- "Never the most popular of people, Torbin had hundreds of beings determined to murder him."
- ―Voren Na'al
Laddinare Torbin was a male Grand Inquisitor who served the Imperial Inquisitorius during the years of the Imperial era. During the waning days of the Galactic Republic, Torbin served as the Director of Information of the Judicial Department, acting as a spokesman for the Department and the Jedi Order. After the establishment of the New Order in 19 BBY, he was inducted into a body that hunted down surviving Jedi and other relics of the Old Republic: the Inquisitorius.
Torbin eventually replaced Hydra as Grand Inquisitor, becoming one of the Empire's most exalted dignitaries. He was responsible for the dissolution of the Church of the First Frequency, and after a mission with fellow Inquisitors Ameesa Darys and Antinnis Tremayne went awry, he engaged Dark Jedi Arden Lyn in combat, cutting off her arm. Rather than killing her, however, he presented her to Emperor Palpatine, and she became one of his Hands. Torbin was an immensely unpopular figure and was the target of many assassination attempts; one was foiled by Odumin in the Corporate Sector, though Torbin's luck ran out one month later when he was killed by an assassin droid on Weerden.
- "Especially in such times, security takes precedent. There are enemies of the Republic that could exploit such information."
- ―Torbin, speaking about the People's Inquest's request to see the Jedi Order's finances
Laddinare Torbin first rose to prominence as a member of the Galactic Republic's Judicial Department. Although he was Force-sensitive, Torbin did not join the Jedi Order, instead serving under them as the Director of Information of the Department. He often acted as a spokesman for both the Order and the Judicial Department, volunteering information to HoloNet News during interviews. Around the time of the outbreak of the Clone Wars, he addressed the public about an issue between the Order and Coruscant's People's Inquest, a group of anti-Jedi. The People's Inquest believed that the Order's financial records should be released for the public to examine, since the Order was funded by Coruscant's taxpayers. Torbin and the Jedi knew that releasing such figures was potentially dangerous and could be used against the Jedi by enemies of the Republic; he told the public that due to these security concerns, the Jedi's budgetary figures would be kept secret. The People's Inquest refused to back down, setting up a camp outside the Jedi Temple.
- "The IT-O's greatest tool is its reputation. Tell the suspect you have one, and show it waiting in the wings. This alone will often elicit a confession."
- ―Torbin, in Stratagems of the Inquisitorius
When the Clone Wars subsided and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine reformed the Republic into the first Galactic Empire, Torbin became one of the Galactic Emperor's many Inquisitors. It was their role to purge the galaxy of any lingering artifacts and memories of the Old Republic, as well as hunt down the few remaining Jedi who had survived Order 66 and were still alive during the Great Jedi Purge, whom Torbin once served alongside. After several years of service to Palpatine's Empire, Torbin was among the most powerful of the Inquisitors.
After the deaths of Grand Inquisitors Malorum and Hydra some time around circa 18 BBY, Torbin took over as the leader of the Inquisitorius, assuming the prefix, "Lord." As the Grand Inquisitor, he only answered to the Emperor, Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, and the upper echelons of the Empire; he also commanded all of the lesser Inquisitors, who numbered at least several dozen. His role as an Inquisitor also involved interrogating and torturing those suspected to be enemies of the Empire. He often used IT-O Interrogator droids; their reputation was such that simply informing a suspect about the presence of the droid was enough to frighten a subject into giving a full confession. This was something Torbin made much use of and greatly admired, and he recorded his observations in his book, Stratagems of the Inquisitorius.
On one of his missions in 4 BBY, Grand Inquisitor Torbin and his fellow Inquisitors Antinnis Tremayne and Ameesa Darys traveled to a remote planet in search of fugitive Jedi. Instead, they discovered Arden Lyn, a Human female who had been lying in stasis since the First Great Schism in 24,500 BBY, in which she fought as a member of the Legions of Lettow, a group who worshipped the dark side of the Force. The Inquisitors inadvertently awoke Lyn and attacked her. The trio underestimated her powers, though, and she managed to kill Darys and grievously wound Tremayne. However, Torbin subdued the dangerous Dark Jedi and sliced her arm off with his lightsaber. Tremayne wished to kill her there and then, but Torbin had realized her power and believed she might become an asset to Emperor Palpatine. They took her to Coruscant—renamed Imperial Center—where Palpatine made her an Emperor's Hand and gave her a cybernetic arm to replace the one that Torbin had severed. Another mission of Torbin's involved single-handedly driving a cult named the Church of the First Frequency off the planet Otranto.
- "Grand Inquisitor Torbin is the latest of these fools to perish. A bomb? A speeder crash? DROWNING? In death my Inquisitorius are making a mockery of their Empire's infallibility."
- ―Darth Sidious, Book of Sith
Although Torbin and his subordinates did not realize it, the Inquisitorius was immensely unpopular among the ranks of the Empire. Within a year or two of their inception, they had fulfilled their duties and were all but obsolete, though they were not disbanded. Torbin himself was among the more unpopular of the Inquisitors, and he had many enemies baying for his blood.
Several years after being inducted into the Inquisitorius, Torbin traveled to the Corporate Sector on what was outwardly a simple inspection tour—though many speculated that the Grand Inquisitor had other motives in his visit. The Corporate Sector Authority had all their personnel put Torbin's safety as their highest priority; he had been the target of many attacks over the years, and they did not wish to be responsible for the death of one so high in Palpatine's estimation. A group of surviving members who were a part of the Church of the First Frequency, determined to repay Torbin for his actions in purging them from Otranto, decided to strike at him during a cotillion he was attending alongside Corporate Sector officials. While speaking to several officials, Torbin was lured towards a variable-gravity pool by an attractive female—actually a member of the Church of the First Frequency. The pool area was practically deserted, leaving the cultists with an opportunity to rid the galaxy of Grand Inquisitor Torbin; the attractive female pushed him and several other guests into the pool, while others altered the strength of the force field holding the pool aloft, sealing it airtight. Simultaneously, yet more cultists staged a false radiation leak drill to cover their escape, hoping that no one would notice Torbin's absence during the panic. Torbin and the others he was with began to drown.
However, one of those trapped alongside Torbin, a Tynnan tourist named Odumin, was actually a CSA agent, and he managed to manually move the pool's breathing tubes so that Torbin could breathe, though the minuscule amount of air supplied was barely enough to keep him alive. Odumin, a prodigious swimmer, managed to escape and call for the help; meanwhile, Torbin grabbed the air tubes from several other beings, one of which was his own bodyguard, in the hopes of saving his own life. Eventually, CSA engineers disabled the pool and freed Torbin and those few whose air-tubes he had not yet taken for himself. The Empire and the Corporate Sector Authority worked together to cover up the entire incident, though Torbin was extremely grateful to Odumin for his heroism. He offered the Tynnan various rewards and promotions, though Odumin was content to remain operating in the background, and declined most offers; he did eventually accept a staff position in the CSA, serving that role with distinction.
While Torbin narrowly escaped the cultists' assassination attempt, he was not so lucky one month later. Torbin was residing in an Imperial palace on the Core World of Weerden, when an assassin droid commandeered the shuttle Sark-I, killing its crew and crashing it into the palace. Torbin was killed in the ensuing explosion. While Torbin was very unpopular, his death prompted the Empire to ban assassin droids, though it concealed the truth of his death from the public. Years later, after the Alliance to Restore the Republic killed Palpatine and toppled the Empire, New Republic officials believed that Torbin had perished in an accident, and knew nothing of the assassin droid. The New Republic also believed Torbin to be the last Grand Inquisitor—even though the Inquisitorius was never disbanded—though the Emperor did appoint a new Grand Inquisitor, the Zabrak Ja'ce Yiaso.
Personality and traits
- "Unfortunately, not all of them survived the wait. Torbin, fearing for his life, wrested the air tubes from some of the other passengers—one of them his bodyguard."
- ―Voren Na'al
Laddinare Torbin had few loyalties and cared only for himself. While he once served on behalf of the Jedi, he was an important figure in their eradication just years later. While Torbin could hold his own in combat, he was not as inherently violent as some of his colleagues; when he saw use in keeping someone alive, he put any thoughts of revenge away from his mind and decided on the best course of action. After stumbling across Arden Lyn, Torbin decided to spare the Dark Jedi, unlike Tremayne, who wanted to slay her.
Torbin was widely disliked by both Imperials and non-Imperials, though he never realized his unpopularity. Torbin did not care for others and did what he could to save his own skin, even if it meant that those who were loyal to him had to be sacrificed. During the Church of the First Frequency's botched assassination attempt one month before Torbin's eventual death, the Grand Inquisitor seized the air-tubes of those he was trapped with, dooming them so that his chances of surviving were increased; among those he destined to perish was his own loyal bodyguard. However, even though he was thought to be unpleasant, he was very grateful to Odumin for saving his life and made no attempt to seek the glory for himself; he offered the Tynnan a wide array of rewards.
Like the majority of the other Inquisitors, Torbin was Force-sensitive and wielded a lightsaber. He was sufficiently talented with the Force to be chosen as Hydra's replacement as Grand Inquisitor and to defeat Arden Lyn when others, such as Tremayne and Ameesa Darys, were not. He was also talented at interrogation, and tortured many suspected of crimes against the Empire during his time as Grand Inquisitor.
Behind the scenes
Torbin was first mentioned by Bill Slavicsek and Curtis Smith in the first edition of The Star Wars Sourcebook in 1987. He and his death were only mentioned in passing as "Torbin, the Grand Inquisitor," with no explanation given as to what a Grand Inquisitor was. He went unmentioned for several years until Michael Allen Horne's Dark Empire Sourcebook in 1993, which gave a brief outline of the role of the Inquisitorius and established that there were no Grand Inquisitors after Torbin's death. This fact was later ignored by Star Wars Galaxies, which features a Grand Inquisitor over a dozen years after Torbin's death; since the Dark Empire Sourcebook is an in-universe document written by the New Republic, it can be assumed that they were simply unaware of Ja'ce Yiaso's existence. Torbin also appeared in Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook, also written by Michael Allen Horn and published the same month as the Dark Empire Sourcebook, which provided more detail on the character. Abel G. Peña's The Emperor's Pawns also featured him, as did Paul Ens and Pablo Hidalgo in HoloNet News Vol. 531 48, which provided his first name. Since then, he has only been mentioned in passing in The New Essential Guide to Droids and The New Essential Chronology, both by Daniel Wallace.
- (First identified as Laddinare)
- The Star Wars Sourcebook (First mentioned)
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- Star Wars Sourcebook, Second Edition
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 4 (ASS1, IG-88 Assassin Droid)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The New Essential Chronology (Indirect mention only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and references
- The Essential Atlas, p. 158
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- The Emperor's Pawns
- The Last of the Jedi: Secret Weapon
- The Star Wars Sourcebook
- Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Galaxies
- Although The Dark Side Sourcebook states that all Inquisitors were Force-sensitive, Alliance Intelligence Reports features an Inquisitor who was not Force-sensitive, so it was not a requirement.