Revenge, Fear, and the Dark Path of the Grand Inquisitor
By: Meg Dowell
Organization: The Galactic Empire / Inquisitorius / The Sith
Job title: Grand Inquisitor
Report to: Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith
Job description: Locate survivors of the Jedi Purge. Recruit or eliminate by Force.
Beyond the Purge
He used to spend his days guarding the Jedi Temple. As a loyal servant of the Jedi Order, he likely never imagined he would one day use his training to answer to a much darker calling.
In the aftermath of Order 66, the Grand Inquisitor traded his yellow-bladed lightsaber pike for a spinning, crimson blade.
His mission: Track down Force-sensitives with an aim to capture … or kill.
All while taking orders from one of the most powerful Force-users who ever lived.
Fight Like a Jedi
One of the Grand Inquisitor’s many tasks under a Sith's command was to access the Jedi Archies within the former temple.
As seen in Charles Soule’s Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic, he infiltrated the archives to retrieve data once exclusive to members of the Order. There he encountered a Sith Lord called Vader, and engaged in his first -- but certainly not last -- lightsaber duel against an opponent armed with a lightsaber.
Under the direction of Emperor Palpatine -- and thereafter, Lord Vader -- the Inquisitor was given the responsibility of finishing what Order 66 had started: Eliminating every Jedi that still threatened the Empire’s hold on the galaxy.
Some of this information would lead members of the Inquisitorius to Purge survivors. But the Inquisitor’s first objective was to study and master every Jedi fighting style in order to overpower them in combat.
A First Among Assassins
As the Emperor undoubtedly knew, one inquisitor wouldn’t have been enough to scour the galaxy in search of Force-sensitives. The Grand Inquisitor was first but only one of nearly a dozen of his kind -- the sisters and brothers of Inquisitorius.
Like the Grand Inquisitor, the rest of the Inquisitorius were former Jedi who succumbed to the dark side of the Force and agreed to hunt down and destroy survivors,such as Jocasta Nu, Kanan Jarrus, and Ahsoka Tano.
Throughout Soule’s series, the Grand Inquisitor went out of his way to showcase his power not only to Vader, but to the other inquisitors as well.
His fear of failure -- and endless hunger to solve the various mysteries of the galaxy -- was his downfall long before his demise.
The Grand Quest for Knowledge
Hunting down the former Jedi archivist Jocasta Nu prompted the Grand Inquisitor to reveal to his master the source of anger that may have coaxed him to the dark side.
He told his master: “I always hated Jocasta Nu. She looked down on me … never gave me full access to the archives, always hovered when she did let me read a datafile or two. She sorted us into categories in her head -- you could see it. Those few who were worthy to learn the deep mysteries of the Force, and … the rest of us.”
He loathed being a Temple Guard, feeling as though he would never gain access to the answers he truly sought. Thus began his journey down the path that would lead him to Vader’s side. After all, wasn’t it a thirst for knowledge what sent the Sith Lord down an identical trail?
A Lesser of Evils
It wasn’t just Jocasta Nu the Grand Inquisitor sought to eliminate. It was every Jedi -- including those who may have joined a rapidly rising rebellion against the Emperor.
As we saw in Star Wars: Rebels, the Grand Inquisitor set on a quest to take down Kanan Jarrus and his padawan, and in doing so, the Inquisitor entered a lightsaber duel that would end his career as a servant of the Empire -- and his life.
The Season 1 finale of Rebels showed just how intimidating Darth Vader was to those beneath him -- even to a former Jedi who may have once stood beside a man called Anakin Skywalker.
Even with his weapon destroyed and his opponent standing over him with a potentially lethal blade, the defenseless inquisitor could have survived defeat. He instead chose to end his own life -- not because of pride, but because his master was waiting. And if Jarrus wasn’t going to murder him, there was a good chance Vader would have finished the job himself. The Jedi wouldn’t spare him from the threat of another man’s crimson blade. There was only one escape route left to quench his dread.
Making use of the dark side of the Force may give its wielders knowledge and power. But in embracing fear, users also risk falling prey to it.
At the time of his death at the hands of Jarrus, the Grand Inquisitor acted as so many servants of Sith Lords do: out of fear. Knowing his only options were to face the wrath of his master, destroy his opponent, or die trying, he accepted a fate he once gave up his values to prevent.
The Grand Inquisitor knew appearing before Vader having failed would be worse than losing his life to members of the Order to which he was once a loyal servant. He may have once never fathomed betraying the ways of the Jedi. But in the end, it was a Jedi who forced him to pay for his crimes once and for all.
Get Star Wars books in your mailbox every month.
Staying on top of Star Wars book releases is no small task. That's why we created an easy way to get books delivered to your door every month.
About Meg Dowell
Meg is a health science writer by day and a Star Wars enthusiast 24/7. What started out as one spontaneous movie night with her dad quickly morphed into a lifelong quest to read everything that has ever been written about the world’s greatest fictional galaxy. She lives in Illinois with her cat, dog, and medal-worthy book collection, and believes any conversation in which Star Wars references are applicable is one worth having.
Follow Meg at...