Master, who left some nasty scars on his back.

And just who could that Master be? There’s only one answer: Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson).

When discussing the Stranger’s scars, Osha says they look like the Stranger was stabbed in the back. But really, they look more like he was whipped. Guess who we see wielding a lightsaber whip in the very next scene? None other than Vernestra.

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It’s only for a split second, when she dispatches an umbramoth on Khofar. Yet it’s enough to draw a connection between Vernestra’s weapon and the Stranger’s scars. Both story elements being introduced in the same episode simply can’t be a coincidence.

The Acolyte has been fairly obvious in all its big reveals up until this point, and that’s by design. As creator Leslye Headland told Entertainment Weekly about the Stranger reveal: “I think a good twist is not about hiding everything from the audience and then throwing it on them like, ‘Hey, this is what you didn’t see! We hid it so well that you didn’t see this!’ I think a good twist is telegraphing what’s going to happen, and then once it does, executing it without an ounce of pity or sentimentality.”

In the case of Vernestra being the Stranger’s old Master, the lightsaber whip and unique scars are solid cases of telegraphing. However, they’re far from the only ones. She’s been highly secretive about how she and Sol (Lee Jung-jae) are handling the new Sith threat. Not only is she overseeing the operation herself, she’s also seemingly not told anyone else about sending Sol to Khofar, let alone why she did it. Plus, Henderson is playing Vernestra’s worry as if she already knows more about the situation than she’s letting on.

Like the emotional baggage Sol is still carrying about Brendok, Vernestra is carrying something of her own. And you can bet that when we learn more about their pasts, we’ll see the true limits of the Jedi Order.

The Acolyte is now streaming on Disney+, with a new episode every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

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