What a Vergence in The Acolyte and Star Wars Really Means

The following story contains some light spoilers for The Acolyte Episode 7, “Choice.”

MUCH OF THE Acolyte has centered on a story of vengeance that we never had all the details of. The show opened with Mae (one of two characters played by Amandla Stenberg) carrying out revenge on a Jedi master (Carrie-Anne Moss) who wronged her. For what? We don’t know—Mae was, from the start, framed as a villain of sorts, while her twin sister, Osha (also Stenberg), was framed as her heroic opposite. But as The Acolyte has continued throughout its run, we have to wonder one basic question—what if that’s not the case?

Throughout the series, we’ve been faced with a series of revelations that force us to rethink things. What do we think when we learn about the history of Mae and Osha’s childhood Coven? What do we think when we learn the villainous Stranger is really Qimir (Manny Jacinto)? What do we think when we learn that Qimir is, in fact, hot? And now, the show’s seventh episode, titled “Choice,” shows us even more from that coven—including why the Jedi foursome were really on the planet Brendok, and what they really did that had Mae feeling so vengeful all those years later. And it’s all vital to the show’s story.

As “Choice” showed us, the Jedi aren’t quite as innocent as they want it to seem—or as many Jedi stans may have hoped. It turns out, Sol, Indara (Moss), Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo), and Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman), were searching for pockets where the force is extremely strong—called a “Vergence,” more on that shortly—amidst a number of lifeless planets. This comes in the aftermath of what’s known as “The Great Hyperspace Disaster,” which was depicted in Light of the Jedi, a novel written by Charles Soule that kicked off the entire High Republic era of Star Wars.

They found one on Brendok, the planet where Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith), Koril (Margarita Levieva) and company held their coven and raised the young twins Osha and Mae. And that’s where we started to really figure things out—by the end of the episode, much of what we previously understood with Mae being “evil” was actually more of a misunderstanding or misconception, and the Jedi, including Sol, were at fault. Mae, it turns out, was essentially a scapegoat for Sol’s quick-trigger mistake, killing Aniseya and taking Osha to train for a Jedi. All four Jedi would go along with Indara’s plan to cover their mistakes up.

But understanding Vergences in the force is key to putting all of this together.

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What is a Vergence in The Acolyte and Star Wars, really?

the acolyte vergence force


A Vergence is pretty plainly explained in The Acolyte‘s seventh episode, “Choice”: it’s a major convergence of Force energy, usually centered in one given location. It’s been mentioned in Star Wars before as a rare happening (which we’ll touch on below), but The Acolyte is not only bringing the idea back, but adding to it’s lore. The show establishes through Sol’s explanation—and, as we learn, in execution—that a vergence in the force is able to create life in itself.

Episode 3 told us that Mother Aniseya and Koril were Mae and Osha’s “parents,” but didn’t give us too many other details. At the risk of getting too into the nitty gritty, “Choice” essentially told us that Mae and Osha are basically one shared entity of life, birthed into existence as a result of the Vergence in the force on Brendok and an extremely high Midichlorian count, and split into two different consciousnesses. That explains the scene of Mae and Osha communicating early on in the show.

What’s not entirely clear is how this differs from the Dyad in the force that we saw in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It seems this is a situation where they are one consciousness split in two, while Kylo Ren and Rey simply came into contact and the universe—and perhaps the force itself—connected them mentally.

The obsession over finding Vergences, though, and the possibility to create life, though, also helps us to paint a more vivid picture of who the Jedi, broadly, and philosophically, are. “Nothing could be more important to the Jedi,” Sol says in the episode of finding the Vergences. “It is a noble mission.”

But is it really “noble”? Is—at worst—stealing children from their families, or—at best—convincing them to leave their families, really such a noble mission? What about creating life that was not, and would not have been there before? And keep in mind that this is coming at a time where the Sith, or dark side users in general, hardly seem to exist.

Not meaning to justify the existence or emergence of the Sith, but it’s clear that the Jedi were far more power-hungry than we ever understood them to be. Characters like Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Luke, etc. are obviously as heroic as they come, but this earlier wave of Jedi decision-makers certainly seems to be kind of borderline authoritarian in how they assert their power and make their decisions.

Has a Vergence ever been part of Star Wars before?

liam neeson as qui gon jinn in star wars the phantom menace

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Yes. In Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn describes young Anakin Skywalker as the biological embodiment of a Vergence, meaning he was so strong in the Force (with such a high Midichlorian count) that it was the human body version of one of these pockets they once searched for.

Vergences have come up elsewhere in the universe as well, including in The Clone Wars and, later, in Ahsoka. Remember when Ahsoka met Anakin in that alternate, non-linear plane? That was a world disconnected from our own where all things Force exist and live at once.

It may foreshadow what we see in The Acolyte—and any other projects set in this time period—that the council is uneasy in The Phantom Menace (which, you’ll remember, is set 100 years after The Acolyte) when Qui-Gon mentions that Anakin is the biological embodiment of a Vergence. That could mean that things either now or in the future get even messier than what we’ve already seen.

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