The Acolyte Just Revived a Piece of Classic ’90s Star Wars Canon for Live-Action

The Acolyte's mysterious Sith is wielding more than just a creepy helmet and badass Force powers. He also has cortosis!

Osha (Amandla Stenberg) and The Master in a scene from Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, season one
Photo: Lucasfilm

This article contains spoilers for The Acolyte episode 5.

Episode 5 of Star Wars: The Acolyte finally saw Mae’s master in action in all his unsettling glory. Fighting against the Jedi that found their way to Khofar, the mysterious Dark side user, who has now been unmasked as Qimir (Manny Jacinto), had more than a few tricks up his sleeve. Not only is his helmet decorated with a menacing, toothy grin incredibly unsettling, but it and a metal bracer he wears appear to be made out of a special metal from Legends canon called cortosis.

Like beskar, cortosis can be forged strong enough to withstand blaster fire and the blade of a lightsaber, but this metal has an added benefit for those looking to fight against other lightsaber wielders. As we saw in this episode, cortosis has the ability to briefly short out the blade of a lightsaber, effectively making its wielder vulnerable until its function returns.

Cortosis was first introduced in the Legends book I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole, and made appearances in other Legends canon such as the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic before being brought into Star Wars canon in the Rebels prequel novel A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller. The most notable use of the metal so far in current novel and comics canon is in the construction of the Null Blade, a sword that was meant to be used to kill the Sith. But it took centuries for the blade to eventually be completed, and it was used by Doctor Aphra, possessed by the Spark Eternal, to fight against Darth Vader in the characters’ 2020 comic series.

Ad – content continues below

But despite all of its strengths, cortosis is difficult to mine and use regularly. It’s a fragile substance, and is only useful once refined. Unlike beskar, it’s not quite strong enough for full-on armor, and has limits to how many hits it can take before it falters, as we saw with Jecki (Dafne Keen) eventually wearing down Qimir’s helmet enough for it to fall off.

Even without this metal, Qimir is a formidable opponent for the Jedi. The addition of cortosis to his repertoire only adds to his scariness, and proves that he’s been thinking about this revenge for a while. Cortosis doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a regular person just comes across, and his cover as a bumbling smuggler would have been the perfect way for him to acquire it. His cortosis mask may not be needed to hide his identity anymore, but it’s certainly a useful tool in his crusade against the Jedi.

The Acolyte is streaming now on Disney+.