The Star Wars Video Game Villain That Led To The Acolyte

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Star Wars fans who love the Knights of the Old Republic games have been feverishly waiting over two decades to see these tales of the Jedi adapted as a movie or TV show. So far, that hasn’t happened, but it looks like we will get the next best thing very soon. Star Wars: The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland revealed that her show was inspired by the Knights of the Old Republic 2 villain Darth Traya, better known to players as Kreia.

Knights Of The Old Republic

knights of the old republic

For this story about The Acolyte to make sense, we will need to do a quick review of KOTOR 2’s main villain, which means diving into spoiler territory.

It might seem overkill to give extended spoiler warnings for a video game that is 20 years old, but trust us: the KOTOR titles are the finest Star Wars games ever made. They have some plot twists as compelling as anything in the Original Trilogy, and we won’t be offended if you want to tap out and play these games without further spoilers.

Influence Of Kreia

Still with us? Ok, here’s the bad news: Headland didn’t reveal exactly how Kreia influenced The Acolyte, so we don’t know any firm details about whether that show’s main villain(s) will be like this infamous video game character. The good news is that we will review all the key details about that character and make some extrapolations as to how she has influenced the show.

While we don’t have the Force and can’t fully predict the future, we already predicted Kreia’s influence on this series just last month, so our educated guesses about this upcoming show are already paying off.

Deep Contempt For The Jedi

In KOTOR 2, you play as an exiled Jedi who has lost her connection to the Force and gets reluctantly thrust into adventures with a grizzled Force user named Kreia. While she is nominally a mentor and hero, conversations with Kreia eventually reveal her deep contempt for Jedi leadership and the many ways the Jedi Council of this time period has screwed the player character over.

No matter your choices throughout the game, you eventually discover that “Kreia” is Darth Traya, a once-and-future Sith Lord whose ideas about the Dark Side are just as unconventional as her ideas about the Light Side.

The Acolyte Twists What We Know Of Star Wars

With that juicy bit of background out of the way, let’s cut to the carbonite: how will The Acolyte most likely be influenced by KOTOR 2’s main villain, especially since that game hasn’t been canonical for a long time? In a previous interview, Headland revealed that in this show, set long before the prequels, “the Jedi become the antagonists,” and while they wouldn’t be villains unto themselves, they would “become the bad guys to the bad guys.”

After that interview, we predicted that The Acolyte would be inspired by Kreia because the game proves that this villain is correct in her cynical assessment of the Jedi. Unless you take them on yourself, there is even one point in the game where Kreia has to murder members of the Jedi Council who attempt to forcibly remove your Force powers.

This is after the first KOTOR revealed that the original player character is secretly the Sith Lord Darth Revan who has been brainwashed and unleashed against the Sith as the Jedi Council’s secret weapon.

A Bold New Setting In The Star Wars Universe

If The Acolyte takes inspiration from KOTOR, it will most likely show how some of the show’s villains share Kreia’s perspective that the Jedi are manipulative and even dangerous to various residents of the galaxy. That doesn’t make them evil, of course, but the perspective matters because every good villain must see themselves as a hero.

As Star Wars icon Obi-Wan Kenobi might remind us, that perspective could even be true…from a certain point of view.

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