The Grand Inquisitor with his spinning double bladed lightsaber

Grand Inquisitor’s Death: Did the Grand Inquisitor Really Die in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi?’

*Contains spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi “Part I” and “Part 2.”*

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Obi-Wan Kenobi, the new Star Wars limited series on Disney Plus, features the Inquisitors, an elite order of Force-sensitive operatives who travel the galaxy, hunting down and eliminating any Jedi who survived the infamous Order 66. The leader of this order, a Pau’an former Jedi Knight, is known only as the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend). And by the end of Part 2, he seems to be dead. But is that really true? Did the Grand Inquisitor really die?

Obi-Wan Kenobi tells the story of Obi-Wan’s years on Tatooine, watching over young Luke Skywalker as he hides from the Inquisitors and tries to lead a simple life. When Princess Leia is kidnapped off of Alderaan, though, her adoptive parents ask Obi-Wan to find her and bring her home, not realizing that the very reason she’s been taken is to lure him out of hiding so that Anakin Skywalker, now known as Darth Vader, can find him.

One of the most interesting conflicts that the first two episodes have set up is the tension between Inquisitor Reva, also known as Third Sister, and the Grand Inquisitor. While the rest of the Inquisitors are merely concerned with finding their prey, Reva is ruthlessly ambitious and obsessed with tracking down Obi-Wan, willing to maim and kill civilians in order to find him. The plot to kidnap Leia is Reva’s idea, and she does it behind the Grand Inquisitor’s back.

At the end of Part 2, Reva and the Grand Inquisitor finally confront each other, with the Grand Inquisitor telling Reva that he’s going to turn Obi-Wan in and take credit for his capture. He tells her to stand down, and Reva seems to comply at first, but then stabs him through the stomach with her lightsaber. As she runs after Obi-Wan, we see the Grand Inquisitor lying still on the ground, his eyes open.

Doesn’t look good for the ol’ GI.

Is He Dead?

Newcomers to Star Wars would think that the Grand Inquisitor is just a bit part, but this show is actually far from his first appearance in the Star Wars universe. According to Star Wars lore, the Grand Inquisitor started out as a Jedi Knight and Temple Guard on Coruscant. However, the young knight became jaded with the Jedi order after the trial of Ahsoka Tano (more on that below) and his experiences in the Jedi Archives. After surviving Order 66, the knight succumbed to the Dark Side after Darth Sidious approached him and offered him access to the archives.

The Grand Inquisitor has appeared in many non-canonical Star Wars projects over the years, including the animated shows Star Wars: Rebels and Ahsoka, with the latter currently being developed into a live-action show that will join the official Star Wars continuity. Would Disney and Lucasfilm really take such a popular and established character and relegate him to two episodes and an undignified death in a dark alley?

It’s true that the final shot of his body looks pretty convincing. The classic rule in sci-fi is, of course, that no one’s dead unless you see a body, and the series makes sure to show us that body. Plus, the classic rule of any onscreen death is that closed eyes means they might be alive and open eyes means they’re definitely dead, and the Grand Inquisitor’s eyes are open.

But this is a series featuring a character who got most of his limbs cut off, and suffered horrific burns all over his body, and still managed to (sort of) bounce back. Characters get their hands cut off right and left and are able to sleep it off. Is a Force-sensitive guy like the Grand Inquisitor really going to immediately succumb to one little cauterized gut wound? That seems unlikely.

Plus, the IMDB page for Obi-Wan Kenobi lists Rupert Friend as involved in all six episodes. It’s true that IMDB has been wrong before, and the actor could come back in flashbacks or as a different character (the Grand Inquisitor’s twin brother?) but it’s still data. So is the Grand Inquisitor really dead? We’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out for sure, but in the meantime, don’t give up hope of seeing more of that delicious rivalry between him and Reva. If the Grand Inquisitor is revived somehow, he’s going to be grandly pissed off.

**UPDATE**

Oh! Oh! Who called it? Who called it!? I DID.

Episode 5 came out this week, and OF COURSE the Grand Inquisitor isn’t dead. Of course he isn’t! At the end of the episode, Reva finally tries to take her shot at Darth Vader, whom she’s been hunting her entire adult life. She’s committed untold atrocities and betrayed everything she was taught as a youngling in order to rise through the ranks of the Inquisitors and get close to him. She was even named Grand Inquisitor herself for about two seconds! But it turns out Vader knew what she was up to all along, and as he stabs her and leaves her to die, Reva is confronted with an extra insult: the Grand Inquisitor shows up, good as new, to take his pin back and rub her face in her failure. How exactly did he survive? Maybe we’ll find out next week, when the final episode drops.

(featured image: Lucasfilm)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>