One of The Acolyte's big casualties praises the Star Wars show for killing them off: "There are so many directors that are scared to kill off their characters"

The Acolyte
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Acolyte has had an undercurrent of violence and peril ever since its shocking opening scene, which saw Carrie-Anne Moss' Master Indara killed off at the hand (and blade) of Amandla Stenberg's Mae.

Despite that, not many would have predicted the bloodbath in The Acolyte episode 5. Now, creator Leslye Headland – and those involved – have opened up on the excessive kill count on Korriban.

Spoilers for The Acolyte episode 5 follow. You have been warned!

'Night' saw the Sith Lord quite literally unmasked as Qimir (Manny Jacinto). Despite the force of the Jedi raining down on him, he got the better of multiple Knights and Padawans, including killing Jecki (Dafne Keen) and Yord (Charlie Barnett).

"I just figured someone would stop me and nobody did," Headland told Entertainment Weekly. "I figured someone would say, 'This is too far!' But they didn't."

Keen, who went out fighting as fan-favorite Jecki, praised her showrunner for actually going through with killing off her character in an age of television and film punctuated by plot armor and low stakes.

"There are so many directors in blockbuster sagas that are so scared to kill off their characters, and are so comfortable with bringing characters back to life, and all of these little writer tricks that I think are quite cheeky," Keen explained. 

"I really like that she was actually killing people. Because if you're not making it dangerous, then why are we even here? Why are we concerned by the story? Why do we care? Leslye has such a backbone as a writer, to make you fall in love with these characters and then slaughter them all like pigs and be like, 'Yeah, this is our villain. We're not just saying he's so big and scary, we're actually showing you how big and scary he is.'"

The Acolyte, then, has shown its hand – and bared its teeth – with the Qimir reveal. Despite that, some think there's still another Sith waiting in the wings. If that's the case, expect more death and destruction in the final stretch of the Disney Plus series.

For more on The Acolyte, check out our latest coverage – featuring cast interviews, explainers, and spoiler guides:

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.