- "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
The Inquisitorius, also known as the Inquisitorius Program, the Order of Inquisitors, and the Imperial Inquisition, was an organization of mysterious, Force-sensitive dark side agents who served the Sith-ruled Galactic Empire. Members of the Inquisitorius were called Imperial Inquisitors, or simply Inquisitors, and were also nicknamed "Red Blades." They were tasked with hunting down the remaining Jedi who had survived Order 66 at the end of the Clone Wars as part of the Great Jedi Purge, as well as other political dissidents, and retrieving any children identified as Force-sensitive. The Inquisitors were governed by the Sith Lord Darth Vader, who was the apprentice to the Galactic Emperor, Sheev Palpatine, and led by an individual known only by his title, the Grand Inquisitor.
In the years leading up to the Galactic Civil War, the Inquisitors came into conflict with several Jedi and groups affiliated with surviving or former Jedi as part of the purge. One of these groups were the Spectres, a rebel cell that included the Jedi Purge survivor Kanan Jarrus and his Padawan, Ezra Bridger. Their pursuit of the Spectres also brought them into contact with another Jedi Purge survivor, the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, as well as the former Sith Lord Maul, who sought revenge against the Sith for casting him out and killing his brother and mother. By the time of the Galactic Civil War, the Empire believed the Jedi Order to be largely extinct, and the Inquisitorius were reported to have vanished.
- "I foresee an army of Force-talented spies in my service, trained in the dark side to peer into every corner of the galaxy from afar. And my enemies would be helpless against such vision."
- ―Darth Sidious
Knowing that there would be some Jedi who could survive his planned beginning of a Great Jedi Purge through Order 66, Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious began to lay the seeds of the Inquisitorious program years before he became Galactic Emperor. During the Clone Wars, Sidious hired bounty hunter Cad Bane to kidnap several Force-sensitive children who would become Jedi younglings in the near future. At his private facility, Sidious intended to put the children through a slave conditioning process, having foreseen he would have "an army" of Force-sensitive spies in his service. Nevertheless, this operation was prevented by Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Padawan Ahsoka Tano, who rescued the children and escaped the ruined facility with them. Despite this setback, Sidious made more facilities and altered more nanny droids, ensuring the continuation of his plan to use Mustafar as a base to turn infants to his side.
As the war carried on, Sidious also kept an eye on Jedi who had grievances with the Jedi High Council or the role the Jedi Order was playing in the conflict. He secretly offered these select few a chance at surviving Order 66, so long as they joined him and the dark side of the Force. When the war ended, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, who was secretly Darth Sidious, formed the Galactic Empire and declared the Jedi its enemy. Using Jedi Master Mace Windu's attempt to have him arrested as justification, the new Emperor activated Order 66, which had been hardwired into almost all of the Republic's clone troopers by the Sith prior to the war, and instructed them to kill the Jedi. Nevertheless, as Sidious had predicted, some Jedi survived the mass–killing, so he planned for the Inquisitors to hunt those who survived until the light of the Jedi was extinguished once and for all.
Sidious also turned Skywalker to the dark side to be his apprentice, giving him the name "Darth Vader." Whereas Skywalker had the potential to be a Sith in his eyes, Sidious had selected those who would become Inquisitors specifically because he felt they had no chance of becoming powerful enough to challenge him. The majority of the Jedi were killed by the clones but several managed to escape, especially after Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi sent out a distress signal from the Jedi Temple, warning the survivors off. As such, several Jedi had survived the initial purge and gone into hiding. Fearing the threat the surviving Jedi posed to his rule, Emperor Palpatine created the Inquisitors to track down and corrupt or eliminate the last remaining Jedi. In a similar vein to how Skywalker had fallen, the Inquisitors were all former Jedi that had fallen to the dark side and pledged themselves to Palpatine.
Many Inquisitors joined the dark side due to torture or corruption. Upon joining the ranks of the Inquisitorious, the Force-sensitives effectively lost their identities; they were given numerial designations to represent their entry into an organization that perverted everything the Jedi had stood for. A Pau'an Jedi Temple Guard, who became "the Grand Inquisitor," joined Sidious when the Sith Lord promised him access to the Jedi Archives. The Ninth Sister was the former Jedi Masana Tide. The Tenth Brother was the former Jedi Master Prosset Dibs, who joined Sidious at the end of the Clone Wars. The Second Sister was former Jedi Padawan Trilla Suduri, who was captured shortly after Order 66 and tortured into joining the dark side. Darth Vader soon discovered the program and was put in charge of them by his Sith Master. Vader trained the Inquisitors in the ways of the dark side of the Force. As part of their training, a number of Inquisitors had parts of their bodies severed by Vader's lightsaber so that they would not forget the lesson of loss. After Vader cut off Sixth Brother's left lower arm, the Grand Inquisitor began questioning Vader's training techniques. Vader claimed that he was intending to have the Inquisitors to abandon their tendency to fight defensively as former Jedi and adopt more offensive moves.
Hunting the Jedi
Following the formation of the Empire, the Grand Inquisitor worked with Darth Vader on locating the Jedi Order's Chief Librarian, Jocasta Nu. During his research in the Archives, the Grand Inquisitor, who held a personal dislike of Nu because she had been the one to deny him the chance to learn from the Archives' secrets, was confronted by Nu after he openly insulted the knowledge he was reading. At first the Grand Inquisitor planned to kill Nu but when he defeated her in combat, he was prevented from killing her by Lord Vader. As Vader and the Grand Inquisitor argued, Nu was able to make her escape. However, Vader was able to pursue Nu and killed her himself without the Grand Inquisitor's help.
Sometime later, the Ninth Sister accompanied Vader to investigate reports of a possible Jedi in a cantina on Cabarria. The reports turned out to be false and Vader was attacked by three bounty hunters. The Ninth Sister refused to help Vader and when he overpowered the bounty hunters, they retreated and stole the Ninth Sister's speeder at gunpoint. Vader chased and captured them, questioning them of who they were hired by. Vader found out that the culprit had come from the top of the Imperial ranks and the Ninth Sister flew him back to Coruscant. However, when arriving at Coruscant their communications were deliberately jammed, stopping the Ninth Sister from sending their clearance codes. This caused the Coruscant defenses to attack them and Vader pushed the Ninth Sister off the pilot chair to take control of the ship. They subsequently crashed onto Coruscant and Vader left the Ninth Sister with the ship. Throughout the Imperial Era, the Inquisitors brought terror to the Jedi who had survived Order 66 and helped cement Imperial rule.
Mission to Mon Cala
- "As the Inquisitors were once Jedi themselves, and the clones were built to kill Jedi, well…you see the result."
- ―Ferren Barr, on the Inquisitors and their Purge Troopers
About one year after the rise of the Empire, Palpatine suspected a Jedi of influencing the deteriorating negotiations on Mon Cala. He sent Vader and three Inquisitors to investigate this, accompanied by a squad of elite clone Purge Troopers. Upon their arrival, the Imperial Ambassador Telvar was assassinated and his superior, Moff Tarkin, sent down his forces to invade Mon Cala. Vader and the Inquisitors Sixth Brother, Ninth Sister and Tenth Brother fought at Dac City and captured the king, Lee-Char. The Ninth Sister interrogated Lee-Char for the location of the Jedi but they were soon swept away by large waves generated by some of Mon Cala's large creatures.
The three Inquisitors survived the cataclysm and picked up Vader on an Imperial submarine. The Ninth Sister revealed to Vader that she had obtained the location of the Jedi and they made for the place. Upon arriving there, they were met by the Jedi and his six disciples. The group scattered, except for one that shot at the submarine until Vader crushed his helmet. As they chased the rest of them, another sacrificed himself to slow them down. Vader and the Inquisitors soon reached Bel City and made chase for the remaining of the group. Vader received a request from Moff Tarkin to capture Lee-Char and end the war on Mon Cala. Vader agreed and left the Inquisitors and their squad of clones to find the Jedi.
The Inquisitors soon found the Jedi and his last two disciples. The Sixth Brother cut down one of the disciples and they surrounded the other two. The Jedi then stepped forward and faced them, revealing their names from when they were Jedi. The Ninth Sister confronted the Jedi, identifying him as a Padawan named Ferren Barr. Barr ignored her and told them that they were still truly Jedi, acknowledging the clones and their role in Order 66. Barr used the Force to take the helmets off the Purge Troopers and saw that they were newer clones that were commissioned after Order 66. Knowing they had not had their inhibitor chips activated, he used a mind trick on them, saying "execute Order 66."
The trick worked and the Purge Troopers turned on their three superiors. They quickly succeeded in gunning down the Tenth Brother, although the Sixth Brother and Ninth Sister were able to deflect their shots. Barr and his last disciple, Verla, then leaped over the battle and escaped. Keen to intercept them, the Sixth Brother and Ninth Sister used their combined powers to Force push the troopers to the side. However, the Sixth Brother betrayed Ninth Sister, cutting her leg off and leaving her to fend off the last of the troopers alone. After his escape, the Sixth Brother took a boat away with three stormtroopers.
Search for Ahsoka Tano
Shortly after the mission to Mon Cala, the Sixth Brother was searching for a possibly Force-sensitive child on Thabeska. However, he later abandoned this task after receiving word that a Force-sensitive being who received some level of Jedi training was hiding in the Outer Rim, and set out to hunt the individual in question, hoping to earn a promotion. The supposed Jedi was in fact former Padawan Ahsoka Tano, who had been hiding on Thabeska and the agricultural moon of Raada since Order 66 and the siege of Mandalore. Tano had since built up a resistance group on Raada. After a failed assault on the nearby Imperial Base, Ahsoka returned to Thabeska. When Hedala Fardi, the Force-sensitive child, told Ahsoka of "a shadow" that had come, Ahsoka went back to Raada, where The Sixth Brother had killed the entirety of the resistance group, with only Ahsoka's friend Kaeden Larte and her sister alive.
The Sixth Brother then took Kaedan, who had become close to Tano. The Sixth Brother used Kaeden to lay a trap for Tano and she revealed herself to him. The Sixth Brother then battled her, but Tano was able to identify his offensive fighting style and took advantage of it. Tano then reached out to his lightsaber's kyber crystals and they detonated the lightsaber, killing the Sixth Brother. Tano took his lightsaber crystals and fled the system with the rest of the citizens from Raada's sole settlement. Shortly afterwards, the Grand Inquisitor arrived and, unaware of Tano's identity, decided to hunt her himself, but not before informing Vader.
Hunt for Eeth Koth
- "Inquisitors--A woman and an infant escaped. Bring me the child."
"And the woman, Lord Vader?"
- ―Darth Vader and the Fifth Brother
Sometime after Vader's hunt on Chandar's Folly, he took three Inquisitors to a planet to hunt down the surviving Jedi known as Eeth Koth. Vader entered his house and interrupted Koth as his daughter had only just been born. Koth attempted to negotiate his way out of the situation but Vader made it clear he wasn't compliant and Koth attacked him, telling his wife, Mira, to run with his newborn daughter. The two took the fight outside and Vader threw him across the ground and told his Inquisitors to find the newborn and capture it. The Fifth Brother asked of what they should do about the mother and Vader informed him that she was irrelevant.
The three Inquisitors made haste into the city and the Fifth Brother suggested they split up. The other two agreed and they began searching in the city. The female Inquisitor decided to reach out into the Force to see if the Infant made any ripples, as it was Force-sensitive. Her attempt was successful and she managed to stop Mira and her child before they could reach her father's shuttle. Mira begged her to let her go, appealing to her woman to woman. The female Inquisitor told her to go and she ran into the shuttle. The Fifth Brother then arrived and was shocked by what she had just done. The Twi'lek Inquisitor arrived as well and told her that Vader would not take this lightly. However, the female Inquisitor wasn't finished yet and as the shuttle ascended, she used the Force to pull the baby from her mother's arms.
The Twi'lek Inquisitor asked the female Inquisitor why she had to do it the way she did. She explained that since Mira had appealed to her woman to woman, she had decided to let her trust her before snatching her baby and thus her soul, as she would never trust another woman, and likely another person, again. The three Inquisitors returned to Vader, who was gradually beating Koth in the duel. Koth saw the baby in the female Inquisitor's hands and in his shock, Vader cut him down. The group returned to the Coruscant tower on their Zeta-class shuttle and gave the baby to a pair of nursemaids. Vader asked the Grand Inquisitor of their next target. The Grand Inquisitor brought Vader to see the list of the final confirmed Jedi survivors. There, he explained to Vader that they had hidden well and he concluded that they must wait until one of them made a mistake in order to find them.
- "What are we looking for, Lord Vader?"
"Two Jedi. Male and female. They will attack us. It is only a matter of time. Be wary. They are cunning. Their direction of attack may be…unorthodox."
- ―Two Imperial shock troopers, and Darth Vader
The Fifth Brother notified Vader of the female Inquisitor's actions during their hunt and Vader suspected her to be a traitor, especially as he suspected her and the Twi'lek Inquisitor of having feelings for each other. Later on, the female Inquisitor and the Twi'lek Inquisitor were toasting to Eeth Koth's death with a drink that came from the planet where they had found him. The female Inquisitor then brought up Vader and asked of what he would do when all the Jedi were finally dead. The Twi'lek Inquisitor told her he would find his way around it, saying he would always find something to kill. At that moment, Vader interrupted their conversation, igniting his lightsaber. The Grand Inquisitor asked if this was a test, to which Vader coldly denied. Vader attempted to kill the female Inquisitor, but the Twi'lek Inquisitor halted him with his lightsaber and Vader confirmed his suspicions that the two had an attachment. The female Inquisitor ran away and Vader threw the other into the wall. He asked Vader why he attacked the female Inquisitor and he told the Twi'lek that it didn't matter because he had done it too. The Twi'lek Inquisitor ran and joined the female Inquisitor as she escaped the Coruscant Tower.
Vader made chase for the two rogue Inquisitors and took a speeder into Coruscant. The pair planned on killing Vader in order for them to be free from his presence in the galaxy. They therefore attacked Vader's speeder and the Sith lord jumped to other speeders as they cut those down as well with their lightsabers. The pair then resorted to throwing speeders at the Sith but he either threw them back or cut them down. However, the two Inquisitors eventually managed to topple a statue onto Vader and he fell onto a balcony, temporarily immobilized. They attempted to finish him off but he used the force to freeze them in mid air. The two Inquisitors turned to one another to spill out their last words and Vader made their lightsabers activate to stab the pair and kill them at the same time. Sidious later asked Vader why he thought the two were traitors and he explained to his master of their attachment and how the female Inquisitor briefly let Eeth Koth's child escape. Nonetheless, the Emperor was displeased with Vader's rampage that killed a Gran senator who was important to his plans and had the Inquisitorius relocated offworld, to the water moon Nur.
- "If we do not stop the Inquisitor, you will. If we do not stop the Empire, you will."
- ―Nuhj, in a recording made just prior to his death
An Inquisitor was sent by the Empire to hunt a small group of surviving Jedi who had recently been discovered in a Jedi shrine on Anoat. The Inquisitor went there to find the Jedi Mususiel, who stayed to save the others. The Inquisitor killed her and tracked the others to Mataou, where the agent pursued one of the others, named Zubain Ankonori, and slew him. The last two Jedi, Nuhj and Khandra, fled to Embertown on the planet Burnin Konn, but the Inquisitor soon followed and attacked them in a chromium mine near Wickridge. The Inquisitor slew them and their belongings were stored in an Imperial vault on Nar Hypa.
Dathomir and Jerserra
At one point, a female Inquisitor was on Dathomir when she encountered Jerserra, a Dathomirian from the Nardithi Nightsisters, a sect of the Nightsisters. She took in Jerserra as her secret apprentice and spent a number of years training her in combat and lightsaber combat. The Inquisitor hoped to use Jerserra against the other Inquisitors but Jerserra eventually came to believe her abilities outmatched her Master's, and before long, the Inquisitor was slain by Jerserra, who covered up her murder and took her lightsaber as her own.
Hunting Cal Kestis
- "We seek a dangerous fugitive. This is no common anarchist, but a devotee of the treasonous Jedi Order."
- ―The Second Sister tells a group of people that they are looking for a Jedi
The Second Sister and the Ninth Sister were sent by the Empire to hunt Cal Kestis, a former Padawan who was discovered on Bracca after an Imperial viper probe droid witnessed him using the Force to save his friend Prauf. The Second Sister ordered a group of Bracca Scrappers, including Kestis and his friend Prauf, to reveal who the secret Jedi was. Prauf came forward to confess as the Jedi, but the Second Sister killed him on the spot, to where Kestis revealed his lightsaber in anger. Kestis was rescued by the Stinger Mantis crew and joined with former Jedi Knight Cere Junda on a secret mission to rebuild the Jedi Order, using a holocron that contained a list of Force sensitive children. The Second sister discovered the tomb of Mitkrull and after revealing her identity, set a trap for Kestis, which he escaped from. The Grand Inquisitor became aware of the fact that Kestis helped the rebel group known as the Partisans attack an Imperial refinery on Kashyyyk. The Ninth Sister told the Grand Inquisitor that Kestis would not return to the planet, although she was mistaken. Kestis defeated the Ninth Sister after she fought him on top of the Origin tree on Kashyyyk. When Kestis climbed back up, the Ninth sister duelled him and lost a hand before being pushed down the tree; her fate was unknown. The Second Sister was killed by Vader during the mission to Nur after she began to reconcile with Junda, her former Jedi master, who apologized for letting her fall to the dark side and become an Inquisitor. Kestis, Junda, and the Mantis crew escaped Fortress Inquisitorius, and Kestis subsequently destroyed the holocron to prevent the Empire from obtaining it, entrusting the fates of the children to the Force.
Encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi
In 9 BBY, the Grand Inquisitor, the Fifth Brother, and the mysterious Third Sister—who was also known by the name "Reva"—visited Tatooine and Daiyu. Reva became involved in a search for Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and encountered the moisture farmer Owen Lars.
Hunting the Spectres
- "You have great potential, but perhaps it is I that might teach you, as your master never achieved the rank of Jedi Knight. Did he?"
"Maybe not, but he took out the last Inquisitor. So I think I'll just stick with him."
"Yes, the death of the Grand Inquisitor was a surprise to all. Yet, it does present the rest of us with new opportunities."
- ―The Seventh Sister and Ezra Bridger
When rumors emerged of a Jedi leading a rebel cell on the planet Lothal reached the ears of the Empire, Vader sent the Grand Inquisitor to take care of the problem. After several encounters, the Grand Inquisitor succeeded in capturing Jarrus, but was defeated by the latter in a lightsaber duel during a rescue staged by the rebels and Jarrus's Padawan, Ezra Bridger. Rather than face his Master's punishment for his failure, the Grand Inquisitor killed himself. In the aftermath, Seventh Sister became a vital commander among the ranks of Inquisitorius.
During a skirmish with Phoenix Cell, Vader learned that Tano, who had been his apprentice during the Clone Wars, was still alive. Upon learning of this news, the Emperor ordered Vader to dispatch another Inquisitor to hunt the rebels down. As a slight alteration of the Emperor's commands, two Inquisitors—the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister—were assigned to do so. They confronted several crew members of the Ghost during a skirmish aboard an abandoned Republic medical station. Due to Garazeb Orrelios' quick-thinking, the rebels managed to escape the Inquisitors aboard the Phantom.
The death of the Grand Inquisitor was a great surprise for the other Inquisitors who saw new opportunities in hunting down the ones responsible. In addition to the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother, several other Inquisitors began to scour the galaxy searching for the two Jedi who had defeated their leader, all of them hoping to advance their own position within the Inquisitorius. While intercepting transmissions from Mustafar, Tano discovered that the Inquisitors' second mission was to kidnap Force-sensitive children. Meanwhile, the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother kidnapped the infants Alora and Pypey above the planets Chandel and on Takobo respectively. This brought them into contact with the crew of the Ghost and Ahsoka, who soundly defeated them in combat. Later, the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother took part in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the rebels in Garel City.
Three years before the Battle of Yavin, the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister spent several months pursuing Jarrus and Bridger. On one occasion, they managed to track the Jedi to the planet Oosalon where they fought with them. Despite their efforts, the Jedi managed to escape and regroup with the Spectres. Later, the Inquisitors followed Jarrus, Bridger, and Tano to the Lothal Jedi Temple. After forcing their way into the temple, the two Inquisitors were attacked by ghostly apparitions of the Jedi Temple Guards. One of these apparitions was the former Grand Inquisitor. The Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister survived the encounter and reported to Vader, who vowed to put an end to the Jedi threat.
Crossover at Malachor
Sometime after the events of the Lothal Jedi Temple, Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka traveled to Malachor, following a hint given by Jedi Master Yoda. When they arrived there, the Eighth Brother, who was already there hunting an individual known as the shadow, attacked them. Soon after, Bridger became separated from the others and encountered the former Sith apprentice Maul. As this was happening, Tano and Jarrus chased and captured the Eighth Brother, who unbeknownst to them sent a distress signal to his fellow Inquisitors, the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister. Maul and Bridger together entered the Sith temple on Malachor and retrieved the Sith holocron inside.
Shortly later, they found the Fifth Brother, Seventh Sister and Eighth Brother dueling Tano and Jarrus. Maul and Bridger intervened and the Inquisitors were forced to retreat. While attempting to plant the Sith holocron in the Sith temple's obelisk, they encountered the Inquisitors once again. Maul began Force choking the Seventh Sister and urged Bridger to strike her down. When Bridger could not bring himself to do it, Maul then threw his lightsaber at her, killing her instantly. Maul and Bridger then found Tano and Jarrus once more fighting the Fifth and Eighth Brothers. After Tano destroyed the Fifth Brother's lightsaber, Maul made quick work of him with a fatal slash to the gut. During this time, Jarrus had also managed to slice the Eighth Brother's lightsaber. Cornered and outnumbered, the Eighth Brother attempted to escape by using his lightsaber to hover away but the lightsaber malfunctioned in flight and sent the Eighth Brother plummeting to his death at the base of the temple below.
- "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
In 2 BBY, around six months after the Inquisitors' failure incident on Malachor, the Empire dispatched Grand Admiral Thrawn to finish what Darth Vader and his Inquisitors started. Thrawn pursued the rebels until his defeat during the Liberation of Lothal.
Another Inquisitor was the Third Brother, whose actions and fate were mysteries to those unfamiliar with him, with the same being true for those unfamiliar with the Third Sister. Another member of the organization, the Fourth Sister, also had an unknown fate, although her armor would fall into the hands of Rebel Commander Lina Graf.
In 0 BBY, the Jedi Order was largely thought to be extinct by the Empire, and once their objective of wiping out the Jedi was completed, the Inquisitors themselves vanished as well. At a meeting aboard the first Death Star, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin expressed his belief that Vader was the only living practitioner of what he termed "the ancient religion."
Palpatine deemed the inquisitors fully expendable and obsolete.
- "The Jedi aren't my story. So what if I'm meant to become one of these Inquisitors, instead?"
"I believe we've learned that they no longer exist."
"But what if they come back? What if my vision was of the future and I become some sort of anti-Jedi Knight. [...] What if the Force awakens and there are those who want to snuff it out again? What if there are dark side users who are meant to do such a thing, and I'm meant to become one of them?"
- ―Karr Nuq Sin and RZ-7
Although the Inquisitors disappeared from the galaxy, their actions were still felt for decades to come. The Force-sensitive Verla, who had escaped the Inquisitorius' attack on Ferren Barr and his disciples on Mon Cala, came to fear the dark siders and fled into exile on the planet Serelia, where she became a fisherwoman. When she was sought out by the Jedi-in-training Luke Skywalker around 3 ABY, she initially ran from the boy, believing him to be an agent of the Inquisitorius. Later, she explained to the uneducated Skywalker that Vader and the Inquisitors had hunted down and destroyed the Jedi in the Great Purge, leaving her to believe that anyone who aspired to be a Jedi was nothing more than a fool. Despite her warnings, however, Skywalker insisted on continuing the Jedi path, and on Verla's instruction traveled to Tempes in the Outer Rim, searching to replace the lightsaber he had lost in a duel with Vader.
On Tempes, Skywalker discovered a horrifying secret: the spirit of the dead Grand Inquisitor haunted the walls of an ancient Jedi outpost. Despite his death above Mustafar, the Inquisitor's servitude to the Sith did not end with death. Darth Vader prevented the Grand Inquisitor's spirit from disappearing and forced him to reside on Tempes, where he sat for years to protect the outpost from people seeking the Jedi artifacts held within. The fiery spirit battled the young Jedi aspirant Luke Skywalker, hunting Jedi even in death. The ensuing duel ended when Skywalker disarmed the Inquisitor by cutting off his hand and hitting him in the chest, making the spirit disappear. Sometime after Skywalker's departure, Vader, who felt the confrontation between Skywalker and the Inquisitor through the Force, arrived at the outpost. The Inquisitor confessed that the boy was too strong and tried to convince Vader to free him from his curse. Vader, however was dissatisfied that the Inquisitor had let Skywalker escape and ordered him to continue protecting the place. As for Skywalker, he eventually went on to overthrow the Sith and reforge the Jedi Order.
Around thirty years after the Battle of Yavin, the Inquisitors and their history, much like the Jedi they hunted, was little-known. By this time the antiques collector Dok-Ondar acquired a broken lightsaber that once belonged to the Grand Inquisitor. When Karr Nuq Sin, a Force-sensitive teenager seeking to understand his connection with the Force and the ways of the Jedi, visited Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities hoping to find Jedi artifacts, Dok-Ondar showed him the Inquisitor lightsaber. He explained the mission of the Inquisitors to Nuq Sin and the boy had never heard of them or the fact that the Jedi were hunted down after the Clone Wars. When Nuq Sin, who possessed the Force power of psychometry, touched the two broken pieces of the lightsaber he experienced two visions simultaneously: one of his former Jedi Padawan great-grandfather Naq Med fighting the Grand Inquisitor and another of the Grand Inquisitor fighting and killing a different Jedi. The overlapping visions gave Nuq Sin, who strongly resembled his relative, the impression that he had witnessed his future self kill a Jedi. The visions caused him to doubt whether he was meant to become a Jedi and fear that in his future the defunct Inquisitorius would be resurrected and he would become an Inquisitor.
The First Order, the government that rose from the ashes of the Empire following its fall after the New Republic's victory at the Battle of Jakku and the subsequent signing of the Galactic Concordance, used interrogation chairs, based on those used by the Inquisitorius, to extract information from their prisoners.
Around the time of the war between the First Order and the Resistance, the now-Jedi Master Luke Skywalker wrote a book chronicling what he knew of the history of the Jedi Order. In the book, Skywalker included a brief history of the Inquisitorius and their mission of hunting the Jedi, identified several of them by the names they bore as Inquisitors and noted that once the Jedi were considered extinct, the Inquisitors themselves vanished. He also wrote about the signature double-bladed spinning lightsabers used by Inquisitors. The Knights of Ren, a band of dark side warriors who served Darth Vader's grandson, Kylo Ren, in the same time period, would have been prime candidates to become Inquisitors in previous generations if they could have been tamed.
Status and command
Although the exact number of Inquisitors was kept secret, there may have been as many as twelve. Inquisitors utilized a Zeta-class shuttle named the Infernum in 18 BBY, and commanded Purge Troopers, elite death squads comprised of the last generation of clones brought online after the Jedi Purge. Due to the nature of their mission, Inquisitors had the power to commandeer any required Imperial Military forces, and all officers were to obey their orders. Any officer who came into contact with Force-sensitive beings was to immediately contact an Inquisitor to investigate the situation. Also, some Imperial officers disliked the interference of Inquisitors, such as Admiral Kassius Konstantine. When inducted into the ranks of the Inquisitorius, individuals left behind their names and took up new ones, being labelled Brother/Sister denoting their sexes.
- Tenth Brother: "Smells like fish."
- Ninth Sister: "That's just Sixth Brother."
- Tenth Brother: "More like fish, then."
- Sixth Brother: "Hilarious."
- ―The Tenth Brother and Ninth Sister make fun of Sixth Brother
The Inquisitors in the Inquisitorius held a mutual relationship with each other. Many had to work together on occasions where they were up against bigger threats. The female Inquisitor and the Twi'lek Inquisitor had a mutual friendship and always toasted to the death of every Jedi they hunted with a drink made on the planet of which they found them. However, being users of the dark side of the Force, the Inquisitors became power hungry, and a sense of competition grew between them, as they showed signs of mistrust between one another. Upon arriving at Mon Cala, the Sixth Brother was insulted by his two subordinates, the Ninth Sister and Tenth Brother.
Later on, the three aforementioned Inquisitors were caught up in a skirmish in Bel City and the Tenth Brother was killed. The other two helped each other clear a path but then the Sixth Brother betrayed the Ninth Sister, cutting off her leg and leaving her to the remainder of the enemy. The Sixth Brother later abandoned one of his mission to monitor and survey a suspected Force-sensitive child on Thabeska in favor of responding to a communications message about a confirmed force sensitive being and potential Jedi on Raada, hoping to obtain himself a promotion. A female Inquisitor trained her own apprentice to use against the other Inquisitors before she was betrayed and killed by her. During his search for the Spectres, the Seventh Sister decided to intervene with the Fifth Brother's hunt to obtain the kill for herself.
- "I've read the reports from the Inquisitorius. Vader and his monsters have done their job well. Few Jedi remain, if any."
- ―Tarkin on the Inquisitorius
The Inquisitors' primary objective was to hunt down and turn to the dark side (if possible) or kill (if not) Jedi who had survived the initial stages of the Great Jedi Purge. The Inquisitors' secondary objective was to prevent Force-sensitive children from falling into the hands of the remaining Jedi or using their skills against the Empire. As part of this strategy, an operation code-named Project Harvester was designed to identify cadets in Imperial academies across the galaxy who met the criteria that would identify them as Force-sensitive. Should they be identified as such, the cadets would be abducted and taken into custody for experimentation and corruption. Individuals who refused to serve the Galactic Empire would then be eliminated.
As well as Imperial cadets, Project Harvester also targeted infants that were identified as Force-sensitive. One of the infants they took was the daughter of former Jedi Master Eeth Koth. The baby was given to the Nursemaids after being taken. Besides hunting Jedi, the Inquisitors were also known to pursue other Force-sensitive opponents of the Sith, like the renegade dark sider Maul. The Inquisitor's hunt saw gradual success overtime. Moff Wilhuff Tarkin read reports from the Inquisitorius and saw that their hunt had rid the galaxy of most, if not all of the surviving Jedi. The success of their hunt was aided by their vast access to Imperial resources such as starships and combat personnel.
Despite being assigned to hunt and kill Jedi and other Force-sensitive targets, most of the Inquisitors were not skilled enough to take on powerful Force-users such as Jedi Masters or experienced Jedi Knights on their own. Two working in tandem were defeated by Ahsoka Tano, and three combined were unable to overcome the former Sith Lord Maul. This was compounded by the fact that there were a limited number of available Inquisitors which could be allocated to hunt a given Jedi target at any given time. To counter this, the members of the Inquisitorius were assigned command of their own contingent of Purge Troopers, infantry units who were specifically trained to kill Jedi. In situations where such forces were in limited supply or absent, Inquisitors could take command of other Imperial forces such as stormtroopers to supplement their existing forces throughout the course of a hunt.
Some Inquisitors were deemed to be capable enough hunters on their own to be trusted to conduct solo hunts like the Grand Inquisitor and Eighth Brother, with one Inquisitor being able to hunt down and kill four Jedi in the Anoat sector. When possible, Inquisitors were known to be dispatched in teams of two or three on any given Jedi hunt, as was the case won Mon Cala where the Sixth Brother, Ninth Sister, and Tenth Brother along with Darth Vader where dispatched to deal with the Jedi Ferren Barr. In the case of the pursuit of Eeth Koth, Fifth Brother was joined by two other Inquisitors alongside Darth Vader. On the hunt for Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis, both the Second Sister and Ninth Sister where dispatched to deal with him. Following the Grand Inquisitor's demise, both the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister worked in tandem to kill Kanan Jarrus and his apprentice Ezra Bridger.
- "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, typically of the double-bladed spinning lightsaber model that were also capable of spinning in a helicopter-like motion for escape due to their ringed emitters. The Tenth Brother was an exception, possessing two separate shoto lightsabers. The Inquisitors also developed interrogation chairs to assist in their questioning of suspected rebels or Jedi.
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
Being former Jedi meant the Inquisitors were weak in the dark side of the Force. Darth Vader noticed this when he began training them and sought to correct it. Vader aimed to cut the Inquisitors from their more defensive fighting style and make it only offensive. The end result was an aggressive fighting style aimed at quickly overpowering surviving Jedi, hampering their concentration and preventing them from falling back on their Force abilities. The Inquisitor's primary style of attacking emphasized hampering a Jedi's connection to the Force through a rapid blitz of fast and strong lightsaber strikes to open up gaps in an opponent's defenses, broad slashes and sweeps to unbalance an opponent, and rapid parrying counters to force them back on the defensive, which could prevent the Jedi from bringing their full power to bear in a duel. Another notable tactic used by Inquisitors was the usage of taunts in their duels; while useless against more seasoned Jedi Knights and Masters, could psychologically impact the performance of less experienced Jedi Knights and Padawans. Strong emotions, pain, and exhaustion could hamper a Jedi's connection to the Force by making them feel cut off and isolated.
Aside from their skills with a lightsaber, Inquisitors were trained in the use and application of dark side techniques such as mind probing. They were also well-trained interrogators and trackers, who were capable of using the Force to detect another Force sensitive's Force signature through vast distances. While the offensive techniques employed by Inquisitors made short work of fledgling Jedi Padawans and ill-prepared Jedi Knights, seasoned lightsaber duelists like Ahsoka Tano were able to circumvent such tactics with relative ease thanks. For Tano, this was owed to her experience dueling General Grievous on Florrum, a proficiency which she put to use when combating the Sixth Brother. One of Vader's first training sessions with the Inquisitors included teaching them loss by expending at least one of their limbs, such as the Sixth Brother's left forearm, the Fifth Brother's right hand, and the Ninth Sister's left eye.
Some of the Inquisitors had different strengths in fighting, such as the Grand Inquisitor who through his intrinsic studies at the Jedi Archives at the Coruscant Imperial Palace had detailed knowledge on all forms of Jedi lightsaber combat taught by the masters of the Jedi Order and thus was able to Identify the styles employed by the Jedi he hunted, the Ninth Sister who was stronger in reading emotions, the Fifth Brother who had keen senses that enabled him to sense the emotions and current location of his quarry, even across the vast expanse of space, the Second and Seventh Sisters who had keen tactical minds that enabled them to coordinate and allocate their forces with greater efficiency, the Eight Brother who as a Terrelian Jango Jumper had a physiology that afforded him great agility and endurance, the Tenth Brother who had exceptional hearing and intuition in-spite of his lack of eyes, and the Sixth Brother had keen deductive skills which enabled him to better predict the movement of his prey. Several of them also studied the records of the Jedi Order to familiarize themselves with their enemies' fighting techniques, making them dangerous fighters.
Behind the scenes
The Inquisitors first appeared in the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. Inquisitors were originally created for The Star Wars Sourcebook, a 1987 sourcebook for a Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game written by Bill Slavicsek and Curtis Smith.
At Dragon Con 2018, Rebels writer Henry Gilroy explained that in choosing former Jedi to join the Inquisitorius, Palpatine kept an eye on aggressive and selfish Jedi and those who could possibly be turned into Inquisitors.
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