Delving into the realm of Star Wars lore, it’s imperative to acquaint oneself with the formidable adversaries known as the Inquisitors. These enigmatic figures were first unveiled in Dave Filoni’s animated series “Rebels,” post the prequel trilogy era. Since then, they’ve ingrained themselves as a vital element of the Star Wars universe, leaving their mark on productions like the Obi-Wan Kenobi series and Ahsoka.
While Star Wars is renowned for its iconic villains, including the likes of Vader, Sidious, Dooku, and Ventress, the Inquisitors are a facet that might have eluded those whose knowledge is confined to the main film saga. However, they have emerged as the quintessential antagonists in recent years, warranting an exploration of their origins and motivations.
So, what exactly are the Inquisitors in the Star Wars universe? These were formidable wielders of the Force, aligned with the dark side, who operated under the banner of the Galactic Empire’s Imperial Inquisition, following the demise of the Galactic Republic. Guided primarily by the malevolent Darth Vader, their primary objective was to root out, pursue, and eliminate any surviving Jedi who had escaped the infamous Order 66. Additionally, they were charged with identifying Force-sensitive youngsters across the galaxy, detaining them to thwart any potential resurgence of the Jedi Order.
The Inquisitors were a force to be reckoned with, possessing a mastery of both the Force and combat skills, coupled with their distinctive dual-bladed lightsabers that spun menacingly. While some, like Reva, were once Jedi Padawans who had strayed from the path, others were recruited directly into the Inquisition and received training in both the Force and combat under the tutelage of the Grand Inquisitor, their formidable leader.
As the events led to the destruction of the Death Star, the Imperial Inquisition underwent dissolution, spurred by the belief that there were no longer any concealed Jedi scattered across the galaxy.
One might question if the Inquisitors could be classified as Sith. Despite their tutelage under Darth Vader, they did not officially hold the title of Sith. This stemmed from the intricate rules governing the Sith, allowing only two to exist at any given time. During the era of the Inquisitors, these positions were occupied by Vader and Sidious, and prior to Vader’s ascendancy, various pairs such as Plagueis and Sidious, Sidious and Maul, and Sidious and Dooku held these roles. Thus, though they harnessed the Force and wielded lightsabers, the Inquisitors fell outside the rigid boundaries and doctrines of the Sith, diverging from the Rule of Two.
While the roster of Inquisitors in the Star Wars canon is extensive, many remain unnamed, playing relatively minor roles in the overarching narrative. The pivotal Inquisitors, however, have left an indelible mark on stories spanning Rebels, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka.
Here are the noteworthy names that merit attention:
1. The Grand Inquisitor
4. The Fifth Brother
5. The Seventh Sister
The Grand Inquisitor stands out as the most shrewd and malevolent of the group, steering the organization’s mission. Initially introduced in “Rebels” as a devoted enforcer of Vader, he later reemerged as a prominent antagonist in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Reva, akin to The Grand Inquisitor, emerges as one of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s formidable adversaries. Driven by raw intensity and an unrelenting pursuit of Jedi, her true aim lies in avenging her fallen Padawans at the hands of Darth Vader during Order 66.
Next, we encounter the enigmatic Marrok. While anticipation swirled around his potential role in Ahsoka, his backstory unveiled him as a former Inquisitor enlisted by Morgan Elsbeth to bolster her forces.
In the events chronicled in “Rebels,” the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister collaborated closely in their endeavours to track down Kanan and Ezra. While he favoured sheer brute force, she relied on her cunning intellect. Ultimately, both met their end at the hands of Maul, having come perilously close to vanquishing Kanan and Ezra on more than one occasion.
During the Empire’s reign, there could have been as many as sixteen Inquisitors. Undoubtedly, as we delve deeper into the Star Wars narrative through subsequent series and films, we’ll gain further insights into this clandestine organization and its other members.