The Imperial Inquisition: the hunt for Kenobi


A frame from the May the 4th trailer for Kenobi.

On May 4, 2022, Star Wars fans were given another look at the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series set to come out May 27. One of the shots shown were of lightsaber-wielding Force users followed by Stormtroopers. No, these are not Jedi nor are they Sith, they are the Imperial Inquisitorius.

The Grand Inquisitor duels the Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus in Star Wars: Rebels.

They were first shown with the animated original show Star Wars: Rebels, in which the first Inquisitor shown was the Grand Inquisitor, who appears in the trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi portrayed by Rupert Friend in the first live-action appearance of the Inquisitorius. Inquisitors were used in similarly popular material in the game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in which the Jedi padawan Cal Kestis.

The Second Sister as seen in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

The Imperial Inquisitorius was created in secret, made up of former Jedi who pledged allegiance to Emperor Palpatine after Order 66, the order given by Palpatine to the clones that commanded them to eliminate the Jedi as traitors to the Republic. The Grand Inquisitor was the former leader of the Jedi Temple Guard, though after Order 66 was given he turned on the Jedi.

Clone troopers storm the Jedi Temple, eliminating Jedi on sight. Frame from the Book of Boba Fett.

The Inquisitors were given new names following a simple formula of the gender and their number, such as the Second Sister or the Sixth Brother. They were then trained in the dark side to be Jedi hunters, similar to General Grievous, the lightsaber-wielding cyborg leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

CIS Jedi hunter General Grievous, wielding the lightsabers of Jedi he has killed. Frame from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Were the Inquisitors Sith? No, Palpatine and Darth Vader followed the Rule of Two, set by Darth Bane, which states that there may only be two Sith at once, a master and an apprentice. They were similar though in the way that they also wield red lightsabers and practice the dark side of the Force.

Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode II: Attack of the Clones portrayed by Ewan McGregor who will be taking up the role as Obi-Wan again in the new series.

Since Darth Vader dueled Obi Wan Kenobi on Mustafar in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, where Vader lost and was left to die until he was found by Palpatine, the Empire knew Kenobi was still alive. In the new show, Kenobi, a wanted poster can be seen with Kenobi’s likeness, which means the Inquisitors are specifically hunting Obi-Wan Kenobi. Watch on May 27 to see what becomes of their hunt when the first episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi is released on Disney+.