Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD for the fifth episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Only one episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi is left before the limited series comes to an end, and there are still plenty of unanswered questions about how Obi-Wan and Vader get from where they are now to where they are in the beginning of the original trilogy. Episode 5 did deliver one big answer to a question that Star Wars Rebels fans have been asking since Reva seemingly murdered the Grand Inquisitor. He is the very much alive main antagonist of the animated show’s first season… which is set several years after Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars timeline.
So, in light of the big reveal in the fifth episode, here’s how the limited series addressed that question, and what it means for the Inquisitors moving forward.
What Really Happened To The Grand Inquisitor On Obi-Wan Kenobi
The fifth episode was packed full of reveals about Reva, including that she’s been working all these years to get close enough to Vader to take her revenge for Order 66. It was news to Obi-Wan when he connected the dots and learned her origin story, but unfortunately for her, Vader and the Grand Inquisitor have known for quite a long time. The Grand Inquisitor actually survived Reva’s assassination attempt despite all signs pointing towards his death, and he told her this after the big reveal:
Well, whether or not Reva agrees that revenge does wonders for the will to live, Darth Vader and Maul should certainly be able to agree! His reappearance does prove that Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t rewriting Rebels canon by killing off that show’s first big villain. Rebels fans can rest easy that this wasn't a retcon, especially since The Bad Batch did technically rewrite some of Kanan Jarrus’ backstory, although that original backstory came from a comics run rather than as part of any of Rebels’ four seasons.
When it comes to the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series, the Grand Inquisitor mentioning revenge as a reason to live just before leaving her for dead seemed like a surefire way to motivate her to survive, even before she found the recording of Bail Organa, and she has every reason to want to live on and get her revenge on him. But will she?
Spoilers ahead for the first two seasons of Star Wars Rebels.
Why Reva Won’t Get The Ultimate Revenge On The Grand Inquisitor
The Grand Inquisitor may have given her some vengeful motivation to live, and it’s possible that she’ll wreak havoc all the way to Tatooine after seeing Bail’s message, but she won’t kill the Grand Inquisitor even if she gets a second chance. In fact, based on existing Star Wars canon vs. rumor, it’s far more likely that he’d kill her than the other way around. He exists in Star Wars media set after Obi-Wan Kenobi; as of this point, Reva does not. (Moses Ingram has spoken about the perks of playing a brand new character in the galaxy far, far away.)
That said, Reva’s treachery might still mean changes in how the Inquisitors function as a group, based on what we know from the Star Wars TV show that picks up about four years later: Rebels. He'll eventually pay the ultimate price for hunting Jedi in the years following Order 66, but not because of her.
How Star Wars Rebels Handles The Inquisitors
The first main antagonist of Star Wars Rebels was the Grand Inquisitor, and the show didn’t even reveal any other Inquisitors until the second season. The Grand Inquisitor was flying solo without any of his underlings every time he appeared in the series, which could mean one of two things: either the Inquisitors change how they work as a group due to Reva’s actions in their midst, or Kanan initially didn’t register high enough on the Empire’s list of rogue Jedi survivors to warrant more than one of the hunters in Season 1.
Now, Kanan wasn’t exactly the best of the best Jedi that the franchise has ever featured in the first season, but it seems like the Empire would send some of the lesser Inquisitors after him before unleashing the Grand Inquisitor himself if the group still operated like it does in Obi-Wan Kenobi without any post-Reva changes. Admittedly, Obi-Wan Kenobi certainly wasn’t already written when Rebels’ first season premiered back in 2014, but it seems like the power structure changes sometime after Obi-Wan Kenobi and before Rebels.
Plus, Rebels does kill off the Grand Inquisitor for good at the end of Season 1 when Kanan gets in touch with the Force, lets go of his fear, and gets his hands on a second lightsaber. So, the character surviving Reva’s assassination attempt doesn’t mean that he’s going to live a long life of chasing Jedi after the end of the limited series.
He’ll be dead within five years in the Star Wars timeline, and many other Inquisitors will be dead by the end of Rebels Season 2. The discord within the group in Obi-Wan Kenobi could well be the beginning of the end that ultimately comes in Star Wars Rebels, courtesy of Kanan and – somewhat ironically – Maul, when the former Sith returns in the must-see Season 2 finale.
What About The Inquisitors In The Rest Of The Limited Series?
What we can say for sure about the Inquisitors in the season finale is that the Grand Inquisitor and Fifth Brother will survive and make it to Star Wars Rebels, but the main players of that group of dark side users will be dead within five years. Even if they remain a threat to Obi-Wan when he returns to Tatooine to pass the final nine years before A New Hope, they’ll be gone by the time of the original trilogy.
And we can say with certainty now that Star Wars did not retcon a huge part of Star Wars Rebels for the sake of the shock value of Reva killing the Grand Inquisitor. Rebels doesn’t have quite the same level of fame within the fandom as The Clone Wars, and is arguably less set in stone with its lack of direct ties to the movies, so a retcon felt dangerously possible. Instead, it seems like Rebels should be the natural next step for fans to watch (or rewatch) after the end of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The series finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi releases on Wednesday, June 22 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Disney+. The fifth and penultimate episode featured Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in some flashbacks to the prequel era (and Christensen opened up to CinemaBlend about how it felt to wear the Jedi robes again for this show). Disney+ subscribers can also find the full run of Star Wars Rebels on the streaming platform as well.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).