‘The Acolyte’ Episode 3 Ending Explained: How Were the Twins Conceived?

We’ve known since the first scene of Disney+‘s The Acolyte that Mae (Amandla Stenberg) has no love for the Jedi. In addition to believing that they are responsible for killing her twin sister Osha (also Amandla Stenberg) and their entire family, Mae is a devoted student of the Dark Side. Of course, she’s going to hate the Jedi. However, The Acolyte Episode 3 “Destiny” takes us back sixteen years in the past to show us what really went down on Mae and Osha’s homeworld of Brendok…or does it?

**Spoilers for The Acolyte Episode 3 “Destiny,” now streaming on Disney+**

The Acolyte Episode 3 “Destiny” shows us a pivotal day in the lives of young twins Mae (Leah Brady) and Osha (Lauren Brady). When an eclipse of Brendok’s moons occurs, they will do the “ascension,” aka be officially indoctrinated in their mothers’ coven. However only Mae ascends. Osha not only repeatedly shares her reluctance to join the coven, but she also finds herself bewitched by a quartet of Jedi who show up. The rest of the coven, on the other hand, views these visitors — Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss), Sol (Lee Jung-Jae), Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman) with extreme skepticism.

We learn that the coven of witches who raised Mae and Osha use the Force, but don’t deal in terms of Light vs. Dark. Instead, they see the energy that binds all living things as a “thread” to be pulled. It’s understood that whatever the witches call themselves, they’ve been exiled to the outer reaches of the galaxy to practice their faith in secret. The Jedi threaten the idyllic peace they’ve created.

Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Osha (Lauren Brady) in 'The Acolyte' Episode 3
Photo: Disney+

Even though Osha’s mother, Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) tells her that the decision to ascend or join the Jedi is hers to make, Mae refuses to let her twin go. While the coven tensely debates attacking the Jedi, Mae locks Osha in her room and sets a fire so she can never leave with the Jedi. Osha is eventually rescued by her future Master Sol, but it appears that Mae along the rest of the coven have perished.

Then something interesting happens. When Osha awakens on the Jedi’s ship, Sol simply tells the girl, “Mae started a fire. It destroyed everything.” Hmm.

Did Mae really kill her entire family? Is Sol lying to Osha? And, hey, was that cryptic conversation about how Mother Aniseya and Mother Koril (Margarita Levieva) conceived the twins a nod to how Anakin Skywalker was born via immaculate conception? Here’s what you need to know about The Acolyte Episode 3…

Sol, Inara, Torbin in 'The Acolyte' Episode 3
Photo: Disney+

The Acolyte Episode 3 Ending Explained: Did The Jedi Kill the Coven?

The Acolyte’s twists have been keeping us on our toes, but we think it’s 100% obvious that the Jedi killed the coven and used Mae as their scapegoat.

Let’s go back to Sol’s exact wording: “Mae started a fire. It destroyed everything.”

Feels like that could mean two different things depending on your, ahem, point of view.

Naturally Osha assumes this means that Mae’s fire is what murdered her mothers and the entire coven. However, it’s clear that the Jedi have just survived a battle. In the chaos of the fire, we saw several dead witches who showed signs of dying in combat. That, plus the guilt we’ve seen Torbin, Sol, and Kelnacca wrestle with in different ways makes it all but obvious that Sol’s not sharing the full story.

In the first two episodes of The Acolyte, we learn that Sol blames himself for what happened to Osha’s family, so much so she has to absolve him from guilt. Torbin, wounded in some sort of battle, eventually takes the Barash Vow, which is a form of insane penance. Indeed, he voluntarily dies by suicide after apologizing to Mae. Kelnacca has exiled himself in the remote forests of Khofar. Indara, who was in charge of the group that traveled to Brendok, doesn’t express remorse, but horror when she realizes who Mae is. And she recognizes Mae from the symbol on her forehead, the symbol of the coven.

So what really happened in The Acolyte Episode 3 “Destiny?” Well, it’s looking an awful lot like the Jedi did in fact murder Mae and Osha’s family. The coven and the Jedi were “enjoying” an uneasy peace that night. Both sides worried the other would use the Force to launch an attack. Mae’s fire could have been misconstrued by both sides as the first strike in a battle. The Jedi bettered the coven, but only through violence.

Mae started a fire. It destroyed everything.

Maybe this is just one Star Wars fan’s crazy theory, but it seems to track with the themes being explored in The Acolyte. The Jedi aren’t the guardians of peace they claim to be…leaving an opening for Darkness to creep into the galaxy.

Shmi Skywalker telling Qui-Gon Jinn "There Was No Father"
Photo: Disney

The Acolyte’s Biggest Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Easter Egg Yet: “There Was No Father”

Okay, so neither Mother Koril nor Mother Aniseya specifically echo Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August) by saying, “There was no father,” but it’s clear that in conceiving twins Mae and Osha, there was no father. We learn that Mother Koril is most nervous that the Jedi could not only discover their Force-sensitive daughters, but how they were conceived.

We are led to understand that Mother Aniseya used Force magic (or Thread magic) to create the girls, while Mother Koril carried them. It’s also inferred that whatever rite they used is a forbidden taboo by Jedi standards. (WHAT COULD IT BE??)

Because it’s long been conjectured that some Dark Jedi or Sith lord used the Dark Side to impregnate Shmi Skywalker with baby Anakin, it seems that The Acolyte‘s showrunner Leslye Headland is implying that the coven used a similar technique to conceive Mae and Osha. It should go without saying that the twins are not only powerful, but also “balance” each other. Echoing how the super powerful Anakin was supposed to bring “balance” to the Force.

Here’s hoping we get more information on how Mae and Osha were conceived and how it might be connected to Anakin.

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