Star Wars’ mysterious new witches in The Acolyte have a link to Darth Maul

The Acolyte
(Image credit: Lucasfilm / Disney)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Acolyte episode 3.

The Acolyte episode 3 answers some big questions about the mystery so far as we head back to Brendok to find out what happened to Osha and Mae all those years ago. Here, we meet their mother, Mother Aniseya, as well as learning a bit about what led to the terrible fire – and just how the Jedi were involved.

As well as deepening the context of the present-day mystery though, we also meet some intriguing new characters who we’ve not seen in live-action before. Among them is the Koril Mother, who is Osha and Mae’s other mother alongside Aniseya. We don’t learn how they are related to her, but simply find out that she carried them.

However, perhaps most intriguingly, she’s also linked to a key member of the Star Wars canon. The Koril Mother is Zabrak, just like Darth Maul, who is the Dathomirian Zabrak Sith Lord crucial to The Phantom Menace. The near-human carnivorous species hail from planets Iridonia and Dathomir, but have been pretty few and far between in Star Wars on screen in live-action.

Of course, we’re a long while before we meet Darth Maul in the Star Wars canon. The Acolyte takes place 100 years before The Phantom Menace, even though showrunner Leslye Headland has said she was very inspired by those movies. The Coral Sister is also just one of the witches on the planet of Brendok who we meet in episode 3 of The Acolyte, and we still don’t know too much about them.

Are the witches in The Acolyte the same as the Nightsisters of Dathomir? 

Nightsisters of Dathomir in Ahsoka

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

In short, no. Despite the Coral Mother’s link to Dathomir, this group of witches are not the same as the Nightsisters of Dathomir. If you’ll remember, they were introduced in Ahsoka as Morgan Elsbeth’s ancestors, but they also played a key role in the animated shows and the Jedi Fallen Order and Jedi Survivor games. They’re magick wielding witches who use a sickly green mist from Dathomir as part of their powers.

The witches we meet in The Acolyte are something different altogether. Their magick seems to work through using the Force, which they refer to as a thread. There’s still a lot of mystery around who they really are though, as we only get a glimpse of their customs in this episode. We see that it’s an important part of their culture to have their descendants ascend and take on a mysterious mark, but not much more. They also hate the Jedi too, although that deep-seated distrust is never completely spelt out. 

Despite the devastating fire that ends episode 3 of The Acolyte, something tells us that we’ve not seen the last of these characters yet. Let’s just hope that more of their mysterious past comes to light as the show continues.

The Acolyte is streaming weekly on Disney Plus. For more on the show, check out our guides to:

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.