‘The Acolyte’ Writer Reveals Why They Wasted a Perfectly Good Wookie Jedi


‘Star Wars: The Acolyte’ Episode 4 premiered yesterday, and it was perhaps even more controversial than Episode 3. Several instances of “canon-breaking” were noted, first, the Sith Lord who decided to reveal himself to the Jedi near the end of the episode and the presence of Ki-Adi-Mundi, who shouldn’t be alive during this part of Star Wars history.

The biggest letdown of the episode was certainly the death of Wookie Jedi Kelnacca, we never saw the character on screen for more than a few seconds. This hit fans hard considering that they have been asking for a Wookie Jedi for decades.

The thing with Kelnacca is as follows. He was one of the Jedi stationed at Brendok during the time when Osha’s and Mae’s family was killed in a terrible accident, which was, as far as we know, caused by Mae herself. Now 16 years later, Mae is hunting down all the Jedi that were present that night, as some sort of a twisted initiation ritual for her Sith Master.

Kelnacca is stationed on the jungle planet Khofar, and Mae is supposed to kill him without a weapon, something she deemed impossible. Somewhere down the line, Mae decides that she isn’t even going to attempt that, she traps Qimir and hurries toward Kelnacca, not to kill him, but rather to turn herself in to the Jedi and ask for leniency in exchange for information about the Dark Force user.

However, once she reaches Kelnacca’s cabin, she finds the Jedi already dead, presumably killed by her master. The Jedi search party arrives at that moment and they find themselves face to face with Mae’s master.

It was a terrible waste of perfectly good Jedi and despite the fight being teased in several episodes, it never happened, Kelnacca was killed on screen.

Now the writer of the show’s fourth episode Claire Kiechel explained that the Wookie was killed in such a manner due to budget and story constraints. They originally had the death scene and the fight planned but apparently, it broke the POV so it was ultimately left unused.

Unfortunately, not everything gets to be included for budget and story reasons, we had an early draft that showed his fight and death scene but it ultimately broke the POV of the episode in a way that I think wouldn’t have worked as well.

Fans pointed out that the show had a $180 million budget for 8 episodes, and so far, nothing in the show happened to warrant such costs, and we’re already halfway through the show. I mean walking around in the jungle couldn’t have cost that much, and that was literally what Episode 4 was about.

In any case, you can check more about Kelnacca via his special one-shot comic released by Marvel Comics. Marvel Comics will reveal new information about Kelnacca’s origins in a one-shot titled “Star Wars: The Acolyte – Kelnacca #1,” coming on September 4. Written by Cavan Scott with art by Marika Cresta, this comic will bridge the gap between The High Republic novels and comics and the upcoming Disney+ series “The Acolyte.”

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