The Acolyte's Sith Lord was originally a season 2 tease, but the actor's screen test was so good that plans changed

The Acolyte
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Acolyte’s Sith Lord has been unmasked but, according to creator Leslye Headland, the character was originally devised as more of a second season set-up – until the actor’s impressive screen test forced her to change course.

As revealed during the Star Wars show’s fifth episode, the Sith Lord that has Mae (Amandla Stenberg) doing its bidding is actually Qimir (Manny Jacinto), the shady smuggler who has appeared by Mae’s side throughout the season.

Qimir’s arrival on Korriban, which sees Yord and Jecki perish, feels like it’s setting The Stranger up to be the season’s Big Bad. However, as Headland tells Inverse, the Sith was originally "not in a lot of the rest of the season."

"He was much more of a tee-up for a second season arc," Headland explained. "But I saw Manny’s screen test early on in pre-production, and I just thought, ‘There will be riots in the streets if I don’t [go further]. Here we go. I guess I’m rewriting an episode.’ Manny was so impressive in every aspect."

Now it seems that The Stranger will be front and center of The Acolyte – even if a persisting theory suggests that another Sith is waiting in the wings. And even with Qimir no longer being a "set-up" for a second season, the showrunner has already promised "four to five major mysteries" should The High Republic era series make a return.

The Acolyte is now streaming on Disney Plus. For more, check out our coverage from the show:

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.