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Obi-Wan Kenobi Director Explains The Differences Between Star Wars' Inquisitor And Sith

Spoilers ahead for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Star Wars returned to Disney+ with Obi-Wan Kenobi, which has brought in elements from the prequel trilogy, introduced some formerly animated foes into live-action, and is setting the stage for the original trilogy for iconic characters like Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. The primary villain of the new show isn’t Vader, however, but rather Moses Ingram’s Reva, who is an Inquisitor rather than a Sith. But what sets a Sith apart from an Inquisitor, when both use the dark side of the Force, wield red lightsabers, and want to hunt the heroes? Director Deborah Chow as well as Ingram herself weighed in to CinemaBlend.

The Inquisitors actually debuted in current Star Wars canon as the primary villains of the first two seasons of Star Wars Rebels, an animated series set in the final years ahead of the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and A New Hope. They were the natural choice for the bad guys for Obi-Wan Kenobi, set ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan unfortunately was wielding a blaster rather than his saber while on the run from Reva early on. Actress Moses Ingram opened up about playing Reva as Obi-Wan’s foe, as well as what sets a Sith apart from the Inquisitors:

I would say she's pretty formidable. I am also biased, but she's pretty dangerous. I think she's driven by her passion, and she loves what she does, and she is out to get the job done. I think that's why. The difference between Inquisitor and Sith, I myself actually got in trouble because I was informed that my character is indeed not of the Sith, but of the Inquisitorius, which is a big, big difference. Can I tell you the difference? I would not dare try, not on camera.

The first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi proved that Reva’s real “passion” was for being the one to capture the legendary Obi-Wan, to the point of recklessness and stabbing the Grand Inquisitor with her lightsaber. Her methods were almost immediately more successful in drawing Obi-Wan out than any others that might have happened in the ten years since the end of the prequel trilogy in the Star Wars timeline, and it’s clear at this point that she’ll stop at nothing to “get the job done.” That itself doesn’t sound unlike something that any of the saga’s Sith characters wouldn’t do. Luckily, director Deborah Chow broke down the differences:

Well, the Sith, there's the Rule of Two, so it's not an open membership on that one. What's interesting about the Inquisitors is that they're all individuals.They're not a monolithic team or an entity. So they all have a really interesting backstory and some of those backstories, they've already delved into and there's so much more I think there to explore. But to me, they all had different reasons why they turned and they're all very powerful, so it's a collective of individuals, which I think makes the Inquisitors so interesting.

The Rule of Two is the easiest way to rule out Reva or any of the others who are hunting Jedi alongside her as Sith, as this is the era of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. These Inquisitors also have backgrounds and motivations that are distinct from each other, seemingly without the clear master/apprentice power structure. 

There is of course the Grand Inquisitor with the higher rank – and Star Wars Rebels in fact didn’t even introduce any other Inquisitors until the second season – but this is a “collective of individuals,” rather than a duo cemented by the Rule of Two. The rules get a little fuzzier when it comes to the sequel trilogy in the timeline, but for now, the separation stands.

And Reva wasted no time in making it clear that one doesn’t need to be a Sith to pose a huge threat to any surviving Jedi in the galaxy, ten years after Order 66. Star Wars is full of some of the most iconic villains in pop culture history, and Moses Ingram made an impression with her first episodes. Unfortunately, Star Wars had to speak out regarding racist backlash against the actress, and her co-star Ewan McGregor had a strong message as well in condemning the “horrendous” and “racist” messages sent to Ingram.

The six-episode run of the Obi-Wan Kenobi (opens in new tab) limited series is half over at this point, but you can continue catching new episodes including the very first live-action Inquisitors on Wednesdays at 12:01 a.m. PT with a Disney+ subscription. You can also find all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels available on the Disney streaming service, if you want to check out all the foundation that Rebels laid for the Inquisitors prior to Ewan McGregor’s limited series.

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.