The Acolyte episode 4 brings back a Phantom Menace character and raises a few questions

In the newest episode of the Star Wars series, a certain Jedi Master seems to have had a much longer life than expected.

Akhil Arora, a member of the Film Critics Guild and a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, who has been reporting on Star Wars since 2015. He has written for NDTV and SlashFilm.

Vernestra Rwoh The Acolyte episode 4
Rebecca Henderson as Vernestra Rwoh in Star Wars: The Acolyte episode 4 // Photo: Disney/Lucasfilm

Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Acolyte episode 4 “Day”.

The fourth episode of the new Star Wars series is full of Jedi. By my count, eight of them accompany Osha (Amandla Stenberg) as they look for her twin sister Mae (Stenberg) and the Wookiee Jedi Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo) on the planet of Khofar. Earlier in that same episode, we briefly meet a few more Jedi on Coruscant as Jedi Master Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson) plots the next steps in the mission to apprehend Mae. Among them is someone we haven’t seen since Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

It’s none other than Ki-Adi-Mundi. You might remember him as the Jedi Council member in The Phantom Menace with an enlarged cone-shaped head. (That’s because Ki-Adi-Mundi is a Cerean who has two brains one on top of another.) Given The Acolyte is set over a hundred years prior to the events of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, this is curious indeed. Ki-Adi-Mundi is already on the Jedi Council in The Acolyte and he’s going to serve on it for another 100 years or so. That means he’s likely pushing 150 years old if not more around his death.

Did Ki-Adi-Mundi know more than he let on in The Phantom Menace?

Ki-Adi-Mundi The Acolyte episode 4
Derek Arnold as Ki-Adi-Mundi in Star Wars: The Acolyte episode 4 // Photo: Disney/Lucasfilm

The Cerean appears early in The Acolyte episode 4, right after the title card drops. Ki-Adi-Mundi is part of the small Jedi council that’s figuring out how to stop Mae. He thinks it’s absurd that an apprentice (Mae) doesn’t know her master. When Rwoh notes that Mae was trained by one of their own and is going after the four Jedi that were stationed on her home planet, Ki-Adi-Mundi says that they should alert the High Council. Rwoh turns down that suggestion and asks her team to extract Kelnaaca and intercept Mae instead.

Given Ki-Adi-Mundi’s presence on this council, it’s clear he knew about a rogue order. And he’ll likely find out that the villain—The Stranger—wields a red lightsaber. So why did he tell the rest of the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace that the Sith “have been extinct for a millennium”? Was he keeping this mission a secret as Rwoh had asked them to do? Or maybe Mae’s master is not a Sith. That would mean Ki-Adi-Mundi wasn’t lying. He was merely saying how much he knew. Or maybe the Jedi in The Acolyte misjudged. By trying to keep a lid on things, they allowed the Sith to fester and eventually wipe them out.

At this point, all those possibilities remain open. Was his presence just an Easter egg for the prequel fans? Or does Ki-Adi-Mundi have a bigger role to play? We don’t know if Ki-Adi-Mundi will return in the remaining four episodes of The Acolyte. (Derek Arnold plays him in the new Star Wars series, taking over from Silas Carson, the actor in the prequel films.)

Who are all the other Jedi in The Acolyte episode 4?

Charlie Barnett, Dafne Keen, Lee Jung-jae in Star Wars: The Acolyte
Charlie Barnett as Yord Fandar, Dafne Keen as Jecki Lon and Lee Jung-jae as Sol in Star Wars: The Acolyte episode 4 // Photo: Christian Black/Lucasfilm

While Ki-Adi-Mundi consults with Rwoh in the secretive Jedi council, he doesn’t actually go on the mission to Khofar. That duty is taken by Mae’s former teacher Jedi Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae). He takes seven other Jedi with him on the trip, including Jedi Knight Yord Fander (Charlie Barnett) and Sol’s Jedi Padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen). The rest of them are, unfortunately, not named in the episode or the credits.

We also don’t yet know the identity of The Stranger. The Acolyte episode 4 credits did list The Stranger—but only to mention the character’s stunt double, Lu Junchang. He’s a stunt coordinator who’s been part of Ahsoka in the past. Lu has also worked on Mulan, Bullet Train, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He’s the guy behind the mask in The Acolyte episode 4.

What we do know is the colour of the lightsaber all the Jedi wield. In the last scene, when The Stranger confronts them, Sol and Co. fire up their lightsabers. We are treated to three green, three yellow, and two blue sabers. Sol’s is blue, Yord’s is yellow, and Jecki’s is green, as we know. The rest of them are divided between the remaining five. The last we see of them is flying backwards as The Stranger uses the Force against them. How many do you think will survive?

The Acolyte episode 5 is out June 25 in the Americas and June 26 elsewhere on Disney+.

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