Since Darth Vader can’t possibly hunt all the Jedi at once, Emperor Palpatine made sure that he wouldn’t be alone in his crusade by providing him with a new group of Jedi hunters.
The Inquisitors are fallen Jedi who have chosen a new life hunting the remaining Jedi and extinguishing any trace of the force. While Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars: Rebels introduce fans to several Inquisitors, they all are led by one individual called the Grand Inquisitor. While his name is unknown, the dark side user led the Inquisitors and hunted down any surviving Jedi.
Who are the Inquisitors?
The Inquisitors are fallen Jedi trained to use the dark side. They were trained by Darth Vader and many of the Inquisitors lost limbs to the Dark Lord of the Sith since he didn’t like that Palpatine created the group. It is believed that there are 12 Inquisitors, but Star Wars has never officially stated how many Inquisitors there are.
All of the Inquisitors have a name that goes by a numerical order such as Fifth Brother or Ninth Sister. The only exception to this is Trilla/Ninth Sister from Jedi: Fallen Order and the Third Sister also going by her other name, Reva. At the moment, Star Wars hasn’t explored what happens to the Inquisitors, but it doesn’t seem that they are active when Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977) happens.
Who is the Grand Inquisitor?
The Grand Inquisitor is a Pau’an male from Utapau. Before he turned to the dark side, the Grand Inquisitor served as Jedi Temple Guard. These guards were special Jedi who became emotionally detached from the world in order to protect the Jedi temple at all costs. A Star Wars database describes the Temple Guard’s goals and what they had to wear in order to protect the Jedi Temple:
The Jedi Temple Guard was a security force maintained by the Jedi Order and tasked with the protection of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, the capital planet of the Galactic Republic. An ancient and honored tradition in Jedi history, the Temple Guards were Jedi Knights pulled from the ranks to become anonymous sentinels as part of their lifelong commitment to the Order. Concealed within formal robes and a mask, the life of a guardsman was a higher calling that demanded absolute emotional detachment. Armed with lightsaber pikes—a double-bladed lightsaber that produced yellow plasma blades—, or similar hinged double-bladed lightsabers, the Guards served under the head of security, Jedi Master Cin Drallig. During the Clone Wars, Padawan Barriss Offee was arrested by the Temple Guards for committing treasonous acts against both the Order and the Republic.
The Grand Inquisitor later became one of the first Inquisitors and was sent by Vader to take force-sensitive children and/or kill any trained Jedi if they wouldn’t join their forces. In Rebels, the Grand Inquisitor shows off his expertise in tracking Jedi as he is able to lure Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger into several traps.
Since the Inquisitors are a special group in the Empire that work only to kill Jedi, they have almost full control to do whatever they want in order to hunt Jedi as an Imperial officer or commander would help the Inquisitors because they know that if they refused, then Vader or the Emperor would deal with them.
How did he become the Grand Inquisitor?
At the end of the Clone Wars, the Grand Inquisitor saw the fall of the Jedi Order about to happen so when the siege on the Jedi Temple began, he turned on his fellow guards and killed them all, and surrendered to the Empire as one of the first Inquisitors. This is why the Jedi Temple never had any Temple Guard around when the 501st Legion arrived.
This led to the Grand Inquisitor receiving his title and being given the responsibility to oversee the Inquisitorius since Vader refused to help the new Jedi hunters. The Grand Inquisitor was able to hold his position for around 15 years before an unexpected moment cost him his life.
Grand Inquisitor in the comics
In the comics, the Grand Inquisitor is shown to help Vader with training the new Inquisitors. Surprisingly, before Vader learned about the Inquisitors, the Grand Inquisitor was able to search the Jedi Archives as he was promised by the Emperor to learn as much as he wanted in order to be able to track down any surviving Jedi.
This led to Vader dueling the Grand Inquisitor and almost killing him before Palpatine intervened. Then Vader learned that the Inquisitor was supposed to be his group of hunters to kill any surviving Jedi. The Grand Inquisitor led his group with Vader to kill several Jedi such as Jocasta Nu, the archivist for the Jedi Order, and Jedi Master Eeth Koth.
Grand Inquisitor in Star Wars Rebels
In Star Wars: Rebels, the Grand Inquisitor heard of a rebel cell with two Jedi on Lothal so he went forward to investigate. He found that Kanan and Ezra were two new Jedi helping the city which was starting to cause problems for the Imperials. By himself, the Grand Inquisitor was requested by Grand Moff Tarkin to take down the Jedi.
Voiced by Jason Isaacs, fans got to see how smart and evil the Grand Inquisitor is as he lured the Jedi into several traps before capturing Kanan. He interrogated him for any more information on the rebel cell. This led to Tarkin suggesting that they take Kanan to Mustafar because no Jedi makes it off the planet alive.
Is the Grand Inquisitor in Jedi: Survivor?
While the Grand Inquisitor is mentioned in Jedi: Fallen Order, some fans believe that the sequel shows the Grand Inquisitor in the trailer. The Pau’an sitting at the desk with Cal Kestis’ lightsaber can’t be the Grand Inquisitor because he doesn’t have the Inquisitor armor, his unique marking on his forehead, or sith eyes so it’s very unlikely that this character is the Grand Inquisitor. Another reason is that Jedi: Survivor is set around the same time as Obi-Wan Kenobi so it’s very unlikely that the Grand Inquisitor would be in both stories.
What happens to the Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi?
***SPOILERS FOR OBI-WAN KENOBI EPISODES 1-3***
The Grand Inquisitor does indeed have a role in the new series, Obi-Wan Kenobi. After finding a Jedi on Tatooine, The Grand Inquisitor, Fifth Brother, and Third Sister end up killing him and hanging his body in the village to let others know what happens when people help Jedi.
Reva is seen to be impulsive as she almost kills the Jedi before the Inquisitors can learn what he knows. The Grand Inquisitor sees her as reckless and tells her to leave her fixation on Kenobi behind. Once Reva brings Kenobi out of hiding, the Grand Inquisitor takes over the situation and tells Reva to stand down. She refuses and stabs the Grand Inquisitor and leaves him to die while she chases Kenobi.
Darth Vader promises Reva the title of Grand Inquisitor in the third episode which leaves fans to wonder if Star Wars is breaking canon by “killing off” the Grand Inquisitor. Joby Harold, the writer for the series has promised fans that they know what happens in the future projects and won’t break canon in the series meaning that Inquisitor is still alive and should be expected to show up in a future episode.
This is good because fans have already seen how the Grand Inquisitor died as he had a chilling final line right before he died:
“There are things I fear more than death.”
Does the Grand Inquisitor die?
In the season finale, the Grand Inquisitor duels Kanan as he attempts to escape. After underestimating the Jedi, Kanan destroys his lightsaber and he falls off the platform and hangs on for his life. As Kanan reaches to help the Grand Inquisitor up, he tells Kanan that there are “worse things than death” and he commits suicide by letting go and falling into the fire below.
Surprisingly enough, this isn’t the last time fans see the Grand Inquisitor as he appears once again when Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka meditate at the Lothal Jedi Temple. This leads to Kanan going into a vision and having to duel Temple Guards.
Kanan wins the duel only to have the main Temple Guard make Kanan a Jedi Knight. After this, he takes off his mask and reveals he is the Grand Inquisitor. While this is hard to understand, the Grand Inquisitor now serves as a force apparition to protect the Jedi Temple.
Later on, Luke Skywalkers ends up searching a Jedi Temple on Tempes when he encounters a dark-side ghost of the Grand Inquisitor. They duel and Luke is able to escape. The Grand Inquisitor informs Darth Vader of what happened and ask if he could be released. Darth Vader refuses as he sees the Inquisitor as a tool. This is the last time fans have seen the characters and he reiterates his final words once again:
“There are worse things than death.”
Overall, the Grand Inquisitor has a very interesting character arc that will continue to be explored in Obi-Wan Kenobi as the final three episodes of the series might make the character temporarily lose his title as the Grand Inquisitor. If this happens, perhaps Star Wars fans will learn what his other name is since he couldn’t be called the Grand Inquisitor.
It’s also possible that Reva might die by the Grand Inquisitor as it seems that her death is imminent in order to preserve canon continuity. The Grand Inquisitor’s story is far from over as Star Wars still hasn’t explained how Darth Vader got him to be a spirit on Tempes and what happened to the other Inquisitors. Star Wars will eventually answer these questions, but it probably won’t happen very soon.