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Star Wars Inquisitors explained - who are Vader’s evil Jedi hunters?

The Inquisitors are some of Star Wars' best villains but they have a complex place in the lore. Let's unpack everything you need to know about the Jedi hunters.

The Fifth Brother and unnamed Inquisitor: Star Wars inquisitors explained

Here’s everything you need to know about the villainous Star Wars Inquisitors. First introduced in Dave Filonis’s post-prequel trilogy animated series Rebels, the Inquisitors have since become a staple of the franchise, with their presence felt keenly in the likes of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series and Ahsoka.

Star Wars is, of course, known for its brilliant villains: the likes of Vader, Sidious, Dooku, and Ventress are among the best Star Wars characters ever. But unless you’ve gone beyond simply re-watching the Star Wars movies in order and embraced the ever-growing world of TV, you probably don’t know an awful lot about the Inquisitors. They’ve become the defining Star Wars villains of the past few years, so let’s get you up to speed.

What are the Inquisitors in Star Wars?

The Inquisitors were powerful Force-sensitive servants of the dark side who worked within the Galactic Empire’s Imperial Inquisition during the height of its powers after the fall of the Galactic Republic.

Overseen primarily by Darth Vader, the aim of the Inquisitors was to discover, track down, hunt, and kill any remaining Jedi who survived Order 66. They were also tasked with uncovering Force-sensitive children across the galaxy, and capturing them in order to prevent the recovery of the Jedi Order.

The Inquisitors themselves were powerful warriors, proficient in the Force and equipped with their iconic, spinning, duel-ended lightsabers. Some Inquisitors, such as Reva, were ex-Jedi Padawans, whereas some were recruited directly into the Inquisition and trained in the Force and in combat by the Grand Inquisitor, the leader of the group.

By the time of the destruction of the Death Star the Imperial Inquisition had mostly been dissolved in the belief that there were no longer any hidden Jedi across the galaxy.

The Grand Inquisitor in Rebels

Are the Inquisitors Sith?

Despite having been trained by Darth Vader himself, the Inquisitors aren’t actually Sith by definition.

This is because of the Sith’s fairly convoluted rules, which mean that there can only ever be two Sith, officially, at once. During the time of the Inquisitors, the only two Sith were Vader and Sidious. Before Vader’s ascent, previously the two had been Plagueis and Sidious, Sidious and Maul, Sidious and Dooku.

So, while they wield lightsabers and use the Force, they don’t abide by the strict Sith rules and religions, and they fall outside of the Rule of Two.

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Who are the most important Inquisitors in Star Wars?

There are numerous Inquisitors in Star Wars canon, however, many are unnamed and are only bit players in the overall story.

The most important Inquisitors really do define the stories of Rebels, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka though, shaping the past decade of Star Wars on television. Here are the biggest names you need to learn about.

The main Star Wars Inquisitors:

  • The Grand Inquisitor
  • Reva
  • Marrok
  • The Fifth Brother
  • The Seventh Sister

The Grand Inquisitor is the most cunning and cruel Inquisitor and the leader of the group, defining the mission of the organization. After appearing in Rebels as the devoted servant of Vader, leading the hunt for Kanan, he appeared as one of the primary villains in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Inquisitor Reva in Obi-Wan Kenobi

Like The Grand Inquisitor, Reva is also one of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s villains. Raw and angry, she hunts down Jedi with extreme fervour though her real goal is to seek revenge on Darth Vader after witnessing her kill her fellow Padawans during Order 66.

Then we get to the mysterious Marrok. We thought he might play some bigger role in Ahsoka, though the truth of his background was just that he was just a former Inquisitor who’d been hired by Morgan Elsbeth to join her forces.

The Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister, during the events of Rebels, worked closely together in their attempt to track down Kanan and Ezra. He was the brawn, opting for brute force, and she was the brains, using her cunning wit. Eventually, the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister were killed by Maul, after coming close to defeating Kanan and Ezra on more than one occasion.

There were, potentially, up to 16 Inquisitors during the reign of the Empire. Undoubtedly as we continue to witness more of the story through other Star Wars series and new Star Wars movies, we’ll get to know more about the secretive organization and its other members.

For more on Star Wars, read our guide to the main Star Wars cast, and see our picks for the best science fiction movies. Or, see what’s new on Disney Plus this month, before revisiting Ahsoka with our feature on why Ahsoka’s biggest mystery should totally change how we watch Star Wars.