- "There are some things far more frightening than death."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor's final words
The Grand Inquisitor was the name adopted by a Pau'an male Jedi Knight who turned to the dark side of the Force and became the leader of the Inquisitorius, a band of Jedi hunters who served the Galactic Empire. The Grand Inquisitor was once a Jedi Temple Guard and was involved in the events surrounding the bombing of the Jedi Temple during the Clone Wars, arresting the innocent and later exonerated Padawan Ahsoka Tano as well as the true culprit, Barriss Offee. After his fall to the dark side, the Grand Inquisitor was responsible for hunting down and eliminating Jedi during the Great Jedi Purge. He personally served the Sith Lord Darth Vader, from whom he received his orders, and was intimately familiar with the records of the Jedi Temple.
The Grand Inquisitor took an active interest in eliminating the rebel crew of the starship Ghost, particularly the Jedi Kanan Jarrus and his Padawan, Ezra Bridger. He encountered these two Jedi on a number of occasions, including a Duel on Stygeon Prime and a duel on the asteroid base Fort Anaxes. After the Grand Inquisitor and the government of Lothal, from which the rebels operated, were consistently unable to eliminate the rebels, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin arrived on Lothal to hunt for the rebels. Together, they captured Jarrus and hoped to use him to learn more about a larger rebel movement that was operating in the galaxy. They brought Jarrus to Mustafar, where the rebels mounted a rescue mission in orbit. During the operation, the Grand Inquisitor engaged Jarrus and Bridger in lightsaber combat, and Jarrus eventually bested him. Rather than face the infamous wrath of Darth Vader for his repeated failures, the Grand Inquisitor chose to fall to his death.
After the Pau'an's death over Mustafar, the former Jedi Grand Master Yoda utilized a vision of the Grand Inquisitor as his former Jedi Temple Guard self to appear before Jarrus in the Jedi Temple on Lothal. In the vision, this Sentinel warned Jarrus that Bridger could fall to the dark side, and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel. After Jarrus refused to fight any further, the Sentinel knighted Jarrus and told him he was a Jedi Knight as the Grand Inquisitor once was. But despite the Inquisitor's physical death, Vader still had use for him. The Dark Lord of the Sith was able to prevent the Inquisitor's spirit from passing on, instead tying it down to a Jedi outpost on Tempes. Here his spirit remained, killing all those who sought Jedi knowledge. After losing his lightsaber in 3 ABY, Vader's own son Luke Skywalker encountered the Inquisitor's spirit on Tempes. The two engaged in a duel that saw the young Skywalker come out victorious. As punishment for allowing the boy to escape, Vader refused the Pau'an's pleas to be set free from his prison, leaving him to guard the outpost for what the Inquisitor believed would be an eternity.
Early life and knighthood
The Pau'an male who would one day become the Grand Inquisitor hailed from the planet Utapau, where he was born over fifteen years prior to 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 his time as a Jedi Knight, he would develop a hatred for Jocasta Nu, for when he would go to the Jedi Archives to read datafiles, he would be watched closely by her, as she deemed him as unfit for education.
Trial of AhsokaDuring 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. Tano 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 Tano from the Jedi Temple, and she was ultimately brought to trial before Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. During the trial, Tano's master, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, uncovered Offee's duplicity and had her arrested. The future Grand Inquisitor was one of the guards who escorted Offee into the trial, where she admitted her guilt in front of the chancellor and was subsequently taken away by the guards. Tano was exonerated, but she refused to rejoin the Jedi Order and chose to seek a new path.
Fall to the dark side
- "You do know the Emperor personally selected me, Vader? Raised me up, gave me this position. He believes in my abilities."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor, to Darth Vader
The events with Offee and Tano 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 fell 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. During this time, Sidious recruited him to become Grand Inquisitor of the Inquisitorius.
Age of the Empire
Serving Lord Vader
The Inquisitor came into the service of the Empire and the Sith, though he was not a Sith himself. When the Inquisitor entered the Jedi Temple's Archives, he was confronted by the Sith Lord Darth Vader, who was once Anakin Skywalker before his own fall to the dark side. He and Vader then fought each other until Vader damaged his lightsaber. The fight was then stopped by the Emperor, who explained to Lord Vader who the Inquisitor and the Inquisitorius were. They then went to the Inquisitorius Headquarters in The Works to meet with the other Inquisitors.
Vader then tasked the Inquisitor with hunting down and eliminating any Jedi who had survived Order 66, the order given to the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic 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, Unduli was captured and held in the Spire, a former Separatist-turned-Imperial prison on Stygeon Prime. At her end, Unduli 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 Unduli was still alive. A holographic recording of Unduli and her execution was kept by the Empire as part of this ruse.
Rising to the rank of Grand Inquisitor, he led other members of the Inquisitorius. Among these Inquisitors were dark warriors such as the Second Sister, the Fifth Brother, the Sixth Brother, the Seventh Sister, the Eighth Brother and the Ninth Sister. Like the Grand Inquisitor, these Inquisitors had their roots in the Jedi Order. As the Grand Inquisitor, the dark side adept hunted down and dueled the former Jedi Padawan Naq Med. His lightsaber was damaged in the duel and Med escaped. At another point, the Grand Inquisitor took Force-sensitive children from an orphanage on Gaaten. One night when he went to the orphanage, he was confronted by a surviving Jedi, Kira Vantala, to which the Grand Inquisitor expressed his shock, believing her to be a weak Jedi. The Inquisitor was defeated by Vantala and a refugee named Elish, and never returned to the orphanage.
Evidence of another survivor
- "Set a course back to base. And inform Lord Vader that we have found evidence of another survivor."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor, after investigating the Sixth Brother's death on Raada
One year after the rise of the Galactic 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, he was 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 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 corpse of the Sixth Brother. Though annoyed by the incompetence and recklessness of his subordinate, the Grand Inquisitor was impressed by what the Jedi had done. 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 Tano, Anakin Skywalker's former Padawan.
A Jedi on Kashyyyk
In 14 BBY, the Grand Inquisitor heard about a Jedi who caused problems for the Empire on Kashyyyk. This Jedi was Cal Kestis, who helped some guerrillas to attack an Imperial Refinery. The Ninth Sister told the Grand Inquisitor that Kestis would not have the courage to return to Kashyyyk, especially after the resistance was eliminated by the Empire. The Ninth Sister was later proved wrong and defeated by Kestis when he returned to Kashyyyk.
The children of the Force
- "The Emperor has foreseen a new threat rising against him: the children of the Force. They must not become Jedi."
"Yes, Lord Vader."
"Hunt down this new enemy, and if they will not serve the Empire, eliminate them along with any surviving Jedi who would train them. This is my master's command."
- ―Darth Vader and the Grand Inquisitor
In the years prior to the Battle of Yavin, 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 for Young Imperials on Lothal who met a set of criteria, one that indicated their ability to use the Force, an operation known as Project Harvester. One known target of Project Harvester was Dhara Leonis, a promising cadet and the daughter of Imperial agricultural scientists. The Imperial authorities attempted to cover up her kidnapping by claiming that she had run away from the Academy. However, her mother, Tepha, and younger brother Zare Leonis suspected that the Empire was lying. To ascertain his sister's fate, Zare enrolled at the Academy the following year.
Sometime 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
- "Yes, I'm afraid Master Luminara died with the Republic, but her bones continue to serve the Empire. Luring the last Jedi to their ends."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor to Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger
The Grand Inquisitor laid a trap for Jarrus 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. Jarrus and Bridger made it to the detention area, and Jarrus 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 Unduli, 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. Jarrus attacked the Inquisitor and the two engaged in lightsaber combat. The Inquisitor was able to correctly deduce that Jarrus had been trained by Jedi Master Depa Billaba, as she had been a teacher of Form III lightsaber combat in close-quarter fighting, which Jarrus employed extensively. The two continued their duel within the cell until Bridger set off a small detonator that allowed him and Jarrus to flee.
Though they had escaped the cell, the Grand Inquisitor pursued them and continued his fight with Jarrus in the halls of the prison. He soon pushed Jarrus away through the Force and, per Vader's command, attempted to convert Bridger to the dark side. The boy refused, however, and the Inquisitor prepared to strike him down, but Jarrus 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 Jarrus deflected it and the rebels escaped aboard the Phantom, the attack shuttle that belonged to their main ship, the Ghost.
Incident at the Imperial Academy
- "Well, Leonis, let's take a walk, shall we? I want to know everything about your former friends."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor, to Zare Leonis
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 Bridger 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. Bridger overheard the conversation, and he and Kell escaped the Academy with another cadet, Zare Leonis, who suspected that the Inquisitor was behind the disappearance of his sister, Dhara Leonis; Dhara was the star cadet at the Academy before her disappearance, which the Empire claimed was a result of her running away from the Academy.
Upon his arrival at the Imperial Academy, Aresko and Agent Kallus informed him of Bridger and Kell's escape. The Jedi hunter was shown the data files on the two cadets and recognized "Dev Morgan" as Bridger 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 Bridger and Kell upon their escape. The Inquisitor spoke to Leonis and told the cadet to tell him everything he knew about Bridger and Kell.
During his private chat with Leonis, the Inquisitor led the young cadet to an interrogation room. Once inside, the Inquisitor asked Leonis everything he knew about Morgan while trying to probe the cadet's thoughts. While hiding his collaboration with Morgan, Leonis pretended to support the Inquisitor's assessment that something was not right about Morgan. When the Inquisitor told Leonis that Morgan was a pseudonym, Zare pretended to be a "perfect cadet" and asked whether the victories in his assessments would be vacated. The Inquisitor merely replied that he should ask Commandant Aresko.
Zare then attempted to convince the Inquisitor that he was Force-sensitive like his missing sister Dhara. He claimed that he could somehow sense that there was something wrong with Dev and Jai and that they were hiding something. The Inquisitor quickly deduced that Leonis was Dhara's younger brother. While the Inquisitor was fully aware that Dhara had been abducted and forcibly inducted into Project Harvester, he repeated the official Imperial account that Dhara had merely run away. When Zare claimed that he and his sister could always sense each others' presence, the Inquisitor merely told the young cadet that it made sense and that in time he would understand why.
Skirmish on Vyndal
- "Another Jedi! This is indeed a surprise. How many more Padawans have you taken?"
"He's not my Padawan."
"Then you won't be emotionally compromised when he dies."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor, to Kanan Jarrus about Yeleb the Protector
The Inquisitor and his Imperial forces arrived in a village on the planet Vyndal in search of Jarrus after he had been seen close by. The Inquisitor and his forces were greeted by the protector of the village, Yeleb, who lied to the Inquisitor that he had not seen Jarrus in their village; however, the Inquisitor could see through the protector's lies, and when Yeleb ordered the Imperials to leave, the Pau'an ordered his stormtroopers to destroy the village.
This is when Jarrus revealed himself to the Inquisitor and attacked him. Yeleb would soon join the combat as well, wielding his own green-bladed lightsaber, leading the Inquisitor to assume that Yeleb was a Jedi too, although, in actual fact, a few years earlier Yeleb had taken the lightsaber from a crashed Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor with a dead Jedi pilot inside. Using the Force, the Inquisitor pushed Jarrus out of combat, allowing him to focus on Yeleb and slash the man across the chest with his blade. After Yeleb collapsed onto the floor, the Inquisitor took Yeleb's lightsaber and Jarrus fled from the Inquisitor to draw him away from the wounded human. The Pau'an along with his stormtroopers gave chase, and Jarrus was able to trick the Imperials into thinking he had fled Vyndal on one of their cruisers, causing them to chase after it and leave the planet in the other.
After the Imperials left the planet, Yeleb died of his injuries, and Jarrus ended up leaving the planet and returning to the rebels, leaving the people of Vyndal with hope that without him and the lightsaber on the planet, the Empire would not return, and even if they did, the people were able to protect themselves.
- "I still sense the Jedi and his Padawan, within my grasp."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor
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 tracker on their ship moments before they jumped to hyperspace.
Realizing they were being tracked, Jarrus and Bridger 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 landing craft to confront the two Jedi. As the Inquisitor and his troopers entered the base, they spotted Jarrus and Bridger along with a multitude of fyrnocks. The two Jedi used the Force to command the fyrnocks to attack the stormtroopers. Jarrus fought the Inquisitor once more, but he was easily overwhelmed and knocked out. Cornering Bridger, the Inquisitor told him to give in to the dark side, and that his friends would die and that everything he fought for would be lost. Bridger briefly succumbed to the dark side and summoned a giant fyrnock to attack the Inquisitor. Jarrus reawakened, grabbing Bridger and reclaiming his lightsaber. After driving off the mother fyrnock, the Inquisitor attempted to halt their escape, but they managed to board their ship, the Phantom, and destroy the Imperial landing craft. Accepting his failure, the Inquisitor simply stated that his Master would not be pleased.
Dealing with Zare Leonis
- "Who can doubt the commitment of such a promising young cadet?"
- ―The Grand Inquisitor probing Zare Leonis
Following the Lothal rebels' attack on the Empire Day celebrations, the Grand Inquisitor returned to Lothal to deal with another unfinished business: Dhara Leonis' younger brother Zare Leonis. While Zare was a promising cadet at the Academy for Young Imperials who had earned the glowing praise of his instructors, the Inquisitor suspected that Leonis was connected to Ezra Bridger and the other Lothal rebels. A perfect opportunity to make his move against Zare surfaced when the young cadet took action against an unscrupulous fellow cadet named Nazhros Oleg, who had attempted to shield his smuggler uncles from Imperial justice. Under the pretext of rewarding Leonis, the Inquisitor arranged for the cadet to be transferred to the Arkanis Academy, which was connected to Project Harvester. There, he hoped to create the circumstances that would expose Leonis as a traitor to the Empire. In addition, the Inquisitor wanted to ascertain whether Zare was actually Force-sensitive as he had claimed earlier.
Following Leonis' raid on a group of smugglers, the Inquisitor and Captain Piers Roddance summoned Zare for a private meeting. When Leonis suggested that Oleg was genuinely unaware that his uncles were involved in smuggling and suggested showing the delinquent some compassion, the Inquisitor replied that compassion was the most insidious business. After ordering Captain Roddance to leave the room, the Inquisitor told Leonis that he had arranged for the cadet to be transferred to the Arkanis Academy as a "reward" for his loyalty to the Empire. Throughout the meeting, the Inquisitor made every effort to probe Leonis' thoughts.
Pretending to be a "model" cadet, Leonis expressed gratitude at the opportunity to serve the Empire. Sensing Leonis' true motivations for joining the Imperial Academy, the Inquisitor patronized Leonis by asking "who could doubt the commitment of such a promising young cadet." Intimidated by the Inquisitor, Zare turned away from the Pau'an's gaze, prompting the Inquisitor to ask the cadet to make eye contact with him. Prior to Leonis' departure, the Inquisitor told the cadet that he looked forward to his training on Arkanis and "assured" the Cadet that his service to the Empire would be more important than he had hoped for. While Leonis was uncertain whether the Inquisitor knew his true agenda, his girlfriend Merei Spanjaf uncovered Imperial documents which confirmed that the Inquisitor had intended to use the Arkanis transfer to break the young cadet.
Later, the Inquisitor visited the Arkanis Academy and landed at Area Null, a secluded tower in the Academy that hosted several top-secret Imperial projects including Project Harvester and Project Unity, the latter a program for re-educating former dissident youths. After dining with Commandant Brendol Hux and the cadets in the Academy's banquet hall, the Inquisitor summoned Cadet Leonis for a private meeting at the Commandant's balcony. There, the Inquisitor asked Leonis why he had tried to enter Area Null even though it was off-limits to Cadets. Leonis claimed that he thought that a fellow cadet was in trouble but the Inquisitor quickly realized that he was lying.
He then gave Leonis a second chance to answer his question. Leonis claimed that he had sensed that there was something in that tower that he was meant to find. The Inquisitor then asked if Morgan had told him about the tower on Lothal or something called Project Harvester. In response, Leonis feigned ignorance but the Inquisitor could see that he was trying to hide something. Before the Inquisitor could carry on with the interrogation, the Commandant's droid DDM-38 arrived and informed him that he had received a priority encrypted message from Lothal. Before leaving, the Inquisitor warned Leonis that he would soon have Morgan and his companions. He also vowed to get to the truth behind Leonis' connection to Morgan. Unknown to the Inquisitor and Leonis, this was to be their last meeting due to unexpected developments.
Talking with Rae Sloane
To continue tracking the rebels, at some point the Grand Inquisitor sought information from Vice Admiral Rae Sloane of the Imperial Navy. Sloane once had a run-in with Jarrus on the planet Gorse, where Jarrus first met Captain Hera Syndulla and joined her rebel cause. The Grand Inquisitor found Sloane on Lahn, where she had set a trap for Jarrus. Jarrus escaped, but Sloane remained on Lahn when she was confronted by the Inquisitor—who wanted to know everything she knew about Jarrus.
Visions of darkness
- "Ready to die, boy, or are you afraid to face your demise?"
"No. Afraid of being alone again? Sure. Afraid of letting down my master? Absolutely."
"Your master lies dead and rotting in a forgotten tunnel. You could hardly have let him down more."
"I'm not afraid."
- ―The vision of the Grand Inquisitor speaks to Ezra Bridger
Having had his first experience with the dark side on Fort Anaxes, Bridger ventured to the Jedi Temple on Lothal with Jarrus, who wanted to make sure that his Padawan could actually become a Jedi. Once inside the temple, Bridger encountered visions of the Grand Inquisitor killing his friends, whom he had come to regard as his family. The Inquisitor first dueled and killed Jarrus in the vision, before entering the Ghost and killing the crew inside. Soon thereafter, the vision of the Grand Inquisitor moved to kill Bridger himself. Bridger 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 Bridger realized what his fear was, the vision of the Grand Inquisitor disappeared.
- "Inquisitor, I am giving you the opportunity to redeem yourself. Do not disappoint me, and remember, I want this Jedi, alive."
"Your faith will be rewarded."
- ―Grand Moff Tarkin and the Grand Inquisitor
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 Commandant Cumberlayne 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 Imperial communications 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 Jarrus remained behind to give them time to escape, at which point the Inquisitor arrived to confront the Jedi. Jarrus destroyed the console giving them access to the tower. Once again, the Inquisitor and the Jedi fought, with the former noticing that Jarrus had improved his technique. However, the Inquisitor proved the strongest of the two once again and he subdued Jarrus with the Force. However, the rest of the Rebels escaped. With Jarrus in custody, Grand Moff 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.
- "Tell me, Jedi, how did you survive Order 66? It was your master Billaba who laid down her life for yours. Do you remember her last words to you? Her last and final breath before she died? You do, don't you? You see it in your sleep, you hear her voice when you wake. Tell me Jedi, what was her last word to you?"
- ―The Grand Inquisitor asks Jarrus about his master's last words
After Kanan was captured, he was brought aboard Grand Moff 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 transferring him to a facility that had never failed to gain results. The Sovereign then departed Lothal for Mustafar, a world deep in the Outer Rim.
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; Jarrus' 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 his Master's last words, and Kanan answered that she told him to run. The Inquisitor told Jarrus that he could not save his friends any more 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 went off, the Inquisitor was unsurprised to find that the other rebels had come to rescue their friend.
Confrontation aboard the Sovereign
- "You have no idea what you've unleashed here today. There are some things far more frightening than death."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor talking to Kanan Jarrus, directly before letting go and falling into the exploding reactor
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.
Master Yoda's emissary
- "You are what I once was: a Knight of the Jedi Order."
- ―The Sentinel, to Kanan Jarrus
The Inquisitor's warning to Jarrus 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. After Vader attacked and crippled Phoenix Cell and learned that his former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, was still alive and in league with the rebellion, the Emperor ordered Vader to dispatch another Inquisitor to hunt the rebels. Vader sent the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother, both of whom hoped to become the new Grand Inquisitor.
Sometime after the death of the Grand Inquisitor, Jarrus and Bridger traveled with Ahsoka Tano to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to seek the guidance of Jedi Master Yoda, with whom Jarrus and Bridger 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, Jarrus entered a vision in which he saw a Jedi Temple Guard known as the Sentinel within a dojo. Unknown to Jarrus, this was a vision conjured by Yoda of the Grand Inquisitor, as the Jedi he once was. The Sentinel warned Jarrus that Bridger would fall to the dark side of the Force and that the boy had to be eliminated. Jarrus refused and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel. By the end of the duel, Jarrus refused to fight any further and admitted that while he may not be able to protect Bridger forever, he would continue to do his best to train him. The Sentinel looked as if he was about to strike Jarrus down but instead performed the knighting ritual. Then he removed his mask to reveal the face of the Grand Inquisitor. Jarrus asked what everything that had happened meant, and the Sentinel said that it meant Jarrus was now a Jedi Knight, as the Grand Inquisitor once was. As the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother descended on the temple, the Sentinel told Jarrus to flee and said he would hold off the enemy. The vision of the Sentinel, flanked by other Jedi Temple Guards, surrounded the two Inquisitors as Jarrus, Bridger, and Tano fled from the Jedi Temple.
In 0 BBY, shortly after Jarrus' own death, his confrontation with the Grand Inquisitor was heard among numerous voices by Bridger as he passed through a hyper tunnel while riding a Loth-wolf on his mission to the Lothal Jedi Temple.
Eternal pawn of the Sith
- "I have served…for so long. Will there never…be a chance…of release?"
"You are but a tool, shaped to serve my purposes. You will…continue."
- ―The Inquisitor's spirit and Darth Vader
Despite his defeat above Mustafar, the Pau'an's usefulness to the Sith had not run dry. Through the intervention of Darth Vader, the Grand Inquisitor was prevented from passing on from the mortal world; instead, Vader forced the Inquisitor's spirit to serve his purposes. The Dark Lord installed his servant into a High Republic Era Jedi outpost on Tempes, hoping that anyone seeking knowledge from the place would be caught in his trap. The Inquisitor's spirit, still burning from the flames his body had been destroyed in aboard the Sovereign, haunted the structure for years, killing any seekers of knowledge who stepped foot into its halls. At some point, the partially trained Padawan Verla discovered the outpost, but abandoned the place after sensing the dark presence of the Inquisitor that resided within.
After losing his lightsaber in a duel with Vader on Cloud City in 3 ABY, the aspiring Jedi Luke Skywalker learned of the Tempes outpost from Verla and traveled there, hoping to retrieve a new weapon. Inside, the Inquisitor's spirit confronted the boy and taunted him for his lack of training. Armed with the lightsaber of a Jedi Temple Guard, Skywalker battled the spirit. The ghostly Inquisitor gained the upper hand in the duel, knocking the would-be Jedi to the ground and mocking him for his devotion to the Jedi Order. Although the dark side adept sneered that the Force did not save the Order from extinction, the sight of ancient relics in the outpost, still standing after centuries, motivated Skywalker to push back. The aspiring Jedi recognized that service to a greater good was worth dying for, and, with his new weapon, sliced off the spirit's hand and delivered a slash to his chest, causing the Inquisitor to disappear.
In another part of the galaxy, Vader sensed the skirmish on Tempes and ordered the crew of his shuttle to bring him there. By the time he arrived, however, Skywalker had escaped. He berated the Inquisitor, whose ghostly figure had reformed itself. The Pau'an pleaded with Vader, begging to be set free from the curse the Sith Lord had bestowed upon him. Vader, however, was not satisfied with his servant's work and refused. The Inquisitor looked on as Vader departed from the place that he could not, repeating to himself that there were things worse than death before fading away into darkness.
Personality and traits
- "Compassion is the most insidious weakness of all…"
- ―The Inquisitor, responding to a comment by Zare Leonis
A male Pau'an, the Grand Inquisitor had furrowed ashen white skin, stood 1.98 meters in height, and weighed 80 kilograms. Prior to his fall to the dark side, his eyes had gray sclerae and silver irises and pupils, along with light red markings around his eyes and down the sides of his face. After his fall, the Grand Inquisitor's sclerae and pupils turned black and his irises became yellow with red rims. He also adorned his face with dark side tattoos inked in the same shade of red as human blood, striking fear into targets and subordinates alike. Although he was a physical opponent for Jedi and tapped into the dark side of the Force, he did not appear overly emotional, instead operating as a cold and analytical mind. Whatever intensity he showed was a result of his purpose in completing his mission.
Through the dark side, the Grand Inquisitor was able to learn about individual Jedi and use their secrets against them. He studied the records of the Jedi Temple to not only identify Jedi but also have an understanding of their combat forms and traditions. His knowledge was extensive enough that he could identify who a Jedi was trained by, such as when he identified Depa Billaba as Jarrus' Jedi Master, and identify their fighting style in 10.6 seconds. He utilized this, like his lightsaber, to inflict an opponent with fear, which was his most powerful weapon against his enemies. Once in combat, he did not show mercy, having been tasked with judging and eliminating Jedi survivors. The Inquisitor also supported Captain Piers Roddance's view that the Empire needed to purge itself of all weakness and regarded compassion as the most insidious weakness.
After realizing he had been defeated by Jarrus, the Grand Inquisitor chose death rather than face the wrath of his Master for his failure. He could not truly escape Vader, however, as the Dark Lord continued to use the Pau'an's spirit for his personal needs. After years of serving as Vader's watchdog on Tempes, the Inquisitor believed that he would be cursed to do so for eternity.
Powers and abilities
- "I know my training isn't complete. But I'm not exactly a beginner."
"Hnh. Neither am I."
- ―Luke Skywalker and the Inquisitor's spirit, during their duel
The Grand Inquisitor was a practitioner of the dark side of the Force and trained in lightsaber combat, having learned to use and counter all seven forms recognized by the Jedi Order. He wielded a double-bladed lightsaber, which he used in multiple settings: single-bladed, double-bladed, as well as double-bladed with the blades spinning on the hilt. In addition to using the weapon to unnerve his enemies, he wielded it in order to quickly and efficiently end combat with as little effort as was required. This allowed him to skillfully execute the Jedi he encountered. The Inquisitor also demonstrated skill in the use of dual blades to the point of using a single-bladed lightsaber and his double-bladed spinning lightsaber at the same time, such as when he fended off a giant fyrnock in Fort Anaxes. The Grand Inquisitor held some skill in Makashi, able to hold the upper hand against Kanan Jarrus twice whilst using the form before quickly defeating him. He would sometimes use a one-handed dueling technique not unlike that of Count Dooku, a Makashi master.
In addition to being a formidable lightsaber duelist, the Grand Inquisitor was skilled in the use of telekinesis. He possessed enough telekinetic power to push Kanan Jarrus clear across a hall and throw his lightsaber with lethal precision. The Inquisitor had a keen Force Sense, which he demonstrated during his pursuit of Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger on Empire Day. While interrogating Kanan, the Inquisitor demonstrated an affinity for mind tricks and the mind probe, allowing to potentially compel his victims to divulge information or to scan their thoughts and emotions for it. He was also a skilled pilot, and commonly demonstrated his competence in flying a TIE prototype while hunting rebels.
Even in death, the Grand Inquisitor was a force to be reckoned with. He served as a formidable opponent to the young Luke Skywalker, although the boy was able to best him in combat. As a spirit, the Inquisitor was able to float above the ground and interact physically with his surroundings, similar to the light side's Force spirits. He could also be injured in this state, noticeably grimacing in pain and evaporating into the air after Skywalker cut off his ghostly hand and slashed his chest. These wounds, however, were not permanent, as the Inquisitor was later able to reform.
The Jedi Knight who would become the Grand Inquisitor wore formal robes and an identity-concealing mask during the days of the Jedi Order, the ultimate expression of emotional detachment required in service to a higher calling. He also carried a folding lightsaber pike, a thick and imposing double-bladed weapon that produced a distinctive yellow blade. As an Inquisitor, he wore an Imperial style uniform and on one occasion a hooded robe over his Imperial uniform. During his flights in his TIE Advanced v1 starfighter, he wore a Special Adjutant's Helmet. As a Pau'an, he wore coverings to protect his hypersensitive ears. The Grand Inquisitor carried his own gyroscopic double-bladed lightsaber, a shared weapon among members of the Inquisitorius. He used this lightsaber in order to intimidate his opponents. In particular, he was able to throw inexperienced Jedi off-balance. Because Jedi relied on balanced emotions, the imbalance gave the Inquisitor an edge in combat. He carried this weapon even as a spirit.
Behind the scenes
- "Once we put the Utapauan head on, it all kinda fell into place. Suddenly there was this black-suited, evil Inquisitor."
- ―Dave Filoni
The Grand Inquisitor was created as one of the primary antagonists of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. When designing the character, who is voiced by actor Jason Isaacs, the look and species went through several iterations and was a topic of much discussion at Lucasfilm. The production team wanted to ensure that the character was not a carbon copy of past iconic villains such as Darth Maul or Darth Vader. At one point, the Inquisitor was designed as a Chagrian. Eventually, they decided to make the character a Pau'an, which, according to series executive producer Dave Filoni, was when the character fell into place. Fellow executive producer Simon Kinberg felt it gave the character a real and human quality, while at the same time evoking a "creaturely," terrifying, and nightmarish look.
In further differentiating the Inquisitor from past villains, the production team crafted him as a cold and analytical character who presents himself as elegant, sophisticated, and educated. Furthermore, they did not want him to be similar to villains from cartoons from the 1980s, which Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo described as having the villains lose in every episode yet still be presented as a credible threat. Instead, the Inquisitor is meant to be someone whose arrival is significant and a challenge to the rebels.
The character was revealed at New York Comic Con 2013 during a panel about the show, in which a video was shown introducing the Inquisitor as a Jedi hunter who would be a recurring antagonist for the heroes. The Inquisitor made his first on-screen appearance in Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, which premiered on October 3, 2014.
On October 28, 2015, Filoni revealed that the Grand Inquisitor appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, although the audience didn't know it. The episode "Shroud of Darkness" revealed that the Inquisitor was once a Jedi Temple Guard and a Jedi Knight. At a press conference for "Twilight of the Apprentice," the finale of the show's second season, Filoni revealed that the Grand Inquisitor was in The Clone Wars fifth season finale, "The Wrong Jedi," as one of the Jedi Temple Guards who escorted Ahsoka Tano from the Jedi Temple and brought Barriss Offee to trial before Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. At Dragon Con 2018, Henry Gilroy revealed an idea that the Inquisitor murdered the other Temple Guards when Order 66 happened to allow Anakin Skywalker and the 501st Legion access into the Jedi Temple.
Notes and references