‘The Acolyte’s twin reveal, explained

The first two episodes of The Acolyte are officially out, and in the words of the Twisters trailer, “We’ve got twins! TWINS!”

All the marketing materials for the latest Star Wars series led viewers to believe that it focused on Dark Side assassin Mae (Amandla Stenberg, Bodies Bodies Bodies) and her Jedi murder spree. While that’s technically the truth, the advertising campaign was all one big misdirect for the first episode’s biggest twist: Mae has a twin sister, Osha (also Stenberg). And we’re going to be spending a lot of time with her.

For anyone who paid attention to The Acolyte‘s marketing, the series opens as you’d expect: with an unnamed assassin (who we’ll later find out is Mae) attacking and killing Jedi Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix). The immediate murder of Indara comes as a huge shock — that’s Carrie-Anne Moss, after all! But the shocks don’t stop there, as we cut to another young woman who looks exactly like Mae jolting awake onboard a spaceship.


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Who the heck is Osha Aniseya?

Amandla Stenberg in “The Acolyte.”
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

This is Osha, a Jedi-turned-mechanic. While she’s certainly carrying a lot of emotional baggage of her own, including losing her entire family in a fire, she’s not at all like the hardened warrior we witnessed taking out a Jedi Master. So what gives?

As I watched the beginning of The Acolyte, my mind rattled through a number of options as to how Osha could be related to the Jedi killer. I ruled twins out almost immediately — surely Disney hadn’t hidden an entire character, right? Maybe Indara’s death was a dream sequence instead, or a flash-forward to what lay in Osha’s future. Both options felt cheap. Then, I concocted an elaborate theory involving Osha somehow astral projecting while under the influence of an evil master. But that option felt too complicated, and not at all in keeping with what we’d seen of Osha’s character up to that point.


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I hated all my own explanations for the Osha conundrum so much that by the time the actual twin reveal came around, I was relieved. More than relieved — I was excited! The Acolyte wasn’t going for any convoluted story tactics, nor was it dragging out its biggest reveal (at least, so far). Instead, it showed its hand at just the right time, setting up a family showdown between the Light and Dark Sides of the force.

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The pairing of Mae and Osha has great potential.

Mae Aniseya from "The Acolyte" in a battle stance.

Amandla Stenberg in “The Acolyte.”
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Twins are nothing new to Star Wars — hello, Luke and Leia! But with Mae and Osha, The Acolyte gets a chance to tell a new story, one in which the central twins are on opposite sides of the Dark/Light schism. How do you act when you have such a close family member standing with people you’re diametrically opposed to? Is there any hope of reconciliation? Or is that sisterly bond broken forever, caught between forces larger than just two people?

Complicating matters further is the fact that Mae and Osha both believed the other to be dead. Their reactions to learning that is not the case could not be more different. Osha is shocked, yet ready to help Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae, Squid Game) track Mae down. When Sol tells Mae Osha is alive in episode 2, she’s distraught and disbelieving, only accepting the truth when she sees Osha herself. Even then, their reunion is unexpected. Mae utters a soft, “Oshie?” Osha, in turn, fires at Mae.

Sol mentioned that Mae started the fire that killed their family, which explains Osha’s angered, even vengeful, response to Mae’s survival. Yet Mae doesn’t act like someone who’s killed her family. A Jedi Master or two, yes, but her almost hopeful reaction to seeing Osha in person speaks of regret and worry, not of attempted murder.

Mae and Osha’s differing attitudes about the fire that forced them apart suggest that there’s more to it than what we’ve learned. Could Mae not have set the fire? Does she believe the Jedi she’s hunting are somehow responsible? And if there is some more disturbing truth at play here, how will Osha and Mae react when they find out?

With the possibility for emotionally charged Force battles and major familial revelations, the rift between Osha and Mae may result in one of Star Wars’ most compelling duos yet. It’s a new addition to the classic Dark/Light binary that has defined so many Star Wars foils, like Luke and Darth Vader, Obi-Wan and Anakin, and Rey and Kylo Ren. However, with scenes like Master Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman, Game of Thrones) taking absolution from Mae after committing some implied past wrong, the first few episodes of The Acolyte suggest that the show is interested in playing in the gray area within that binary. As a result, there’s so much potential for Osha and Mae’s dynamic to blossom and evolve, and I have a feeling that the twin reveal is only the first surprise of many The Acolyte has in store.

The first two episodes of The Acolyte are now streaming on Disney+, with a new episode every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.