SPOILER HEAVY for Star Wars Jedi:Fallen Order (and Rebels)
The universe post order 66, or the Great Jedi Purge, has been explored briefly, but there isn’t a lot of canon material of the early years of the Empire era. (From a Jedi’s point of view that is, because in the eyes of the Empire well they’re all dead.) Of course we know based on the events in Revenge of the Sith that Obi Wan and Yoda survive, and that’s it for the Jedi order.
But, come on. We know that more must have survived Order 66. Well so did good ol’ Sheev, and thus the Inquisitorius was formed. Formed in the early days of the Empire as a a Jedi hunting squad, comprised of former Jedi and specially trained purge troopers.
Our first resource was the early seasons of Rebels. Giving us the Grand Inquisitor, Seventh Sister, Fifth Brother, and Eighth Brother. But this snapshot of the Inquisitorius was of the back end of their campaign, once defeated by our heroes in Rebels the Inquisitors seemingly just disappeared.
Our other main resource has been the recent Darth Vader comics series. This series giving a closer look at the early days of the Inquisitorius, and even more inquisitors. Being set just 5 years after Order 66, Jedi: Fallen Order gives us a look even closer at the Inquisitorius.
JFO gave us a peek, finally, at how the Inquisitors become part of this death squad. We knew that they were former jedi, and therefore were also survivors of the Great Jedi Purge. What we lacked in knowledge though, was their motivation to become an inquisitor. And as much as “the dark side made me do it” can be an explanation here, I’m still asking for more.
From the first moment that Cere mentioned that she had lost her padawan and cut herself off from the force as a result of this, it was clear that that was Second Sister, Trilla. (Look if you didn’t pick that up immediately, what.. story were you watching?)
Trilla’s story gave us a glimpse at how the Inquisitorius grew in numbers. Cere tried to hold out as long as possible but ended up giving the location of Trilla, and in turn caused Trilla’s fall to the dark side. Because of this, Trilla was located and recruited. They were all given a choice, join the hunt for the rest or die. I’d like to see a count of just how many Jedi the Inquisitorius came across and eliminated. (Compared to the seemingly only dozen or so that joined.)
We can assume that a handful of these Inquisitors fell to the dark side, because they were essentially sold out by someone else? I doubt anyone would come crawling to the Inquisitors begging to join. But then again, the dark side works in mysterious and unnatural ways. The pitch for getting them to join up would be more of a we just found you at your lowest point, join us to eliminate those who wronged you or die. Those who joined could be perceived as someone who was power hungry, hellbent on revenge, weak minded and easily swayed, or just lost one’s sense of self. When almost all of your fellow Jedi are eliminated in one swoop, it can really leave you feeling lost in the universe.
The Inquisitorius gave those willing to give everything left one last stand. With the Jedi training in their past, the dark side was giving them their future.
But even when you have fallen far from the light, there is always a way out. Trilla receives that almost redemption at the last moment, yelling “Avenge us!” to Cere and Cal and she’s executed by Vader. These Inquisitors were never full Sith to begin with, they’re just tapping into the dark side for the strength to overcome a light side force user. Even though the INquisitorious is giving them something to fight for, and live for now, they are all living in the constant fear of failure and what punishment would come.
Every inquisitor is just delaying the inevitable. They know that they will die. But will it either be at the hands of a Jedi they are hunting, or at the hands of their Sith overlords? In the upcoming Star Wars media I’d love to see more for this era. Not just in comics but in animated shows and live action features hopefully. Give me that Inquisitorius TV show!