Star Wars: Was the Grand Inquisitor Formerly a Jedi?

grand inquisitor

The Grand Inquisitor was a major enemy in the events of the first season of ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ especially because he was the one who was chasing the Spectres during the series’ events. What was striking was that he was already incredibly gifted in both the Force and lightsaber combat, having overwhelmed Kanan Jarrus multiple times before his death. That means that he was already a trained fighter before the Imperial era. So, was the Grand Inquisitor formerly a Jedi?

The Grand Inquisitor was once a member of the Jedi Order before he fell to the dark side and became the leader of the Inquistiorius. In fact, he was one of the members of the Jedi Temple Guard, a group tasked with guarding the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He survived Order 66 and fell to the dark side.

The truth was that many Jedi may have survived Order 66 but were susceptible to the pull of the dark side and could join the Empire as Inquisitors. The Grand Inquisitor was only one of those Jedi Knights, as he became the leader of the Inquistiorius after Emperor Palpatine himself recruited him. Let’s look at how the Grand Inquisitor was formerly a Jedi.

The Grand Inquisitor was a Jedi Temple Guard

One of the things that we learned during the first season of ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ was that the Spectres were being chased around by a powerful Force wielder known as the Grand Inquisitor, who was an agent of the Empire and was tasked with hunting down Jedi throughout the reign of the Empire. And he hunted the Spectres down because of the Jedi master-and-apprentice duo of Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger.


Of course, the Grand Inquisitor was already a more mature person, as he was already an adult before the Jedi Order was destroyed. On top of that, it was clear that he was already well-trained in the ways of the Force and was strong enough to earn the title of the Grand Inquisitor, who was the strongest of all of the Inquisitors.

The reason why the Grand Inquisitor was already powerful and well-trained was the fact that he was a Jedi before he became an Inquisitor. He wasn’t just a regular Jedi. That’s because he was a masked Jedi Temple Guards member who protected the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. We even saw him a few times during the events of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ but he was wearing a mask when we saw him.


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During his time as a Temple Guard, the Grand Inquisitor was a very curious Jedi who wanted to learn more about the Force, even the dark side. As such, he often wanted to spend time in the Jedi Archives, only for Jocasta Nu to deny him access numerous times because she thought that it was unfit for his station to try to learn more about the Force beyond what he was supposed to learn. In most cases, Nu only allowed him access to databanks but often watched him closely because she may have already sensed an inner darkness in him.

In that regard, the Grand Inquisitor resented Jocasta Nu and was growing closer to the dark side even though he was still loyal to his role as a Temple Guard. Then, during the trial of Ahsoka Tano, he became one of the Jedi who were disillusioned by the Jedi Order when he witnessed Barriss Offee’s admission of guilt after Anakin caught her and sent her to the trial to admit her role in the bombing of the Jedi Order. The Grand Inquisitor heard Offee’s resentment toward the Jedi Order and was also convinced that the Jedi was no longer the same as it used to be.

barriss trial

As such, after surviving the events of Order 66, the Grand Inquisitor was invited by Emperor Palpatine himself to join the Empire and become the leader of the Inquistiorius. What convinced him was the fact that Palpatine was willing to allow him to gain access to the Jedi Archives so that he could feed his curiosity.

After the Grand Inquisitor died in the season 1 finale of ‘Rebels,’ he appeared in a Force vision when Kanan Jarrus and his allies entered the Jedi Temple on Lothal. In his vision, the Temple Guard that Kanan faced removed his mask to reveal that he was the Grand Inquisitor. After Kanan passed his test in the vision, the spirit of the Grand Inquisitor knighted him.

Were all Inquisitors former Jedi?

The truth is that the Grand Inquisitor was not the only former Jedi who became an Inquisitor. Most, if not all, of the Inquisitors were former Jedi who were seduced to the dark side after they survived Order 66. And many of them had very interesting backstories that led to their downfall to the dark side.

Trilla, the Second Sister, was one of the first to become an Inquisitor. She used to be the Padawan of Cere Junda before her despair turned her to the dark side. Reva, the Third Sister, was just a youngling during Order 66 but became an Inquisitor to get close to Darth Vader and kill him because Anakin was responsible for killing her friends at the Jedi Temple. The Ninth Sister was also revealed to be a former Jedi during the events of ‘Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.’


In that regard, almost all of the Inquisitors were former Jedi or, at the very least, Jedi-trained. It is possible that the Jedi who survived Order 66 and fell to the dark side were simply turned into Inquisitors so that the Empire would have more dispensable people hunting down the Jedi survivors. And it would have been a waste of time and resources to train a new batch of Force-sensitive people to become Inquisitors.

Did the Grand Inquisitor know Vader was Anakin?

Of all of the Inquisitors, the Grand Inquisitor was the one whom Darth Vader trusted the most because he was the strongest and most competent. But while that may be true, it was never revealed whether or not he was aware that Vader used to be Anakin.


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The most well-guarded secret of Vader was his true identity as Anakin Skywalker. Only a few people within the Empire knew this truth; not even the Inquisitors were privy to it. Reva knew who Vader was, but not all of the Inquisitors knew Vader’s true identity. As such, there is good reason to believe that not even the Grand Inquisitor knew who Vader was.

Nevertheless, some people would say that the Grand Inquisitor knew who Darth Vader was. This was hinted at in the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ series, wherein he was found standing side-by-side with Vader after surviving Reva’s attempt on his life. Reva had already attempted to kill Vader as well, only for her to fail. After failing to kill Vader, the Grand Inquisitor was seen standing together with the Sith Lord as it was hinted that he knew about Reva’s plans of betraying him and Darth Vader.

This points to the possibility that the Grand Inquisitor was already aware of who Darth Vader was. Nevertheless, it was neither confirmed nor denied that he knew the secret identity of the Sith Lord because this was one of the biggest secrets of the Empire.

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