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Obi-Wan Kenobi Writer Addresses Canon Problems Over Grand Inquisitor Death

Star Wars, Grand Inquisitor
By Russ Milheim

Obi-Wan Kenobi is finally here, and fans are ecstatic to be reunited with Ewan McGregor's iconic Jedi Knight as he tries to navigate a dark and broken world post-Revenge of the Sith. In the new series, not only will the hero be dealing with Darth Vader, but all of Vader's Inquisitor goons as well. The Jedi hunters originated in Star Wars: Rebels, and are only just now making their debut in live-action.

One of them is completely new to the franchise, with the bad guy in question being Moses Ingram's Reva. Also known as the Third Sister, she has an obsession with finding Obi-Wan herself—as for the why, fans are still awaiting those answers.

Alongside Reva, the show also brought a well-known character into the mix: The Grand Inquisitor. Played by Rupert Friend, the villain's first appearance was in Rebels, though he only lasted a season before falling to his death.

Grand Inquisitor Death, Obi-Wan Kenobi
Star Wars

However, his demise takes place a good four to five years later than what's being witnessed on Obi-Wan. So, how is that possible when the last time audiences saw him, he was just impaled through the gut with Reva's lightsaber? Would that not break canon?

Thankfully, one of the show's writers has spoken out about the event.

Obi-Wan's Grand Canon Problems

In an interview with Vanity Fair, writer Joby Harold talked about Obi-Wan Kenobi's Inquisitors, including the newcomer Reva, and The Grand Inquisitor, who hailed from Star Wars: Rebels.

Harold noted how Reva is different from the rest of the organization, saying that "Reva's unpredictability isn't consistent with [the Inquisitor's] operating procedure," and many of her actions "[aren't] within the playbook" of the rest of the Inquisitors:

"The Empire is in control, but they are a body that exists within the day-to-day life of the citizens of the galaxy. Many people believe they are doing what has to be done. There are people that sympathize with and believe in them... the Inquisitors aren't acting like renegade hot shots, cruising around going against the wishes of the Empire. Reva's unpredictability isn't consistent with their operating procedure. Certainly going after a senator's daughter is very much off-limits. Reva's discovery of the potency of the relationship between Bail and Obi-Wan, and taking advantage of that is certainly not within the playbook."

Moses Ingram's new character even "called [the Empire] pit on [their] hypocrisy," which plays to the more impulsive nature of Reva:

"Yeah, but then she calls them out on that hypocrisy too. She says 'We've done worse.' We established her as being more impulsive, more committed to her own personal goals, so it felt like we created enough room for her character to push further than they would."

Grand Inquisitor
Star Wars

Speaking of impulsiveness, Reva drove her lightsaber through the Grand Inquisitor at the end of Episode 2. Doesn't that go against canon? All Harold would say on the matter is how "[they] would never break canon:"

"As you know, we would never break canon. So, that's all I'll say. [Laughs.] Canon is everything... we all know where we're going in the show [from previous films and TV shows] so anytime you can undercut that, pull the rug on that, have a reversal …"

During the show's premiere, the writer "was sitting with Rupert Friend," and it was clear that "[people] were not expecting" Reva's actions at all.

"I was sitting with Rupert Friend [who plays the Grand Inquisitor.] I was right in front of him when it happened and we talked about it beforehand. I was like, 'How's this gonna be?' It was an audible gasp. The people... were not expecting that at all. That was quite gratifying because that's the intention to show. It begins with the Grand Inquisitor, well, grandstanding and enjoying the sound of his own voice. I don't think we anticipate that voice suddenly being cut off as it was."

Pivoting back to Reva, Harold complimented how the character is "brilliantly performed by Moses Ingram:

"She's so brilliantly performed by Moses Ingram. Defining how singular of purpose she is through action and not just through monologuing was really important. It’s having her be unpredictable, having her choices be sudden. And that scene… there's a legacy. Obi-Wan does that in that [1977’s Star Wars], you know... It has to be done sometimes! The effectiveness is in the way Deb covers the scene. It feels so sudden and immediate and speaks to Reva always impatiently wanting to push the agenda and wanting to achieve her goal."

So The Grand Inquisitor Lives?

Joby Harold's words seem to all but confirm that the Grand Inquisitor is still alive. While this might seem like the obvious conclusion to make, it remains a strange choice by the writers to orchestrate such a strange fakeout; everyone knows he lives to see Rebels, and Reva is certainly not the one who ends his life.

Sure, they could keep messing with audiences. Maybe we actually saw that character die, but a new Grand Inquisitor comes in, who in actuality ends up being the real character from Rebels. Though, needless to say, many would probably not be a fan of that twist—not to mention it would be fairly unnecessary to do in the first place.

In the end, the writers probably sidelined the Grand Inquisitor so that they could give Reva some more space to breathe in the story. With the character's rank in the Empire, and under Vader, if they simply never used the character, it would have been odd to not see him at all.

Fans will just have to wait to see how the next three installments play out. This shouldn't be an issue, seeing as the show has been performing phenomenally. So much so, that on top of breaking records, it seems a second season of the series is already in the works—for better or worse.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+.