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Warning! This page contains spoilers from the episodes "Choice" and "The Acolyte" of The Acolyte. Caution is advised.

"If you think a sleeping monk is tough, good luck defeating a Wookiee."
―Qimir, to Mae Aniseya[7]

Kelnacca was a Wookiee Jedi Master of the Jedi Order who lived during the High Republic Era. In 148 BBY, he was stationed on the planet Brendok with Jedi Knight Sol, Jedi Master Indara, and her Padawan, Torbin. While investigating a vergence in the Force on the planet, the Jedi discovered a coven of witches led by Mother Aniseya. After becoming concerned that the witches were training the twins Verosha "Osha" and Mae-ho "Mae" Aniseya to use the Force, the Jedi requested to test the twins to become Padawans, which Aniseya reluctantly agreed to. When the Jedi returned to the witches' fortress, a skirmish broke out, and Kelnacca, under the witches' influence, attacked Sol and Torbin. After, the Jedi departed the world with Osha, while Mae was presumed dead.

By 132 BBY, Kelnacca was living in isolation on the planet Khofar. After learning that Mae had survived and had killed both Indara and Torbin, Sol and a team of Jedi were sent to Khofar to extract Kelnacca. However, before they could, Kelnacca was killed by Mae's master, a Sith known as the Stranger. Following Osha's killing of Sol on Brendok, Jedi Master Vernestra Rwoh insisted that Sol had been behind the murders of Kelnacca and his fellow Jedi.

Biography[]

Mission to Brendok[]

Investigating a vergence[]

"It's unwise to insult a Wookiee's cooking."
―Indara, to Torbin[8]

Kelnacca was a Wookiee Jedi Master of the Jedi Order who was active during the High Republic Era.[9] In 148 BBY,[10] he[3] was stationed on the planet Brendok with Jedi Master Indara, her Padawan, Torbin, and Jedi Knight Sol.[11] There, the Jedi investigated the life present on the planet, as it was thriving despite being catalogued as lifeless after a hyperspace disaster[8] in 232 BBY.[12] Seven weeks into the mission, Kelnacca cooked Nuna legs for the group, which Torbin complained about due to having already eaten them often during the mission. Indara warned him not to insult a Wookiee's cooking. The next day, Kelnacca continued using his scanner to investigate Brendok, which the Jedi suspected contained a vergence in the Force.[8]

Shortly after, Sol learned of a coven of witches led by Mother Aniseya, and became concerned that they were training children to use the Force, which the witches called the Thread. He spied on the coven, and noticed the twins Verosha "Osha" and Mae-ho "Mae" Aniseya, who often wandered outside of the witch's fortress. After Sol reported this to the other Jedi, they rode speeder bikes to the fortress, and Kelnacca sliced the controls to an elevator to grant the group access. [8]

Interrupting a ceremony[]

JediOnBrendok-TheAcolyteDestiny

The Jedi on Brendok

The Jedi then entered the courtyard where the twins' Rite of Ascension ceremony, where they would become witches, was being held. Indara introduced the four Jedi, and stated their concerns about the witches training children against Republic law. The witches refuted Indara's claims, stating that Brendok was not part of the Republic, and that they had no children. However, after Kelnacca noticed the twins, Indara asked them to come out of the crowd. When Sol suggested that Osha be tested to train as a Jedi, she asked her mother for permission. In response, Aniseya incapacitated Torbin with a Thread ability, and threatened to not reverse the effects unless the Jedi left. However, she reluctantly agreed to allow her children to be tested. Following this, the Jedi exited the courtyard.[11]

The next day, when Osha and Mae arrived at the Jedi's starship to be tested, Kelnacca was repairing a damaged speeder bike. While waiting for Mae to finish her testing, Osha approached Kelnacca, and he briefly spoke with her in Shyriiwook before she entered the starship. When she exited after completing her testing, Kelnacca was now performing other mechanical work. He noticed her and called out to her in Shyriiwook. In response, Osha half-heartedly smiled at him. That night, Kelnacca again made dinner for the group while they discussed the Jedi Council's refusal to allow them to bring the twins to[8] the planet[13] Coruscant.[8]

Confronting the coven[]

"Go. We must stop him before he starts a conflict. Go!"
―Indara, to Kelnacca[8]

When Torbin reported the results of the twins' M-count test, Kelnacca gathered around him with Indara and Sol. After realizing the unusual results indicated the possiblity of the vergence the Jedi had been seeking, Torbin, against his Master's orders, got a speeder bike and headed to the fortress. Indara ordered Sol to pursue him on another bike, while she and Kelnacca followed on the Jedi's ship. As they approached, Indara was unable to land, and so got close enough for Kelnacca to jump, telling him to stop the other Jedi before they started a conflict.[8]

Inside the fortress, Mae started a fire to kill Osha and prevent her from becoming a Jedi. Sol and Torbin confronted the witches, and after Sol kills Aniseya, they fight. During the fight, Kelnacca arrived, but he was under the witches' influence and attacked Torbin and Sol. He engaged them in a lightsaber duel, and during the fight, slammed Torbin into a wall, injuring his face. Sol was able to disarm Kelnacca, and then fought him in hand-to-hand combat. As Kelnacca attempted to strangle Sol, Indara arrived. She knocked Kelnacca away and was able to free him from the witches's power. Indara then ordered Sol to save the twins, but he was only able to save Osha. Kelnacca and the other Jedi then returned to Coruscant on their ship. After the fire, Osha became Sol's Padawan, although she later left the Order.[14]

Mae's quest[]

Hunting the Jedi[]

Kelnacca-RevengeJustice

Kelnacca discovers trespassers to his shelter in the jungles of Khofar.

By 133 BBY, Kelnacca was posted on[15] the planet[16] Khofar,[15] a forest retreat in the Outer Rim.[15] Sixteen years after the fire on Brendok,[7]in 132 BBY,[10] Osha's sister, Mae, now an assassin sought revenge against the four Jedi who had been on Brendok, and wanted to kill them to please her master, who was secretly the smuggler Qimir. When Mae requested a poison to use on Torbin from Qimir, he expressed doubts about her ability to kill Kelnacca, as she had already previously failed to kill Torbin, who was meditating during her attempt. Shortly after, Osha, who was assisting the investigation into Indara and Torbin's murders, told Sol about Kelnacca and the other Jedi that Mae was targeting. Later, Qimir informed Mae that he had located Kelnacca on Khofar.[7]

On Khofar, where Kelnacca was living in isolation, he encountered two scavengers outside a wrecked ship wrapped around a tree that he was using as a shelter. When one scavenger drew a blaster, Kelnacca Force pulled the blaster to himself and broke it in two with his hands. In response, the scavenger and[7] his[17] companion fled.[7] Sometime later, Kelnacca returned to his shelter with some plants, which he used to prepare a meal. Inside his shelter, the walls were carved with markings resembling a tattoo from the ceremony on Brendok.[7]

Mission to Khofar[]

"Master Holden, extract Kelnacca from his post on Khofar and intercept Mae."
―Vernestra Rwoh[15]

In the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, several Jedi, including Sol and Jedi Master Holden, met to discuss Mae's murders. Jedi Master Vernestra Rwoh displayed holograms of Kelnacca, Torbin, and Indara, with the two who had been killed being displayed in red. She then ordered Jedi Master Holden to extract Kelnacca from his post on Khofar and to bring in Mae. Later, Sol convinced Rwoh to allow him to bring Osha with them to Khofar. Mae and Qimir, who had landed on Khofar, began searching for Kelnacca. While they walked, they discussed how Mae's previous murders had not pleased her master, and that she would have to kill Kelnacca without a weapon.[15]

Kelnacca-dead

Kelnacca was killed by Mae's master.

In hyperspace on the way to Khofar, Jedi Knight Yord Fandar briefed the others on the mission. Kelnacca had not been heard from in over a year, and had not responded to any of the warnings sent to him by the Jedi. They would use the Tynnan tracker Bazil to find Kelnacca. After landing, Padawan Jecki Lon spoke with locals, and learned that Kelnacca had ventured into the forest and never returned. Fandar then provided Bazil with a cloth, which he used to track Kelnacca. The others followed Bazil through the forest toward Kelnacca. Meanwhile, Mae had decided to stop her killings, and set a trap for Qimir. After he triggered it, she informed him she planned to surrender herself to Kelnacca, and left him hanging from a tree. When Mae arrived outside Kelnacca's shelter, she encountered Bazil, who alerted the Jedi to her presence. She ran and entered the shelter, where she found Kelnacca, who had already been killed by Qimir.[15]

Shortly after, the Jedi arrived outside and attempted to arrest Mae, but Qimir engaged them in a lightsaber duel.[15] Seeing this, Mae took Kelnacca's lightsaber and then attempted to escape, but was attacked by Lon, who arrested her for the murder of Kelnacca and the other Jedi she had killed. Lon took Kelnacca's lightsaber from Mae, and later used it alongside her own while dueling Qimir, although it would be destroyed during the fight.[18] After Sol was killed by Osha on Brendok, Jedi Master Vernestra Rwoh covered up the murders, insisting that he had been responsible for the killings of Kelnacca and the other Jedi targeted by Mae.[19]

Personality and traits[]

Kelnacca was a Wookiee with brown hair and gray eyes. He had several tattoos on the top of his head.[5] He stood 2.29 meters[2] (7.5 feet) tall.[4] Kelnacca was stoic and wise.[20]

Powers and abilities[]

As a Jedi who had been granted the rank of Master, Kelnacca was Force-sensitive. He used the Force to pull a blaster from a scavenger's hands and broke it in two with his bare hands.[7] Moreover, he was physically strong enough to kick a hole in a stone wall.[8] Kelnacca was skilled with technology, able to slice a door[8] and perform mechanical work.[11] He cooked food for the other Jedi on Brendok,[8] as well as for himself on Khofar.[11] Though a Jedi, he could not protect his thoughts and was subjected to a mental takeover by the Brendok coven, when they used their dark magic to make him turn on his own. He was a skilled swordsman, able to (while being mind-controlled by a coven of witches) dominate Sol and Torbin in melee combat with his bladework and greater physical strength. His Force pushes sent those Jedi tumbling and he could make great bounds with the Force.[8]

Equipment[]

Kelnacca wielded a green-bladed lightsaber which had distinct wear from many years of use,[21] and wore brown and gold Jedi robes. On Brendok, he used a scanner while investigating the possibility of a vergence.[8] On Khofar, he wore a bag in which he stored plants.[7]

Behind the scenes[]

Milestones[]

"I'm so beyond excited, because ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a Jedi."
―Joonas Suotamo[9]
Kelnacca-LeslyeHeadland-EW

Leslye Headland introducing Kelnacca at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023

Kelnacca was created for the 2024 Disney+ live-action series The Acolyte[9] and first appeared in "Revenge / Justice," the second episode of the series,[7] which aired on June 4, 2024.[22] Kelnacca was introduced by showrunner Leslye Headland at Star Wars Celebration Europe on April 8, 2023. He was portrayed by Joonas Suotamo, who previously played the Wookiee Chewbacca in the sequel trilogy and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Suotamo expressed his excitement about playing a Jedi at the Celebration.[9]

In early versions of the story, Kelnacca was hiding on Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld. It was changed to Khofar in order to explore new areas of the galaxy.[16] An early draft for the episode "Day" was going to show Kelnacca's fight against "The Master" and his death scene, but this had to be changed due to budgetary issues and story problems, such as Kelnacca's scene breaking the point of view from the protagonist in a way writer Claire Kiechel felt to not work well.[23]

Headland believed that Kelnacca was the only Jedi who was blameless in the situation, and that he deserved a "pass", but did not think he would give himself one. She said that Kelnacca did not forgive himself, which was part of the reason he went into isolation.[24]

Portrayal[]

"It would be really cool to see him be a Jedi — to actually, do some action work and some fighting and not just the sidekick role"
―Leslye Headland[25]

Although other Wookiee Jedi, such as Burryaga, have appeared in High Republic media, Kelnacca was the first to appear in live-action. Headland said she thought it would be "cool" to do her own version of a Wookiee Jedi. She was also inspired by Suotamo's performance as Chewbacca in Solo, saying that she wanted to see him do fighting and action work as a Jedi, and not just be a sidekick.[25]

Suotamo deliberately tried to differentiate his performance as Kelnacca from Chewbacca, as even though both characters are Wookiees, they are very different. He said that there was "more to" being a Jedi, and it was a challenge. He enjoyed preparing and training for his role with his castmates, and said that they had a lot of time to think about each situation and moment.[25]

Suotamo was excited to test himself and see the lengths he could go to in his role. He considered how Kelnacca behaved, how he carried himself, and what he learned during his time training as a Jedi while preparing for his role.[26]

Fight sequence[]

Suotamo was ecstatic to use a lightsaber and perform Kelnacca's fight sequence.[27] Suotamo did all his stunts himself as no one else could fit inside the suit.[24] Action Director Christopher Clark Cowan had fun figuring out the fight sequence, but also described it as tricky. He took into account the sheer strength that a Wookiee would have in their strikes, saying that it mean a straight clash with a Wookiee would "knock you off balance". Cowan added that because the witches were inside Kelnacca's mind and drawing out his primal instincts, he would be swinging wildly and not have immaculate form. Cowan also wanted Kelnacca to be wild and animalistic during the fight.[27]

Kelnacca's fight sequence was directed by Cowan and Kogonada, the episode's director. Headland was not on set during the filming of the fight, which she regretted.[24]

Design[]

"It's almost like I can see them — the way that they look and the costumes that they're wearing or any of those things. I'm a very visual person in that way. So that's how Kelnacca came to be."
―Leslye Headland[25]

Like other characters in The Acolyte, Kelnacca came from his design first. Headland loved the idea of a Wookiee with the sides of his head shaved, which was the design that became Kelnacca. Although he was partially inspired by other Wookiee Jedi such as Burryaga, Headland gave Kelnacca a "very different character design".[25]

At first, Headland did not think she would be allowed to have a Wookiee Jedi, but she kept pitching the idea and special effects artist Neal Scanlan loved the idea. Another reason Headland pushed for Kelnacca's design was because she "couldn't resist" the opportunity to be on set with a Wookiee. Headland's wife, Rebecca Henderson,[25] who portrayed Vernestra Rwoh,[26] was scared of Kelnacca, which Headland thought was funny.[25]

Creature & droid FX creative supervisor Neal Scanlan and his team, who had previously worked on Chewbacca, also worked on Kelnacca. Because he is a Jedi, they gave Kelnacca a more stately appearance, as well as more refined features to allow for more emotional responses. He was designed to be more refined than previous Wookiees. He was given a more articulate mouth and discreet color choices to contour the pattern of his facial fur, which both allow for more accentuated emotions. Kelnacca's Jedi robes were specially made by costume designer Jennifer Bryan and her team.[5] The creature department worked on making Suotamo's costume more breathable to allow for the tremendous physicality needed for Kelnacca's fight scene.[27]

Comic[]

"Kelnacca is the perfect character to bridge the gap between the time of Leslye Headland’s spectacular series to the age of Starlight Beacon, the threat of Marchion Ro, and the marauding Nihil."
―Cavan Scott[20]

On May 31, 2024, The Acolyte - Kelnacca 1, a one-shot comic featuring Kelnacca was announced. The comic will bridge the gap between the High Republic novels and The Acolyte. The comic, which will release on September 4, was written by Cavan Scott with art by Marika Cresta. In an interview, Scott said that he was excited to connect The Acolyte with previous High Republic media, and that Kelnacca was the perfect character to do so. He also revealed that the comic would explain the meaning behind Kelnacca's mysterious tattoos.[20]

Appearances[]

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Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. StarWars "Lost/Found" Episode Guide | The Acolyte on StarWars.com (backup link) states that the events of The Acolyte take place 100 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which Star Wars: Timelines dates to 32 BBY. Therefore, The Acolyte takes place in 132 BBY. Day establishes that Kelnacca was killed on Khofar during the events of the series.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 StarWars-DatabankII Kelnacca in the Databank (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 StarWars The Acolyte Characters Revealed — First Look on StarWars.com (backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 SWYTlogo The Acolyte | Kelnacca POV | Streaming June 4 on Disney+ on the official Star Wars YouTube channel (backup link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 StarWars Inside The Acolyte Creature Shop: Meet Bazil, the Tynnan Tracker - First Details on StarWars.com (backup link)
  6. StarWars How The Acolyte Challenges How We See Some Members of the Jedi on StarWars.com (backup link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "Revenge / Justice"
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "Choice"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 StarWars SWCE 2023: 11 Highlights from Lucasfilm's Studio Showcase (Brooks, Dan) on StarWars.com (April 8, 2023) (backup link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 StarWars "Lost/Found" Episode Guide | The Acolyte on StarWars.com (backup link) states that the events of The Acolyte take place 100 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which Star Wars: Timelines dates to 32 BBY. Therefore, The Acolyte takes place in 132 BBY. Revenge / Justice establishes that the Jedi were stationed on Brendok sixteen years before its events, equating to 148 BBY.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "Destiny"
  12. Star Wars: The High Republic Character Encyclopedia
  13. StarWars-DatabankII Coruscant in the Databank (backup link)
  14. The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "Lost / Found"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "Day"
  16. 16.0 16.1 StarWars "Day" (Episode 4) - Episode Guide | The Acolyte on StarWars.com (backup link)
  17. The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "Revenge / Justice" (Audio description from Disney+)
  18. The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "Night"
  19. The Acolyte logo Celebration The Acolyte — "The Acolyte"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Star Wars' New Wookiee Jedi Is Getting His Own Marvel Comic by Lussier, Germain on Gizmodo (May 31, 2024) (archived from the original on May 31, 2024)
  21. StarWars-DatabankII Kelnacca's lightsaber in the Databank (backup link)
  22. StarWars The Acolyte Teaser Poster, Premiere Date Revealed on StarWars.com (backup link)
  23. TwitterLogo Claire Kiechel (@clairekiechel) on Twitter: "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." (content now obsolete; backup link)
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 YouTube Leslye Headland Answers our Acolyte Questions and Teases for the Finale! on the Star Wars Explained YouTube channel (July 15, 2024) (backup link)
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 How The Acolyte brought the Wookiee Jedi Kelnacca to life on screen on Entertainment Weekly (archived from the original on February 20, 2024)
  26. 26.0 26.1 StarWars Introducing the Cast of The Acolyte on StarWars.com (backup link)
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 StarWars Fight Like a Jedi: Inside The Acolyte's Stunt Sequences and Martial Arts Action on StarWars.com (backup link)

External links[]

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