Mother Aniseya in The Acolyte Season 1, Episode 3, "Destiny"

Are The Acolyte’s Force Witches Nightsisters?

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Acolyte Season 1, Episode 3, “Destiny.”

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The Acolyte Season 1’s latest episode, “Destiny,” just debuted a coven of Force witches with a distinctly Nightsister-y vibe. So, are The Acolyte‘s Force witches just Nightsisters by another name?

Related: The Acolyte: Who Is Osha and Mae’s Father?

The Acolyte’s Force Witch Coven, Explained

The Acolyte‘s Force witches aren’t Nightsisters, although you’d be forgiven for thinking they were. After all, the Nightsisters are also regularly referred to as “witches” in Star Wars media, and like the Force witches, they exist apart from both the Jedi Order and the Sith. What’s more, the Nightsisters are fond of facial markings and ceremonial attire, just like Mother Aniseya and her coven in The Acolyte. So, there’s plenty of common ground here.

Yet the two groups ultimately diverge in their application of the Force. The Nightsisters use Force-fuelled “magick.” It’s more overtly supernatural than Jedi or Sith techniques and achieves different effects, including teleportation, energy shields, and even resurrection. There are also plenty of potions, incantations, swirling green mists, and other magical trappings involved, Meanwhile, The Acolyte‘s Force witches are more typical Force users, with just a dash of the Nightsisters’ mysticism.

Even so, the two groups are intentionally similar. The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland said as much in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, noting the Nightsisters’ influence on the coven she created. “I was very inspired by the Nightsisters storyline and the Ventress storyline on The Clone Wars when I was a budding writer,” she said. “So when I got the chance to make a show set in the Star Wars universe, it felt like, ‘Well, of course I’m going to do my version of witches. I just am going to shoot my shot.'”

Related: The Acolyte: How Do Jedi Mind Reading Powers Work?

Are The Acolyte’s Force Witches Connected to Darth Maul?

Yep – but only in a very minor way, so don’t get too excited. One of Osha and Mae’s parents, Mother Koril, is a Zabrak, the same species as Darth Maul. That’s where the crossover ends, as Maul was (or considering The Acolyte‘s High Republic setting, will be) a Nightsister-affiliated Nightbrother. In short: the fan-favorite ex-Sith Lord isn’t directly connected to The Acolyte‘s Force witches.

Related: The Acolyte Is Reconciling Star Wars’ Opposing Takes on the Jedi Order

And that’s probably how the coven itself prefers things, too. Even after Maul becomes a free agent, he’s always aligned with the Dark Side. By contrast, Mother Aniseya and her coven occupy a “grey area,” according to Aniseya actor Jodie Turner-Smith. “If you were to think of the Light Side and the Dark Side as this binary that exists, the witches feel that they exist in the gray,” she told EW.

The Acolyte Season 1 is currently streaming on Disney+, with new episodes dropping Tuesdays.

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Leon Miller
Leon is a freelance contributor at The Escapist, covering movies, TV, video games, and comics. Active in the industry since 2016, Leon's previous by-lines include articles for Polygon, Popverse, Screen Rant, CBR, Dexerto, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more.