|“||You have no idea what you have unleashed here today. There are some things far more frightening than death!||„|
|~ The Grand Inquisitor's last words|
|“||My master will not be pleased.||„|
|~ The Grand Inquisitor after the heroes escape again|
The Grand Inquisitor is the main antagonist of the first season of the television series Star Wars: Rebels. Four years before the theft of the Death Star's plans, The Inquisitor was the leader of the Inquisitorius and was tasked with tracking down and eliminating all known Jedi Knights who survived Order 66 in the campaign known as the Great Jedi Purge. He was trained in the ways of the dark side by Darth Vader, the latter of which took the Inquisitor's place as the main antagonist in Season 2.
The nameless Inquisitor was once a Jedi Temple Guard, then he served for the Galactic Empire, specifically its second most powerful entity, Darth Vader. Despite not being a Sith in general, the Inquisitor knows a lot about the Force and has practiced on the dark side. He was tasked by Vader to execute any surviving Jedi he discovered with an endless army of Stormtroopers under his command on the orders of Vader's master Emperor Palpatine. The Inquisitor is also tasked in finding younglings around the galaxy who are strong with the Force, so that they will not become Jedi. During the series, he became bent on killing Kanan Janus (a former Jedi Padawan) and his turning his apprentice Ezra Bridger (the protagonist of the series) to the dark side.
Lord Vader's orders
- "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 Inquisitor
The Pau'an male known as the Inquisitor hailed from the planet Utapau, where he born over fifteen years prior to the Invasion of Naboo. During the Clone Wars, he served as a member of the Jedi Temple Guards. After Darth Sidious, publicly known as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, transformed the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire and declared himself Emperor, the Inquisitor fell to the dark side and came into the service of the Empire and the Sith. Though not a Sith himself, the Inquisitor was tasked with hunting down and eliminating any Jedi who had survived Order 66, the order given to the Grand Army of the Republic by Darth Sidious to destroy the Jedi Order. To accomplish this task, the Inquisitor was trained in the ways of the dark side of the Force and studied the the records of the Jedi Temple in order to defeat his enemies.
At one point, the Inquisitor spoke via hologram with Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, who told the Jedi hunter that the Emperor had foreseen a new threat rising against him. Vader told him that the threat was the "children of the Force" and that they could not be allowed to become Jedi. The Dark Lord ordered the Inquisitor to hunt them down and either make them join the Empire or destroy them, along with any Jedi survivors who could train them—as these were the orders of the Emperor. With the order 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 Imperial Academy on Lothal who met a set of criteria, one that indicated their ability to use the Force.
Trap on Stygeon Prime
- "I am the Inquisitor. Welcome."
- ―The Inquisitor meets Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger
Some time later, fourteen years after the rise of the Empire, a group of rebels who operated on Lothal came to the attention of Agent Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau. The rebels rescued a group of Wookiees that had beenenslaved 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.
The Inquisitor laid a trap for Jarrus and his apprentice, Ezra Bridger, on Stygeon Prime. Using the bones of Jedi Master Luminara Unduli, who had been killed during the fall of the Republic, the Empire was able to project an image suggesting that Unduli was alive. This information was then reported by Gall Trayvis, a former member of the Imperial Senate who went into exile after speaking out against the Empire; the information suggested that Unduli was being held prisoner in The Spire, a prison on Stygeon Prime. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to rescue a Jedi survivor, the rebels undertook a mission to the prison 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 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 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 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 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 datafiles 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 did have hope of learning more about the rebels, as Leonis was also present in the meeting; 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.
The Inquisitor was on Lothal for Empire Day when the rebels destroyed the prototype TIE Fighter.
When the Rebels attempted to smuggle Tseebo 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 a XX-23 S-thread tracker on their ship moments before they jumped to hyperspace.
Eventually, The Crew of the Ghost detached the Phantom and landed on an abandoned Clone base. The Inquisitor took a squad of troops to confront the two Jedi. Using the Frynocks to attack the stormtroopers, Kanan fought the Inquisitor and was knocked down. Ezra tries to stop him but sensing his Anger and Rage, The Inquisitor tells him to give into the Dark Side. Telling him that his friends will die and that everything he fought for, will be lost. Ezra does succumb to the Dark Side and has one of the creatures attack The Inquisitor. Kanan then escorts Ezra out, reclaiming his lightsaber and manage to escape on board The Phantom. Accepting his failure, The Inquisitor simply stated that his Master would not be pleased.
Visions of darkness
Having had his first experience with the dark side on Fort Anaxes, 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. Call to Action
The Inquisitor was present in the Imperial Complex hangar when Grand Moff 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 Great 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 successfully 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?. Run."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor asks Jarrus about his master's last words. Fire Across the Galaxy
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 to transfer him to a facility which 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 what his Master's last words were and Kanan answered that she told him to run. The Inquisitor told Jarrus that he could not save his friends anymore than he could save his Master because he feared his own power and did not even dare wear his lightsaber in public because of it. When alarms began going off, the Inquisitor was unsurprised to find that the other rebels had come to rescue their friend.
Confrontation aboard the Sovereign and death
- "At last, a fight that might be worthy of my time."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor. Fire Across the Galaxy
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 over the apparent loss of his Padawan, Kanan remained on his knees for a while as the Inquisitor glared at 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. Kanan then 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.
|“||It means that 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 himself. After Vader attacked and crippled the rebel fleet 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.
Some time 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 of the Grand Inquisitor, as the Jedi he once was, conjured by Master Yoda as a means of communicating with the young Jedi. The Sentinel warned 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 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.
Personality and traits
The Grand Inquisitor was a tall male Pau'an with greyish-white, lined skin and blood-red tattoos adorning his face. He wore black armor emblazoned with the crest of the Galactic Empire and carried a red double-bladed lightsaber, which had the ability to spin; the Inquisitor used this type of 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. 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 and villainous 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 identity who a Jedi was trained by, such as when he identified Depa Billaba as Jarrus' Jedi Master within moments of their first duel. 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.
As the highest-ranking Imperial Inquisitor, the Grand Inquisitor was fiercely devoted to the Empire and held a deep respect for his superiors, most notably his master, Darth Vader, and Grand Moff Tarkin, although with the former it was founded deeply on fear, as the Grand Inquisitor chose to commit suicide rather than face Vader's wrath.
Powers and abilities
The Grand Inquisitor was a practitioner of the Dark side of the Force and trained in lightsaber combat. 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.
In addition to being a formidable lightsaber duelist, the Grand Inquisitor was skilled in the use of telekinesis. He possessed enough telekinetic power to easily push Kanan Jarrus clear across a hall, send Ezra Bridger flying backwards, 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. He was also a great pilot, skillfully flying a new Imperial fighter prototype while dodging and countering Chopper blaster fire with considerable ease.
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 Inquisitor was created as one of the main 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 different 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, it was decided that they would 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 a significant event and a challenge to the rebels.
The Inquisitor was the first character announced for Star Wars 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 character's action figure was revealed on December 30, 2013, with a more in-depth video about the character, as well as an announcement about Isaac's casting, released on July 17, 2014. The Inquisitor made his first on-screen appearance in Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, which premiered on October 3, 2014. Spark of Rebellion re-aired on October 27 on ABC, with a new scene at the beginning of the episode featuring the Inquisitor speaking with Darth Vader.
- The Inquisitor was rumored to serve as the main antagonist in the upcoming film, Star Wars Episode VII, set to premiere in 2015. However, it is revealed that Kylo Ren is the main antagonist.
- The Inquisitor's Lightsaber is most likely based on a General Grievous Lightsaber toy from Hasbro.
- The Inquisitor has many similarities to Admiral Zhao from Avatar: The Last Airbender: Both serve as the main antagonists of the first season. Both are high ranking officials of their respective empires who command vast amounts of resources. Similar to how Zhao targets Aang due to being the last airbender, the Inquisitor targets Ezra due to being one of the last Jedi. Their personalities are similar in that they are smug, arrogant and have no respect for those beneath him. In the Season 1 finales of both shows, they duel their enemies atop a bridge, and as they are beaten, both the Inquisitor and Zhao refuse to face their failures and commit suicide; The Inquisitor falls to his death while Zhao lets himself get dragged by the Ocean Spirit. Their deaths cause their overlords to send deadlier, more powerful replacements to deal with the heroes at the final scene. Coincidentally, both the Inquisitor and Zhao were voiced by Jason Isaacs.