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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. At some point, he became a member of the Jedi Order and rose to the rank of Jedi Knight. As a Jedi, he served in the Jedi Temple Guard, a group of Jedi tasked with defending the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
During the Clone Wars, in a period of protests against the Jedi High Council for their continued leadership over the war between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a bombing at the Jedi Temple rocked the Jedi Order. Although the true culprit was Padawan Barriss Offee, who believed that the Jedi Order had lost its way and were the true villains in the war against the Confederacy, she framed her friend and fellow Padawan Ahsoka Tano for the crime. Ahsoka fled into the Coruscant underworld, away from the Grand Army of the Republic forces that pursued her, but she was eventually captured and brought to the Jedi Temple. She was brought before the Jedi Council, who stripped her of her Padawan status and expelled her from the Jedi Order. The future Grand Inquisitor was one of the guardsmen who led Ahsoka from the Jedi Temple, and she was ultimately brought to trial before Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. During the trial, Ahsoka's master, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, uncovered Barriss's duplicity and had her arrested. The future Grand Inquisitor was one of the guards who escorted Barriss into the trial, where she admitted her guilt in front of the chancellor and was subsequently taken away by the guards. Ahsoka was exonerated, but she refused to rejoin the Jedi Order and left, as a result of feeling betrayed by the Council due to their refusal to believe in her innocence.
Fall to the Dark Side
The events with Barriss and Ahsoka left the future Grand Inquisitor feeling disaffected, and he lost faith in the Jedi Order. This left him susceptible to the pull of the dark side of the Force, and ultimately, at some point, he did fall to the dark side. At the end of the war, the Supreme Chancellor—secretly Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith—transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire and declared himself Emperor of the galaxy. The Inquisitor came into the service of the Empire and the Sith, though he was not a Sith himself. He was commanded by the Sith Lord Darth Vader, who was once Anakin Skywalker before his own fall to the dark side. Vader tasked the Inquisitor with hunting down and eliminating any Jedi who had survived Order 66, the order given to the Clone Troopers to destroy the Jedi Order. To accomplish this task, the Inquisitor was trained in the ways of the dark side and studied the records of the Jedi Temple in order to better know his enemies.
One such Jedi that the Inquisitor led to their death was Jedi Master Luminara Unduli. After the execution of Order 66, Luminara was captured and held in The Spire, a former Separatist-turned-Imperial prison on Stygeon Prime. At her end, Luminara was in the presence of the Inquisitor, who stood in the doorway of her cell as she walked into an execution chamber and died. The Inquisitor kept her remains in the prison cell, using them to lure other Jedi to their deaths when they heard rumors that Luminara was still alive. A holographic recording of Luminara and her execution was kept by the Empire as part of this ruse.
At some point, he became the Grand Inquisitor and led the Inquisitors. Among these Inquisitors were dark warriors such as the Fifth Brother, Sixth Brother, Seventh Sister and Eighth Brother. Like the Grand Inquisitor, these Inquisitors had their roots in the Jedi Order.
Age of the Empire
Evidence of Another Survivor
One year after the rise of the Empire, the Grand Inquisitor was alerted of the presence of a Force-sensitive being old enough to have received Jedi training on the farming moon of Raada. Though he wanted to hunt down the supposed Jedi himself, his talents were needed elsewhere and the task instead went to the Sixth Brother, who then went to Raada to lay a trap for the Force-sensitive. However, he was killed in the following battle and the Jedi, as well as the farmers who had rebelled against the recent occupation, escaped. Meanwhile, the Grand Inquisitor was alerted to the situation and traveled to the moon with a fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers to provide backup, but by the time they arrived, the insurgents were gone. The Grand Inquisitor personally examined the damage done by the battle and discovered the burnt corpse of the Sixth Brother. Having seen what became of his subordinate when he attempted to defeat the unknown Force Wielder with brute force alone, the Grand Inquisitor resolved to be more cautious when dealing with future targets. He then went back to his ship and instructed his agents to set a course back to base and to inform Darth Vader that they had found evidence of another survivor–who was in fact Ahsoka.
The Children of the Force
Years later, the Grand Inquisitor was contacted by Darth Vader, who told the Jedi hunter that the Emperor had foreseen a new threat rising to challenge his rule: the "children of the Force," who could not be allowed to become Jedi. Vader ordered the Inquisitor to hunt these individuals down and either make them serve the Empire or destroy them, along with any Jedi survivors who could train them. With the orders of the Emperor given, the Inquisitor told Vader that it would be done.
One method that the Inquisitor used to find Force-sensitive individuals was to look for cadets at the Academy on Lothal who met a set of criteria, one that indicated their ability to use the Force. One known target was Dhara Leonis. The Imperial authorities attempted to cover up her kidnapping by claiming that she had run away from the Academy. However, younger brother Zare Leonis suspected that the Empire was lying. To ascertain his sister's fate, Zare enrolled at the Academy the following year.
Some time later, fourteen years after the rise of the Empire, a group of rebels who operated on Lothal came to the attention of Agent Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau. The rebels rescued a group of Wookiees that had been enslaved in the spice mines of Kessel, a mission in which the rebel leader, Kanan Jarrus, used a lightsaber and revealed himself as a Jedi survivor. After the rebels escaped, Kallus contacted the Inquisitor and informed him about what happened on Kessel. The Inquisitor was pleased that Kallus informed him of the rebel cell and the Jedi in its ranks.
Trap on Stygeon Prime
The Grand Inquisitor laid a trap for Kanan and his Padawan, Ezra Bridger, in the Spire. The Empire was able to project an image suggesting that she was alive, and this information was then reported by Gall Trayvis, a former member of the Imperial Senate who claimed to have gone into exile after speaking out against the Empire—in reality, Trayvis was a loyal agent of the Empire, one who used his position to lure rebel groups into traps around the galaxy. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to rescue a Jedi survivor, the rebels undertook a mission to the Spire where they intended to rescue the Jedi Master.
Once in the prison, the rebels fought their way through Stormtroopers who were stationed there. Kanan and Ezra made it to the detention area, and Kanan believed he could sense the Jedi Master—though in actuality, it was the power from her bones. They entered the cell and saw a projected image of Luminara, which faded into a sarcophagus that revealed the remains of the Jedi Master. The Grand Inquisitor entered the cell, his lightsaber ignited, and approached the two Jedi, revealing that Luminara had been dead for many years. Kanan attacked the Inquisitor and the two engaged in lightsaber combat. The Inquisitor was able to correctly deduce that Kanan had been trained by Jedi Master Depa Billaba, as she had been a teacher of Form III lightsaber combat in close quarter fighting, which Kanan employed extensively. The two continued their duel within the cell until Ezra set off a small detonator that allowed him and Kanan to flee.
Though they had escaped the cell, the Grand Inquisitor pursued them and continued his fight with Kanan in the halls of the prison. He soon pushed Kanan away through the Force and, per Vader's command, attempted to convert Ezra to the dark side. The boy refused, however, and the Inquisitor prepared to strike him down, but Kanan used the Force to pin the Inquisitor to the ceiling, giving the two Jedi a chance to flee. The Grand Inquisitor followed them and chased them through the prison, before they met back up with their fellow rebels. Separated by a number of closed doors, the Inquisitor sliced through them with his lightsaber and arrived in time to see the rebels beginning to escape. He made one last attempt to stop them by throwing his lightsaber towards them, but Kanan deflected it and the rebels escaped aboard the Phantom.
Incident at the Imperial Academy
After his failure to stop the rebels on Stygeon Prime, the Inquisitor was contacted by Commandant Cumberlayne Aresko, the lead officer at the Imperial Academy on Lothal, who informed him of two students who potentially met his criteria for Force-sensitivity. He learned that these cadets were Dev Morgan—who, unknown to the Academy, was Ezra in disguise, who infiltrated the Academy to learn the location of a giant Kyber Crystal of great power—and Jai Kell. Having learned this information, the Inquisitor, speaking via hologram, told Aresko that he would arrive at the Imperial Academy the next day. Ezra overheard the conversation, and he and Kell escaped the Academy with Zare Leonis, who suspected that the Inquisitor was behind the disappearance of his sister, Dhara.
Upon his arrival at the Imperial Academy, Aresko and Agent Kallus informed him of Ezra and Kell's escape. The Jedi hunter was shown the datafiles on the two cadets and recognized "Dev Morgan" as Ezra from their encounter on Stygeon Prime. The Inquisitor informed Aresko that the incident was a black mark on the Academy's record, though he did have hope of learning more about the rebels, as Leonis was also present in the meeting. During the escape, Leonis had opted to stay behind so he could find out what happened to his sister, and pretended to try to stop Ezra and Kell upon their escape. The Inquisitor spoke to Leonis and told the cadet to tell him everything he knew about Ezra and Jai.
The Inquisitor was on Lothal for Empire Day when the rebels destroyed the prototype TIE Advanced v1. When the rebels attempted to smuggle Tseebo, an Imperial Information Office worker who had fled with Imperial secrets, off Lothal, he led a TIE Fighter squadron while piloting his own TIE Advanced v1 to stop them from escaping. He was able to plant an XX-23 S-Thread Tracer on their ship, the Ghost, moments before they jumped to hyperspace.
Realizing they were being tracked, Kanan and Ezra boarded the Phantom and ejected from the Ghost, flying it to Fort Anaxes. The Inquisitor took a squad of troops with him aboard a Sentinel-class Shuttle to confront the two Jedi. As the Inquisitor and his troopers entered the base, they spotted Kanan and Ezra along with a multitude of Fyrnocks. The two Jedi used the Force to command the Fyrnocks to attack the Stormtroopers. Kanan fought the Inquisitor once more, but he was easily overwhelmed and knocked out. Cornering Ezra, the Inquisitor told him to give into the dark side, and that his friends would die and that everything he fought for would be lost. Ezra briefly succumbed to the dark side and summoned a giant Fyrnock to attack the Inquisitor. Kanan reawakened, grabbing Ezra and reclaiming his lightsaber. After driving off the mother Fyrnock, the Inquisitor attempted to halt their escape, but they managed to board the Phantom, and destroy the Imperial shuttle. Accepting his failure, the Inquisitor simply stated that his Master would not be pleased.
Visions of Darkness
Having had his first experience with the dark side on Fort Anaxes, Ezra ventured to the Jedi Temple on Lothal with Kanan, who wanted to make sure that his Padawan could actually become a Jedi. Once inside the temple Ezra encountered visions of the Grand Inquisitor killing his friends, whom he had come to regard as his family. The Inquisitor first dueled and killed Kanan in the vision, before entering the Ghost and killing the crew inside. Soon thereafter, the vision of the Grand Inquisitor moved to kill Ezra himself. Ezra realized, however, that he was not afraid of dying. Rather, he was afraid of losing those he cared about and being abandoned like he was when he lost his parents at a young age—a fear represented through the threat of the Inquisitor. Once Ezra realized what his fear was, the vision of the Grand Inquisitor disappeared.
The Inquisitor was present in the Imperial Complex hangar when Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin arrived to investigate the situation on Lothal. Reports of the rebel activities had reached the highest levels of the Imperial government and worries had begun to emerge as Lothal's industries were vital for the Empire's expansion into the Outer Rim. Immediately upon arriving, Tarkin berated Minister Maketh Tua and Agent Kallus for their inability to stop the Rebellion. He also dismissed the rumors that a Jedi was leading the rebels, claiming that all the Jedi had died during the Purge and that he knew because he had witnessed it.
Later that day, Tarkin summoned Aresko and Taskmaster Myles Grint who had been pursuing the rebels for some time and who had failed at every turn. After a brief conversation during which he revealed that other rebel cells were active in the Empire and that the rumors of a Jedi leading a Rebellion could spark hope and encourage unity, Tarkin informed the assembled dignitaries that there would be consequences for failure henceforth. Upon these words, the Inquisitor activated his lightsaber directly behind Aresko and Grint and triggered the spinning feature, decapitating the two officers as a horrified Tua and Kallus watched on. When Kallus discovered that the Rebels were planning to strike at the Lothal Communication Tower, Tarkin instructed him to let them enter the tower but prepare his troops to intervene as soon as they did. After Kallus left, Tarkin told the Inquisitor that this was his chance to redeem himself for his previous failures. The Pau'an promised the Grand Moff that his faith would be rewarded.
After the Rebels struck the tower, Kallus and his troops intervened, surrounding the tower and forcing the Rebels to escape to the roof. Only Kanan remained behind to give them time to escape, at which point the Inquisitor arrived to confront the Jedi. Kanan destroyed the console giving them access to the tower. Once again, the Inquisitor and the Jedi fought, with the former noticing that Kanan had improved his technique. However, the Inquisitor proved the strongest of the two once again and he subdued Kanan with the Force. However, the rest of the Rebels successfully escaped. With Kanan in custody, Tarkin arrived and was given the captured Jedi just as a signal broadcast by the rebels begun to transmit by the tower. Tarkin gave orders for the tower to be destroyed before leaving with his prisoner.
After Kanan was captured, he was brought aboard Tarkin's flagship in orbit above Lothal: the Sovereign. Tarkin and Kallus proceed to interrogate Kanan with a mind probe but the Jedi proved stronger than this tactic. As Tarkin grew more frustrated with the lack of results, the Inquisitor arrived and told them that Jedi were trained to resist mind probes. Instead, he claimed that pain would be a more effective technique, as Jedi still felt it. The Inquisitor used the Force to try and pry the information from Kanan's mind but, once again, the Jedi resisted. Instead, the Inquisitor electrocuted Kanan to make him talk. However, the rebel proved to be far stronger than he believed and he resisted the torture. The Inquisitor came to believe that Kanan did not know anything of a larger Rebellion. Tarkin eventually suggested to transfer him to a facility which had never failed to gain results. The Sovereign then departed Lothal for Mustafar.
Over Mustafar, the Inquisitor continued his interrogation of Kanan, asking him about other rebels he may have known. Specifically, he wanted to know about a mysterious rebel known as "Fulcrum". Kanan still refused to talk so the Inquisitor changed tactics: he asked Kanan how he had survived Order 66. When Kanan failed to answer, the Inquisitor revealed that he knew how; Kanans' Master, Depa Billaba, had sacrificed herself to save him, losing her own life in the process. The Inquisitor taunted Kanan, asking him if he remembered what his Master's last words were and Kanan answered that she told him to run. The Inquisitor told Kanan that he could not save his friends anymore than he could save his Master because he feared his own power and did not even dare wear his lightsaber in public because of it. When alarms began going off, the Inquisitor was unsurprised to find that the other rebels had come to rescue their friend.
Confrontation aboard the Sovereign
After Ezra broke Kanan out of his cell, they headed back for their evacuation ship through the generator complex. The Inquisitor waited for them and ignited his lightsaber. Kanan borrowed Ezra's lightsaber and attacked the Inquisitor. As he was about to reach him, he activated the lightsaber's stun gun, surprising his opponent. The two engaged in a lightsaber duel with Kanan using both the blade and the stun gun to attack the Inquisitor. When Ezra used the Force to snatch Kanan's lightsaber from the Imperial agent's belt, the Inquisitor disengaged from the duel with Kanan and, activating his second blade, claimed that he would finally get the challenge that he had always wanted. After a brief engagement, he used the Force to push Kanan back before throwing his spinning lightsaber at Ezra, who fell from the pathway, to Kanan's horror.
Distraught at the apparent loss of his Padawan, Kanan remained on his knees for a while as the Inquisitor stood over him, smiling sadistically at the Jedi's obvious anguish. However, he eventually pulled himself together, remembering his Jedi training and rose to his feet. When the Inquisitor asked him what would happen now that no one else would die for him, Kanan replied that he no longer had anything left to fear. He then used the Force to draw his lightsaber to him, using both it and Ezra's. After saluting each other, the Inquisitor and the Jedi resumed their duel. This time however, Kanan proved a much more effective foe and he gradually started to drive the Inquisitor back, the latter of whom began to show fear and uncertainty for the first time. When the Inquisitor came perilously close to the edge, Kanan interrupted the duel to say that his foe was right: he was a coward but that he had discovered that there was something far more powerful than fear: the Force. The Inquisitor made his blades spin to defend himself, but Kanan destroyed the Inquisitor's lightsaber and the Imperial agent fell off the edge, catching the side of the pathway in his fall. The two halves of his lightsaber hit the generator, causing it to catch fire and starting a chain reaction within the Sovereign.
As Kanan stood over his defeated foe, the Inquisitor looked up at him and told him that his defeat would unleash something far worse upon them all. Knowing the punishment he would receive for his failure, the Inquisitor told the Jedi that there were some things far more frightening than death before letting himself fall into the exploding generator, killing himself.
The Inquisitor's warning to Kanan proved true. With their primary agent on Lothal dead and a growing Rebellion in the galaxy, the Empire sent out a far deadlier agent to Lothal to root out and destroy the rebels: Darth Vader himself. After Vader attacked and crippled the Rebel Fleet and learned that Ahsoka, was still alive and in league with the Rebellion, the Emperor ordered Vader to dispatch another Inquisitor to hunt the rebels. Vader sent the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister, both of whom hoped to become the new Grand Inquisitor.
When the Seventh Sister was interrogating Ezra on a abandoned Republic Medical Station, 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. Ezra and his companions were able to escape and inform the Rebellion that there was more Inquisitors.
Some time after the death of the Grand Inquisitor, Kanan and Ezra traveled with Ahsoka to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to seek the guidance of Jedi Master Yoda, with whom Kanan and Ezra had communed with from there before. It was there that they hoped to find guidance for how to deal with the threat of the Inquisitors, who attacked the rebels at every turn. While in the temple, Kanan entered a vision in which he saw a Jedi Temple Guard known as the Sentinel within a dojo. Unknown to Kanan, this was a vision of the Grand Inquisitor, as the Jedi he once was, conjured by Master Yoda as a means of communicating with the young Jedi. The Sentinel warned Kanan that Ezra would fall to the dark side of the Force and that the boy had to be eliminated. Kanan refused and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel. By the end of the duel, Kanan refused to fight any further and admitted that while he may not be able to protect Ezra forever, he would continue to do his best to train him. The Sentinel looked as if he was about to strike Kanan down, but instead knighted him. Kanan asked what everything that had happened meant, and the Sentinel then removed his mask to reveal the face of the Grand Inquisitor and said that it meant Kanan was now a Jedi Knight, as the Grand Inquisitor once was. As the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother descended on the temple, the Sentinel told Kanan to flee and said he would hold off the enemy. The vision of the Sentinel, flanked by other Jedi Temple Guards, surrounded the shocked Inquisitors in a ring as Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka fled from the Jedi Temple.
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 even in battle.
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 Grand 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. Also the final battle battle between him, Kanan, and Ezra was similar to Maul's battle with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace.
- 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.