Inquisitor was a rank used within the Inquisitorius Program of the Galactic Empire. As high-ranking members of the Empire, their main purview was to hunt surviving Jedi in the aftermath of Order 66 for the purpose of elimination or induction into the Inquisitorius, where they could be made to serve Emperor Palpatine as agents of the dark side.
The Grand Inquisitor led the Inquisitors. Among the Inquisitors ranks were Brothers and Sisters, the Second Sister, Third Brother, Third Sister, Fourth Sister, Fifth Brother, Sixth Brother, Seventh Sister, Eighth Brother, Ninth Sister, and Tenth Brother. A female, a red-skinned individual, and a Twi'lek, also served as Inquisitors.
- "Who are they?"
"Inquisitors. Many were Jedi who turned to the dark side. Now, they hunt their own kind."
- ―Leia Organa and Obi-Wan Kenobi, upon seeing Fourth Sister and Fifth Brother
Roles and power
- "The Inquisitorius. A project of mine, long planned. Slaves to the light side once, now awake. Hunters, one and all."
"What do they hunt?"
"Why, Jedi, of course."
- ―Darth Sidious and Darth Vader
A high-ranking title within the Galactic Empire, Inquisitors were mainly tasked with identifying and either capturing young Force-sensitive individuals or eliminating them, including former Jedi, Padawans, and those originating from other Force-wielding traditions. Inquisitors also acted as enforcers, eliminating political dissidents and threats such as rebel factions and Old Republic sympathizers. Their nature, objective, and membership were kept secret from most other branches of the Empire.
As agents under the command of the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, Inquisitors held a high status in the Empire and had discretionary authority to commandeer and command Imperial assets required to complete their mission. Inquisitors personally commanded Purge Troopers. Select Inquisitors also held a commanding status within the ranks of Inquisitorius. Inquisitors were subordinate to the Grand Inquisitor and other select high-ranking Imperial positions, such as Grand Moff.
Skills and training
- "The Inquisitors are formidable fighters. They are former Jedi!"
"And they fight like it. Defensive. Moving to attack only when there is no other choice. The Jedi taught that a battle could be counted a victory even if both parties survive. This error has infected the Inquisitors' tactics."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor and Darth Vader
During their first years of service, the Inquisitors were weak in the dark side of the Force, for their fighting style was reminiscent of their Jedi training. In order to rectify this, Darth Vader trained them to change their fighting style from a defensive style to an offensive one. Some of Vader's training sessions caused some Inquisitors to lose limbs as a lesson in loss. As they were servants of the Sith, Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious also ensured that the Inquisitors weren't privy to all the knowledge and skills of a Sith Lord. In time, Inquisitors grew in power and skill, though no more than their Sith masters allowed them to be, and came to be considered some of the most skilled fighters in the galaxy.
- "How did you know?"
"That you were a fake? An Inquisitor without a lightsaber? You must think me a fool…"
- ―Lina Graf and Vaneé, on the former's disguise as an Inquisitor
The Inquisitors wore black and grey bodysuits with armor, and were equipped with crimson-bladed lightsabers. Inquisitors typically used double-bladed spinning lightsabers, which were equipped with a spinning mechanism that allowed the saber to be spun automatically in order to improve their ability to deflect incoming attacks.
- "During the early years of the Empire, the red blades of the Inquisitorius cut a swath through the galaxy as they wiped any remaining traces of the Jedi Order from existence. Once the Jedi were finally considered extinct by the Empire, the Inquisitorius vanished into the darkness as well."
- ―Luke Skywalker
The rank of Inquisitor was active by 19 BBY in the aftermath of the Order 66. Fearing the threat that the surviving Jedi posed to his rule, Emperor Palpatine created the Inquisitorius to track down and corrupt or eliminate the last remaining Jedi. The Emperor then tasked his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, with training the former Jedi in the dark side to become Inquisitors in their service. The Inquisitors were led by the the Grand Inquisitor, who had been personally chosen by the Emperor and came to work alongside Vader. As Dark Lord of the Sith, Vader governed the Inquisitorius in the name of his master, Emperor Palpatine.
In 14 BBY, the Second Sister and Ninth Sister hunted down the Padawan survivor Cal Kestis and his crew on the Stinger Mantis. The Second Sister took a personal interest in Kestis, as she used him to find Eno Cordova's holocron, which contained a copy of a list of Force-sensitive children made during the final days of the Jedi Order, in an effort win the favor of Emperor Palpatine. Both the Second Sister and Ninth Sister were ultimately defeat by Cal Kestis, with the former having a change of faith after her former Jedi Master, Cere Junda, apologized for her role in her transformation as an Inquisitor. With Darth Vader perceiving her change of faith as failure, she was executed by the Dark Lord.
Blaise Zirkonn, a Force-sensitive agent of the Inquisitorius who worked with the organization for nearly a decade, hoped to be promoted to the rank of Inquisitor. In 4 BBY, after the death of the Grand Inquisitor, the Seventh Sister became a vital commander within the ranks of Inquisitorius. She and other Inquisitors sought to ultimately replace their previous leader as the new Grand Inquisitor, though she was ultimately killed alongside the Fifth Brother and the Eighth Brother.
Eventually, the Empire came to consider the Jedi to be finally extinct, and the Inquisitorius were said to have vanished with them. By around the time of the Battle of Yavin, Vader was considered to be the last of the Jedi religion left in the Empire.
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Notes and references
- The earliest chronological appearance of an Inquisitor was in Darth Vader 6 which takes place shortly after Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Therefore, it can be deduced that the Inquisitor was founded by 19 BBY.
- Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away states that Ahsoka Tano fought Darth Vader on Malachor three years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 0 BBY. Therefore, the Mission to Malachor took place in 3 BBY. Star Wars Helmet Collection 26 (Databank A-Z: Imperial Future Council–Inquisitorius) states that within three standard years of the mission, the Inquisitorious no longer existed. Therefore, the Inquisitorius must have been dissolved between 3 and 0 BBY.
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