Star Wars Theory: Disney+’s Dark Side Villain Is A Canon Fallen Jedi

That comment may be brief, but it is a tantalizing clue. The precise date of the High Republic Era’s end is unknown, but Lucasfilm recently published a Chinese canon web novel called The Vow of Silver Dawn by “His Majesty The King.” That too was set towards the end of the High Republic Era, just 50 years before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Thus it’s likely The Acolyte takes place just a few decades before the birth of Anakin Skywalker, at a time the shroud of the dark side was only beginning to fall across the galaxy.

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While it’s possible some of the characters introduced in the various High Republic books and comics will appear, they will undoubtedly be significantly older. It is entirely plausible, however, that the various comics and novels have already introduced the Acolyte – because they feature one character who appears to have a dark future ahead of her.

Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic comic has introduced a young Jedi, Keeve Trennis, who appears to be the star of the series. Powerful in the Force, Keeve Trennis was trained under the Trandoshan Jedi Master Sskeer, and she was officially knighted at a time of crisis after her master had been injured in battle against the Nihil. All signs are that Keeve’s service in the Outer Rim will lead her to encounter further threats that lurk in the shadows, including the monstrous Drengir – a race of dark side beings who were too powerful for even the Sith to destroy. The Jedi of the High Republic had forgotten to be afraid of the dark, and it looks as though Trennis will be plunged deeper into the shadows than most.

And here’s the interesting thing; Cavan Scott’s audio-book Dooku: Jedi Lost identified a Jedi named Trennis as one of the so-called Lost Twenty, the handful of Jedi who abandon the Order. Speaking on Twitter, Scott refuses to confirm or deny that these are the same people, simply teasing that “time will tell.” But if they are, then Keeve Trennis’ experience of the dark side in the Star Wars: The High Republic event is destined to cause her to lose faith in the Jedi – and that in turn means she may become the Acolyte.

By the time of the prequel trilogy, the Jedi viewed the dark side with intense caution. They were far less wary in the High Republic Era, as demonstrated by their willingness to use an ancient Sith shrine at the heart of the Jedi Temple. No doubt their attitude was shaped in large part by the fact the dark side was viewed as something that, however formidable and concerning, was far less dangerous than it had been in the past. The Sith Wars were the stuff of history, with the Sith themselves believed to have been rendered extinct 800 years ago. Only a handful of Jedi had left the Order, and they may well have simply pursued their own individual paths, rather than succumbing to the dark side.

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All this means it is entirely possible the Jedi would not be wary enough of the darkness. If one of their own were to become tempted by the dark side – a Jedi like Keeve Trennis – she may well be able to discover ancient secrets that were better left buried. Indeed, the fall of Keeve Trennis may well explain why the Jedi learned to fear the darkness and decided to hide it away; the Sith shrine was locked up and all mention of it was erased from the Jedi records, and any dark side objects discovered were hidden away in what was called the Bogan Collection rather than dealt with.

It is surely no coincidence The Acolyte seems to be set so close to the prequel era, at a time the Sith are putting the final pieces in place to begin their conquest of the galaxy. It is therefore reasonable to assume that, whoever the Acolyte may be, their story ends with their coming across the Sith – and becoming their pawn. If that is indeed the fate of Keeve Trennis, the secrets of the dark side must give her a long life – which is entirely possible. But she would serve a crucial purpose as connective tissue between the High Republic Era and the main Skywalker saga; she would be a Jedi who fell to the dark side because of her experience of the Nihil and the Drengir, and who ultimately became caught up in the Sith’s plans. The damage she did to the Order would perhaps help explain why the Jedi became so fearful and introverted, distrusting love because it could lead to attachment, hiding the dark side away in the hopes it would never rise again – and ultimately choosing to blind themselves to the return of the Sith.

It will be fascinating to see if this is indeed the approach Lucasfilm intend to take; if the transmedia story that is Star Wars: The High Republic will indeed build to a head in a Disney+ series that sees fallen Jedi Keeve Trennis become a pawn of the Sith. That would certainly be a fitting end for what is already proving an immensely entertaining story.

More: Anakin Wouldn’t Have Turned To The Dark Side In The High Republic Era

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