Episode 3 of Obi-Wan Kenobi has been officially released on Disney+, continuing the story of Ewan McGregor's titular character as he tries to get Vivien Lyra Blair's Princess Leia Organa back to Alderaan. Episode 2 featured the Jedi Master and the Princess on Daiyu, attempting to escape from Moses Ingram's Reva, the Third Sister Inquisitor.
Near the end of the installment, it seemed as though Reva had cornered Obi-Wan and Leia into a docking bay when Rupert Friend's the Grand Inquisitor showed up. He confronted Reva and unintentionally bought Obi-Wan and Leia enough time to escape.
In a shocking turn of events, Reva killed the Grand Inquisitor with her lightsaber, leaving many fans to wonder if he was truly dead or not. The character is an important playing piece in Season 1 of the animated show, Star Wars: Rebels, so many speculated that he would somehow return in Episode 3, or at another point later in the series. The latest installment touched on the topic, leaving the door open for many different possibilities when it comes to the future of the character.
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Episode 3 of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Episode 3 opens with Obi-Wan reflecting on the revelation that his Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, is still alive. The camera periodically cuts away as the thoughts race through Kenobi's mind to showcase Hayden Christensen's Darth Vader being completely suited up after rehabilitating in a bacta tank. In the following scene, Reva actually communicates with Vader about Obi-Wan, and the first mention of the Grand Inquisitor takes place.
Reva's Opportunity to Become Grand Inquisitor
As Vader sits on the throne inside his castle, Reva speaks to him via hologram. After she reveals to Vader that they are tracking Obi-Wan's whereabouts, she claims that he was the one to kill the Grand Inquisitor instead of her. She says "He will pay for the Grand Inquisitor's--" when Vader cuts her off and responds with "The Grand Inquisitor means nothing."
From this exchange, it seems as though the Grand Inquisitor is truly dead. It has been reported to Vader, who is the true leader of the Inquisitors, and his obsession with Kenobi suggests that he will not make any effort to save or revive the Grand Inquisitor. However, the Sith Lord does briefly mention what will come from the Grand Inquisitor's death.
Vader tells Reva that he has kept his eye on her, and says "I know what it is you seek." He then goes on to offer her a coveted reward if she can prove herself - "the position of Grand Inquisitor." However, due to his merciless nature, he also promises to kill her if she fails. This is the only mention of the Grand Inquisitor from Vader. He seems to have accepted his death and is ready to move on and appoint someone else to fill the role. In his mind, it appears to be a simple bump in the road, but for the Inquisitors, it is much more important.
Grand Inquisitor: Third Sister Versus Fifth Brother
In Episode 2, the Grand Inquisitor tells Reva that she is the least of all the Inquisitors. It is clear that neither he nor the other Inquisitors particularly like her or her impulsive style, so there is already a rift between them. In Episode 1, after Reva confronts Owen Lars about a Jedi hiding somewhere nearby, the Fifth Brother, played by Sung Kang, shoves her against the wall and is able to talk down to her without worrying about her retaliating.
After Reva talks to Vader in Episode 3, she travels to Fortress Inquisitorius and confronts the other Inquisitors, including the Fifth Brother. She orders them to send out probe droids to look for Obi-Wan, and when it appears that she is about to take the Grand Inquisitor's seat at the table, the Fifth Brother restrains her with the Force and claims that he is "next in line" when it comes to the line of succession for Grand Inquisitor. The rivalry between the two only grows when he threatens her by saying "I will get what I deserve, Third Sister. And so will you."
When the probe droid ends up locating Obi-Wan and Leia on Mapuzo, the Third Sister tells the other Inquisitors that she will tell Lord Vader about their findings. However, the Fifth Brother beat her to it and already informed him, trying to take the credit and make it appear as though he was the one to find Kenobi instead. Reva then pretends that the Fifth Brother's actions don't phase her, and confidently expresses that she will be the one "who'll be standing by his side" when the conflict is over.
The rest of the episode mainly focused on the first confrontation between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader, so the Third Sister's rivalry with the Fifth Brother was put on the backburner and will likely be further explored in the coming weeks. The most important detail of this entire situation, though, is that the Grand Inquisitor appears to be truly dead. If true, it would completely retcon a large portion of Disney's first Star Wars project - Rebels.
How the Grand Inquisitor's Death Would Affect Rebels
Jason Isaacs voiced the Grand Inquisitor in Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels. The character served as the main antagonist until the season finale, where he willingly falls to his death after a duel between himself, Ezra Bridger, and Kanan Jarrus. If the Grand Inquisitor truly died in Obi-Wan Kenobi, the entire first season of Rebels couldn't exist in canon.
This would cause a major problem in the continuity of Star Wars because Season 1 of that show introduces viewers to an entirely new batch of characters, shows Ezra's early struggles with becoming a Jedi and fitting in with the team, and also provides Ezra and Kanan with their first actual test as they get back into the ways of the Jedi.
It is also important to remember that the crew from Rebels was in contact with Ahsoka during Season 1. She didn't formally meet all of them until the season finale and only went by her codename, Fulcrum, up until that point, but she still communicated with them. The upcoming Ahsoka series is going to feature many of the main characters from Rebels, so if Season 1 is retconned because of the Grand Inquisitor's death in Obi-Wan Kenobi, viewers will question how Ahsoka even met characters such as Hera and Sabine Wren.
Retconning Season 1 includes Ahsoka's early meetings and communications with them. If all of that was moved out of canon, the story wouldn't have the same impact that it currently does, and the viewer wouldn't be as invested in Ahsoka's relationship with all of them, because there would be no clear answer as to how they even came to work with each other.
Is the Grand Inquisitor Dead?
Even though Episode 3 of Obi-Wan Kenobi seemed to hint that the Grand Inquisitor had truly drawn his last breath, it is likely that they are saving his comeback as a surprise. Narratively, it makes too much sense for him not to be in the picture, as it would clog up the main story and not allow Reva to go off on her own. When Reva talked with Vader, he threatened to kill her if she failed her mission. Seeing how she is not in other projects like Rebels or Jedi: Fallen Order makes the viewer think that she will be killed by Vader toward the end of the series.
However, the Grand Inquisitor will more than likely make a triumphant return in one of the final episodes to enact his revenge upon her. This would save Season 1 of Rebels and allow it to remain in the canon, and answer why Reva isn't in any other stories.
It is always important to remember that other characters have made comebacks from events that almost surely killed them. Darth Maul was completely cut in half and still survived, and Anakin had three of his limbs severed before being burned on the slopes of a volcano. When compared to other wounds, the Grand Inquisitor's is actually extremely light. It also helps to know that the Grand Inquisitor is from the Pau'an race, and thanks to the canon novel titled Last Shot, Pau'ans have two stomachs.
It could easily be explained that only one of his stomachs was injured and a long soak in the bacta tank fixed it, or that his entire midsection was replaced with cybernetics just as Fennec Shand's was. The most important thing to remember is that Dave Filoni is a consultant for Obi-Wan Kenobi, and it would be extremely unlikely that he would let an important piece of his work be retconned so easily. The Grand Inquisitor will more than likely return at some point in the show's last three episodes, and when he does, Reva better look out.
The first three episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi are streaming on Disney+, and new episodes premiere every Wednesday.