May 29, 2024
by Bespin Bulletin

Amandla Stenberg plays two characters in the upcoming live-action Star Wars series, The Acolyte – Mae and Osha, both of whom can be seen in recent marketing materials. Despite the marketing material pointing to the twins being a reality, Lucasfilm never outright confirmed this to be the case, and at least early on in the marketing, sort of went out of their way to hide the fact. However, Stenberg, who plays both Mae and Osha, has now confirmed that fact that she does play twins in the series. We know from trailers and promotional spots that Stenberg’s twins come from a coven of witches led by Jodie Turner-Smith’s Mother Aniseya, but we didn’t know who the twins parents were….we might now have an answer.

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In an officially released production brief from Lucasfilm and Disney, the last name of Amandla Stenberg’s Mae and Osha is revealed to be Aniseya. As mentioned earlier, Mae and Osha live with Mother Aniseya’s coven of witches on the planet Brendock and it was just assumed that Mae and Osha were just part of the coven, so to find out that the twins could be the daughters of Mother Aniseya is a fairly big reveal. It could also be that the twins were given the Aniseya name as they were orphans that Mother Aniseya took in. We simply don’t have the answers at this time. But Mother Aniseya seems to be a parental figure to Mae and Osha.

Now you may be thinking, the word mother is in the name of the character, wouldn’t this be obvious? No. Aniseya sporting the title Mother felt like a nod and an evolution of another character and a group of characters mentioned in various High Republic era novels. In The Path of Deceit, a group named ‘The Path of the Open Hand’ are introduced. The group believe that the Force should be owned by no one and they have a dislike to how the Jedi wield the force – they believed that the Jedi’s use of the force was responsible for deaths across the galaxy. The group was led by a character named Elecia Zeveron, who was known as ‘The Mother.’ The Path of the Open Hand were eventually defeated by the Jedi, some members of the group went on to form new ones in the form of the Nihil and the Elders of the Path. Given that The Acolyte is set towards the tail end of the High Republic era, it felt as if Aniseya and her group, who also seem to not get along with the Jedi, was inspired by ‘The Mother’ and ‘The Path of the Open Hand.’

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In the interview where Stenberg confirmed that she was playing twins, she revealed that Mae is out for revenge against the Jedi due to something tragic that occurred in the twins’ past that led them to be separated. Osha, we know from trailers, the original synopsis of The Acolyte, and now from Stenberg herself, went with the Jedi and became a padawan, but later left the order and became a mechanic. We’ve seen in trailers that whatever happened in the past that separates the twins leaves a village in flames, likely the witches village, so does that mean Mother Aniseya and members of her coven perish? It would be a strong source of anger and hatred for Mae if this were to be the case. However, we know from an officially released image from Disney and Lucasfilm that Mother Aniseya will appear in the seventh episode of the series.

I’m glad that we’re learning more about the series as it release inches ever closer. Hearing these tidbits from actors and Lucasfilm themselves have only added to my excitement for the series, though I do wish they revealed some of this year earlier in the marketing. I’m very excited for this series and have been since its announcement due to the sheer amount of talent involved with the project. But I’ve shown my more casual movie going or Star Wars enjoying friends various trailers and they all seem underwhelmed by that they see and simply refer to it as generic Star Wars. I’ve had The Acolyte trailer play in movie theatres as I await the start of the film, and the murmurs are all the same.

I’m very disappointed in that. I want Star Wars to succeed. From everything I know about this series, I’m excited by it and want it to do well. It just feels as if the more casual viewer isn’t interested. And now you may be thinking ‘who cares’ and it only matters if true Star Wars fans like it. I get that point. But Andor wasn’t watched by that many people, though it got great reviews, and now it’s ending after two seasons. The money spent and the return on it can’t be justified. Remember we were due to get five seasons, then three and finally down to two. If we want more of The Acolyte, which Leslye Headland, the series creator, wants to do and has plans for, then we need those more casual viewers to tune in. Headland herself even mentioned viewership in the past. Disney isn’t splashing the cash on Disney+ anymore and no longer treat it as a priority. I think with better marketing for this really interesting and exciting show, more people would be talking about this The Acolyte outside of our Star Wars bubble. But, we don’t have long to wait until we get out eyes on the show and that’s very exciting.

Set during the High Republic era, The Acolyte, will follow an investigation into a shocking crime spree pits a respected Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) against a dangerous warrior from his past (Amandla Stenberg). As more clues emerge, they travel down a dark path where sinister forces reveal all is not what it seems.

The Acolyte stars Amandla Stenberg (Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) as the lead, as well as Lee Jung Jae (Squid Game), Dafne Keen (His Dark Materials), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Jodie Turner-Smith (After Yang), Charlie Bennett (Russian Doll), Rebecca Henderson (Inventing Anna), Dean Charles Chapman (1917), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and Margarita Levieva (Daredevil: Born Again).

The Acolyte premieres on Disney+ on June 4th with TWO episodes.

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