An Unconventional Legends Villain May Have Inspired ‘The Acolyte’s Primary Antagonist (2024)

As viewers speculate about the identity of The Acolyte‘s mysterious Sith villain, they may find some additional hints in the Star Wars character that inspired the villain: Darth Traya.

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Since episode 1, viewers have been intrigued by the presence of a mysterious Sith master. The masked figure is only referred to as the Master, and none of the characters are privy to their identity. Even Mae (Amandla Stenberg), who has become quite skilled in the Force under the Master’s teaching, does not know who is behind the mask. However, the show has strongly hinted the Master is a Sith, given their red lightsaber, black clothing, and haunting mask.

Now, The Acolyte is getting closer to revealing the Master’s identity, as the mysterious figure has finally crossed paths with the Jedi, Osha, and Mae on Khofar. The figure demonstrated a significant level of power as it managed to send a whole team of Jedi to the ground with one Force blast. Unfortunately, the episode ended on a cliffhanger without unmasking its primary villain. However, creator Leslye Headland may have dropped a hint about the Master when she revealed its inspiration.

Who is Darth Traya in Star Wars?

In an interview with Den of Geek, Headland opened up about pulling inspiration from Legends for The Acolyte. She stated, “Darth Traya really stuck out to me as an inspiration.” Darth Traya, originally known as Kreia, is a character in the video game Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, who is voiced by Sara Kestelman. So far, the non-canon video game marks Darth Traya’s only appearance in the Star Wars or Legends universe.

Before she becomes Darth Traya, Kreia is a member of the Jedi Order who attains the ranks of a Jedi Master. From the onset, she was a bit of an unconventional Jedi who spent so much time in a state of meditation that her eyesight weakened. Eventually, she decided she didn’t need sight and became blind, solely viewing things through the Force. As she began training students, including Revan, the Jedi Order noticed that the majority of them eventually turned to the dark side. Revan went on to become the Dark Lord of the Sith and established a Sith empire. Upon seeing this, the Jedi Order voted to exile Kreia.

During exile, Kreia traveled to Malachor and discovered her former pupil’s Trayus Academy, where Darth Revan had trained Sith. As she learned of the Sith’s history and beliefs, she eventually chose the dark side and became Darth Traya, the Lord of Betrayal. She soon set about carrying on Darth Revan’s legacy and utilizing Trayus Academy to raise a new generation of Sith. However, her pupils, Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus, become overly power-hungry and eventually exile her from the Sith Empire. Betrayed by both the Jedi and Sith, Darth Traya harbored a deep hatred for the Force.

She resumed her identity as Kreia and soon established a friendship with a fellow exiled Jedi, Meetra Surik, and became her mentor. Together, they began locating fellow Jedi Masters in hiding to unite them against the Sith. Unfortunately, Kreia once again declared herself Darth Traya, revealing her Sith associations and murdering many of the Jedi Masters. She then returned to Malachor and defeated Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus, establishing herself as the Dark Lord. Upon resuming her position, she unveils her ultimate plan to bring about the death of the Force and potentially the death of all the Sith and Jedi attuned to it. However, her plan is foiled by Surik, who defeats her former Master.

What Darth Traya’s inspiration means for The Acolyte

Headland doesn’t specify which aspect of The Acolyte was inspired by Darth Traya, but it would make sense that the video game villain provided inspiration for the show’s main antagonist. Meanwhile, if the Master follows a somewhat similar arc to Darth Traya, it may hint at betrayal and a villain who is neither wholly for the Jedi nor the Sith. IndieWire suggested that Darth Traya’s influence may point to Qimir (Manny Jacinto) as the villain. Like Darth Traya, he could be posing as a companion and ally of Mae, only to betray her and unveil his true identity as a Sith.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen what Darth Traya’s inspiration means for The Acolyte. However, it’s exciting to know the Master could potentially pull elements from an intriguing villain with shifting allegiances and an unusual perspective of the Force.

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An Unconventional Legends Villain May Have Inspired ‘The Acolyte’s Primary Antagonist (2024)
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