Star Wars Inside Intel: The Inquisitorius

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Star Wars Inside Intel is a StarWars.com feature where Lucasfilm’s Emily Shkoukani, whose job is to know as much about a galaxy far, far away as possible, explores obscure facts about Star Wars lore and continuity. In this installment, Emily explores the evil Inquisitorius…

First mentioned in The Star Wars Sourcebook back in 1987, the Inquisitorius and the general concept of a group of dark side agents working for the Empire is nearly as old as the saga itself. After the storytelling reset in 2014, this group was reintroduced into current fiction in the series premiere of Star Wars Rebels, “Spark of Rebellion.” But the specifics regarding this group and how it operates have evolved since its inception, originally starting as a secret division of Imperial Intelligence, compared to the current Inquisitorius, who function under a more specific directive as ruthless Jedi hunters.

The Inquisitorius was created soon after the erection of the Galactic Empire. Although Order 66 was largely successful at purging the galaxy of Jedi, Emperor Palpatine needed to ensure his position of power could not be jeopardized or usurped by the light side, and so the Inquisitorius was born. But in a twist of fate, these Inquisitors were once Jedi themselves. Explored in Lucasfilm Games and Respawn Entertainment’s award-winning video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, these dark side agents were Jedi captured by the Empire in the aftermath of the Clone Wars, then corrupted, tortured, and finally molded into soldiers of evil. Trilla Suduri, the antagonist of Jedi: Fallen Order, was one such Jedi. Although she initially survived the purge carried out by the clones, the galaxy was almost immediately unsafe for any Jedi after Order 66. (Even those sympathetic to the Jedi refused to harbor them out of fear of being hunted themselves.) Trilla, a Padawan at the time, and her master Cere Junda attempted to hide from the Empire in the aftermath, but were inevitably captured. Trilla was quickly corrupted and turned to the dark side by the Empire’s evil torture tactics, becoming Second Sister, all while Cere watched helplessly. Although the Inquisitors used the dark side of the Force and wielded red lightsabers, they were not followers of the Sith dogma like Sidious and Darth Vader. Instead, they functioned essentially as specialized soldiers of the Empire. This kept the Inquisitorius’ infighting from spreading and potentially threatening Sidious’s power, as well.

Charles Soule’s Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith Marvel run further explores the early days of the Inquisition, and specifically Darth Vader’s introduction to the order. Confronted in the former Jedi Temple by a mysterious Force user, Vader learned the Pau’an was the Emperor’s Grand Inquisitor, the leader of a select group. Palpatine then handed over the Inquisitors to Vader, who would task them with various missions to hunt down Jedi and any Force sensitives…

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