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The Grand Inquisitor (often referred to simply as the Inquisitor) was a Pau'an Inquisitor tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the last of the Jedi. He was the leader of the Inquisitors, the Galactic Empire's Force-sensitive agents employed to hunt down the last of the Jedi, so that the Emperor's plans would be complete.
The individual known as the Grand Inquisitor hailed from the planet Utapau, where he was born at least fifteen years before the Invasion of Naboo, and inducted into the Jedi Order, where he trained as a member of the Jedi Temple Guard until his fall to the Dark Side at some point afterwards. After Darth Sidious, publicly known as Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, reorganized the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire and declared himself Emperor, the Inquisitor came into the service of the Empire and the Sith. Although not a Sith himself, he was tasked by Sidious' apprentice, Darth Vader, with leading an agency of beings that were affiliated with the dark side, but not Sith, called the Inquisitorius. they were trained in hunting down and eliminating any Jedi who survived Order 66, and to acquire any force-sensitive children out of Sidious' fear of them becoming Jedi. To accomplish this task they were trained by Vader in the ways of the dark side of the Force and studied the records of the Jedi Temple in order to defeat their enemies.
Meeting with the Dark Lord
Even though the Jedi had been wiped out, the Emperor had foreseen a new threat: the children of the Force. Darth Vader instructed the Inquisitor to hunt down this new enemy, and, if they would not serve the Empire, to eliminate them along with any surviving Jedi who will attempt to train them. The Inquisitor saw the opportunity to do so when contacted by Agent Kallus about a recently discovered rebel cell manning a VCX-100 known as the Ghost, whose de facto leader, Kanan Jarrus, had been discovered a Jedi.
Ambushing the Rebels
- “The Jedi are dead, but there is another path, the dark side!”
- ―The Inquisitor trying to sway Ezra to the dark side[src]
At The Spire on Stygeon Prime, the Grand Inquisitor caught Kanan and his new Padawan, Ezra Bridger, off-guard as they tried to rescue Jedi Master Luminara Unduli. He coldly explained that she had died along with the Republic, but the Empire used her remains to lure the remaining Jedi to their ends.
The Inquisitor then engaged Kanan in a lightsaber duel; he easily seized the upper hand and recognized the Jedi favored fighting style Form III heavily. He was then able to correctly deduce that he had trained with Jedi Master Depa Billaba, something that alarmed Kanan. The Inquisitor began to mock him about how such a poor student he had been while they fought, and attempted to force Ezra to choose to join the Dark Side of the Force. Ezra refused and both master and apprentice escaped from their near execution.
Visit to the Imperial Academy
Notified by Commandant Aresko that two cadets of the Imperial Academy on Lothal met his 'special requirements', the Grand Inquisitor traveled to Lothal to evaluate them himself. After the escape of the Rebels with Jai Kell, one of the prospective cadets alongside a Dev Morgan, who he recognized as the Padawan from Stygeon Prime, the Inquisitor personally interviewed Zare Leonis, who 'attempted to stop' the Rebels, for details on Dev Morgan, the undercover alias of Ezra Bridger.
Pursuing the Rebels
When the Rebels attempted to smuggle Tseebo off Lothal, he led a TIE Fighter squadron to stop them from escaping. He piloted the Empire's new TIE Advanced and planted a tracking device on their ship moments before they jumped to hyperspace. The Grand Inquisitor and the Imperials followed the tracking beacon, which was planted on the outer hull of the Phantom to the abandoned Republic Base and where Kanan and Ezra lured them away from Tseebo, delivering him into safe hands.
Confrontation at Fort Anaxes
The Grand Inquisitor led a squadron of Stormtroopers down to the base and found Kanan and Ezra in connection with the Fyrnocks that inhabited the base. While the Stormtroopers took on the Fyrnocks, the Grand Inquisitor engaged Kanan in a second lightsaber duel. The Jedi Hunter quickly overpowered the former Padawan and knocked him unconscious.
Ezra tried to protect his master by standing in his way, summoning Kanan's dropped lightsaber to him and igniting the blade, but the Grand Inquisitor forced him away and began to torment him with his fears of losing everyone he cared about and everything he hoped for, at the same time encouraging him to give into the Dark Side. Ezra's growing fear turned into hatred against him and he mentally summoned an even larger Fyrnock to attack him, unknowingly exposing himself to the Dark Side for the first time. As the Grand Inquisitor fought off the massive Fyrnock, Kanan grabbed the weakened Ezra, summoned his lightsaber back to his hands, and escaped the Grand Inquisitor for the second time.
The Grand Inquisitor appeared in one of Ezra's illusions; he was seen fighting and killing Kanan in a vision. He reappeared on the Ghost, slaughtering the whole crew of the Ghost. He later appeared when the door of the temple opened and he was approaching Ezra once again, saying if he was afraid but Ezra said he wasn't. Ezra offered no resistance as the Grand Inquisitor struck, but the blade passed through him.
Setting up the Rebels
When Kallus had a plan to capture the Rebels, the Grand Inquisitor questioned his plan. But Kallus thought that the Inquisitor was focusing to much on the capture of the Jedi then the group in general.
The Grand Inquisitor, Agent Kallus, and Maketh Tua stood in front of a ship welcoming Tarkin to Lothal. Tarkin spoke of the rebel problem and how no Jedi remain. The Grand Inquisitor is called to the office of Grand Moff Tarkin along with Maketh Tua, Agent Kallus, Cumberlayne Aresko, and Myles Grint. Tarkin reprimands Aresko and Grint for their failure to silence the rebels. He then had the Grand Inquisitor execute Aresko and Grint in order to spread the message to all of the Empire: "From now on, failure will have consequences".
That night Tarkin sent the Grand Inquisitor to the Imperial tower. He found Kanan there. Kanan charged at him with his lightsaber, but the Grand Inquisitor managed to block the blow. The duel was brief and ended with Kanan being arrested.
The Grand Inquisitor, with Agent Kallus and Governor Tarkin, interrogated Kanan to extract the location of his fellow Rebels.
Duel with Kanan and Death
The Grand Inquisitor continued to torture Kanan for information on other rebels and mocked him for running after his master, Depa Billaba, laid down her life to save him. When Kanan's crew arrived to rescue him, the Grand Inquisitor sneered at their predictable actions and prepared himself.
When Ezra got Kanan, they started their way to escape only to run into the Grand Inquisitor. Kanan borrowed Ezra's lightsaber and surprised the Inquisitor with its built-in blaster while Ezra got Kanan's saber back. The Grand Inquisitor relished at the concept of fighting two amateur Jedi at once. He engaged Master and Padawan and eventually knocked Ezra down to a lower level. Initially shocked and dismayed at the apparent death of his pupil, Kanan quickly regained composure and reengaged his enemy, wielding his own lightsaber along with Ezra's. The Grand Inquisitor found Kanan a far more formidable opponent to the point where the Jedi destroyed the Inquisitor's saber and found the latter dangling for his life. Defeated, the Grand Inquisitor was surprised when Kanan decided to spare his life, but he knew the penalty that awaited him for his repeated failures if he faced his master. He warned Kanan that he had no idea of what he had unleashed, and added there were things far worse than death before allowing himself to fall to his own.
The Siege of Lothal
After the Ghost Crew faced Vader, Ezra asked Kanan if he was another Inquisitor, but Kanan told Ezra that Vader was something worse: a Sith Lord. Ahsoka later asked Kanan and Ezra about the fight they had with Vader on Lothal. And Kanan told her that Vader was nothing like the Inquisitor they encountered.
Skirmish on abandoned Republic medical station
When Seventh Sister was interrogating Ezra Bridger as she attempted to sway him to the Dark Side telling him that his master was not a full Jedi Knight, but Ezra told her he defeated the last Inquisitor. The Seventh Sister told Ezra the death of the Grand Inquisitor surprised everyone, but gave the other Inquisitors new opportunities.
A Temple Ghost
A manifestation of the Grand Inquisitor in his former guise as a Temple Guard appeared to Kanan in the Lothal Jedi Temple, testing him in combat and forcing him to confront his fear of Ezra succumbing to the dark side. After Kanan realized that he could not protect Ezra but only continue to train him as he had been doing, the Inquisitor officially knighted him as a Jedi before revealing his own identity. Sensing the arrival of the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother, he told Kanan to take his friends and leave while he delayed the Inquisitors, and surrounded the shocked Inquisitors with a ring of his fellow Temple Guard manifestations before disappearing.
Personality and traits
The Grand Inquisitor is described as cold and analytical. His intensity is based on the assignment he is on and he tends to stay calm.
Driven in his task of hunting and eliminating the Jedi, he appears to have studied the Jedi Temple records to an advanced and thorough degree, as he correctly deduced Kanan to have trained under Jedi Master Depa Billaba after only a few traded blows in their first lightsaber duel; identifying him from the lightsaber form he used and the way he used it. It is later revealed that the Grand Inquisitor was once a Jedi himself; one of the Temple Guards, and as such, upon turning to the Dark Side of the Force and serving the Empire, he was able to complete his task of hunting the surviving Jedi all the more easily thanks to his former experiences as one of their ranks. It remains unknown whether the Grand Inquisitor chose to join the Empire for power's sake, out of fear, or for other reasons.
The Grand Inquisitor appears to have some interest in Ezra, as a few times during their first encounter, he tried to sway Ezra into following the Dark Side and shake the boy's faith in his master, Kanan. When they met again, the Inquisitor made it clear he desired Ezra as an apprentice. However, in their final encounter, after Ezra had repeatedly refused the Grand Inquisitor's attempts to turn him to the Dark Side, the latter struck him down apparently without a second thought.
Being tasked with hunting down and routinely killing innocent Force-sensitive beings, the Grand Inquisitor very rarely showed any mercy and didn't hesitate to kill unarmed children if his assignment called for it. With his own fellow Imperial officers, however, he took a stance unlike his master Darth Vader's; never punishing lower-ranking officers for their shortcomings and appeared to accept the burden of responsibility for his own failures. He was reluctant to a degree to execute Commandant Aresko and Taskmaster Grint at Grand Moff Tarkin's orders, but carried it out nonetheless.
The Grand Inquisitor held a deep respect for his superiors, like his master, Darth Vader, and Grand Moff Tarkin, although with the former it was founded deeply on fear as the Inquisitor ultimately committed suicide rather than face Vader's wrath.
Although the Grand Inquisitor was a devoted agent of the Empire, he was capable of showing respect to those he deemed worthy, as he saluted Kanan in their final duel.
The Grand Inquisitor had bone-white skin and notably sported blood-red dark-side tattoos stretching down from his eyes and on his forehead, either to show his welcomed affliction with the Force or to strike fear into his enemies. It is implied that before he turned to the dark side, he had pure white eyes like the Fifth Brother's, as his manifestation as a Jedi Temple Guard showed this. After turning to the dark side, the white of his eyes turned black and his irises turned a bright yellow with blood red rims.
Weapons and Gear
As a Temple Guard, the Pau'an wore the same full-body armor as the other Guards, and wielded a double-bladed yellow lightsaber with considerable skill.
As the Grand Inquisitor, he wore dark-colored battle armor, accompanied by various features such as grey stripes and an Imperial insignia on his shoulder plates. He also used a double-bladed spinning lightsaber elegantly, which was designed to end battles quickly, efficiently, and with a minimum of effort. The Grand Inquisitor's lightsaber was equipped with several modes, such as the crescent-mode that keeps it single-bladed. There was also a disc-mode where a second blade is drawn, during so both blades can spin across the disc. Its unique design served to unnerve the Grand Inquisitor's enemies, particularly among the Jedi he hunted.
The Grand Inquisitor also was in ownership of a TIE Advanced v1 prototype.
- He was the main antagonist of Season 1.
- He was voiced by Jason Isaacs, the actor of Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter and Colonel William Tavington from The Patriot; his career in voice acting also includes the role of Admiral Zhao from Avatar: The Last Airbender, where he appeared alongside fellow Rebels actor Dante Basco.
- Despite his appearance and contrary to popular belief, the Grand Inquisitor was not a Sith Lord.
- The Grand Inquisitor shared some familiar characteristics to Darth Maul from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, such as his double-bladed lightsaber. He also highly resembles Darth Maul's early concept art.
- By the time of the series, he was in his mid-40's (human equivalent)
- A manifestation of The Grand Inquisitor as a Jedi Temple Guard possessed transparently clear white eyes like the Fifth Brother.
- The Grand Inquisitor was one of the very few non-Humans who came into a position of high authority despite racism and xenophobia of the Empire. Other examples are Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, Administrative aide Sly Moore and Grand Admiral Thrawn.
- David Filoni said in a interview that the Grand Inquisitor was in Star Wars: The Clone Wars; "Shroud of Darkness" clarified that he once served as a Temple Guard for the Jedi Order. As such, he is the first known case-besides that of Anakin Skywalker-of a Jedi of the Old Republic having sided with the Empire after Order 66. Filoni further revealed that the Grand Inquisitor was involved in the events surrounding Barriss Offee's betrayal of the Jedi Order, and that hearing her denounce the corruption of the Jedi Order and the Senate may have had a role in his eventual turn to the dark side.