The Acolyte features a major dark side, Star Wars Easter egg that hints at Mae's story

Amandla Stenberg (Mae) in The Acolyte
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Acolyte episode 3 includes a dark side, Star Wars Easter egg – and it might be linked to Mae. 

A warning that the following will contain spoilers for The Acolyte episode 3, so turn back now if you're not up to date! 

In the episode, an extended flashback reveals that Osha and Mae were raised by a coven of witches (but not the Nightsisters of Dathomir). When Osha wanted to go with some visiting Jedi, Mae set a fire in the temple which ultimately killed everyone in the coven. Some sinister hints in the episode seem to suggest there's more to the story than we've been told so far, however. 

But, as the fire rages, a particularly intriguing shape is formed from the flames and the door to the room Osha is trapped in. In fact, it bears a pretty startling resemblance to Darth Vader. Check it out below. 

Now, The Acolyte is set around 100 years before the events of the prequels on the Star Wars timeline, so long before Anakin Skywalker was born. But, his story certainly has some parallels with Mae and Osha's – like Osha, Anakin was older than is usual when he was recruited to the Jedi Order and he struggled with feelings of grief and attachment (to put it mildly…). Like both twins, he was also born of the Force, though Mother Aniseya actively created her daughters, while Anakin was a spontaneous arrival. 

And, like Mae, Anakin's dark impulses led to him slaughtering a whole lot of sentient beings when he killed the Tusken Raiders – though, Mae's killings were accidental, if she's even the one responsible for the coven's deaths. Also like Mae, Anakin was led to the dark side by a Sith Lord. From this similarity, we can guess that, maybe, Mae will return to the light side out of love for her family – just like Anakin. 

The Acolyte continues weekly on Disney Plus. For more on the Star Wars show, check out our deep dives on: 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.