The Acolyte's Writer Explained Why Big Moment In Episode 4 Was Cut, But I Still Feel Robbed Of A Rare Star Wars Moment

 Mae in The Acolyte looking for Kelnacca.
Credit: Disney+

Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Acolyte episode "Day." Watch the episode with a Disney+ subscription, and read at your own risk!

Disney+'s latest Star Wars series The Acolyte returned to the present (so to speak) in its latest episode to pick back up with Mae's quest to kill the Jedi who were stationed on her homeworld when she and Osha were children. After a week of fierce debate amongst Star Wars fans arguing that the previous episode's big reveal was overblown, I was ready to see Mae kill the Jedi Wookiee Kelnacca. Unfortunately, we were all robbed of an extremely rare franchise moment — seeing a Jedi Wookiee fight — when she arrived to find him already dead. The writer explained why it played out that way, but it doesn't do much to counteract my disappointment.

When we at CinemaBlend were first learning about The Acolyte along with other fans, the fact that it boasted a Wookiee Jedi Master was among the most exciting reveals. Unfortunately, Mae arrived to see that her mysterious Sith master had already slain the Jedi and was waiting for her arrival, as well as the arrival of Osha and the others pursuing her. So, why didn't we see the Wookiee fight? Episode writer Claire Kiechel explained on X:

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.

The reason why the Kelnacca fight isn’t shown does make sense. To start, if we had seen Mae's master fight and kill the Wookiee before her arrival, it would've shifted the episode's intentionally limited perspective, thus ruining his reveal in the final minutes. I can respect that, and admit there'd be no other easy way of showcasing a big brawl with the way the final episode turned out.

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Lee Jung-jae and Rebecca Henderson in The Acolyte Season 1x04
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The second reason the fight was avoided was budgetary, and while The Acolyte does seem to have a lot of money going into it, I would imagine the big fight between the Sith Master and the Jedi group that kicked off at the end of the episode was pretty costly to make. As such, sacrifices had to be made elsewhere, and would could have been a sweet-ass Wookiee fight was nixed in place of a dead-in-chair reveal, with Kelnacc's stomach sliced open. Again, it's unsurprising to hear, as the Jedi of the High Republic is more powerful, which probably makes for more CGI.

So the logical side of my brain can easily understand the reasoning behind The Acolyte's creative team nixing the fight, but it doesn't mean I have to stop being angry, however. Many fans beyond just me were excited to see a Wookiee Jedi in action. It certainly felt like the series dangled the carrot over everyone's head in Episode 2 by showing Kelnacca, but then ripped it away entirely in Episode 4.

I've been waiting to see a Wookiee Jedi since I read Light of the Jedi, but now he's gone, and unless there's a flashback of Kelnacca in action, or an entirely different character is introduced, I've missed my chance to do so. I'm still on board and loving the show, but they cut me deep with this betrayal!

The Acolyte streams new episodes on Disney+ on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. We're officially at the halfway point in the series, so it'll be interesting to see where it heads and what it means for future adventures in The High Republic era once it's over.