Oh no, it’s really the Grand Inquisitor’s game design

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Warning! SPOILERS for the fifth episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The fifth episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi confirmed that the Grand Inquisitor is alive and retains the same design as in real time. The series “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, which takes place 10 years after “Star Wars. Alderaan. Since the Inquisitors appeared in the animated series “Star Wars: Rebels”, Obi-Wan Kenobi became their real-time debut. Among them was the Grand Inquisitor, who led a group of Dark Side warriors to kill the survivors of the Jedi Extermination. Unfortunately, its design was disappointing, as it was noticeably different from its appearance in Star Wars Rebels.

In the first season of Star Wars: Rebels, the main antagonist was the Grand Inquisitor. His main goal was to track down Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi padawan who survived Order 66, and his new apprentice Ezra Bridger. The Grand Inquisitor ultimately failed, dying after being defeated in a lightsaber duel with Kanan in the finale of the first season of Star Wars: Rebels. Due to the popularity of the character, the Grand Inquisitor continued to appear in other Star Wars media. For example, several comics tell about other periods of the Grand Inquisitor’s life. Season 2 of Star Wars: Rebels, episode 18, “Shroud of Darkness,” even revealed that the Grand Inquisitor was once a Guardian of the Jedi Temple, but he switched to the dark side after the Empire came to power.

Based on this sequence of events, episode 2 of Obi-Wan Kenobi turned confusing when the powerful Inquisitor Reva struck the Grand Inquisitor with her lightsaber, apparently killing him. Since the Grand Inquisitor was not supposed to die until the release of Star Wars: Rebels five years later, this gave rise to theories about how the death of the Grand Inquisitor could preserve continuity, as well as possibly explain the discrepancy in its design. However, in the 5th episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, it was revealed that the Grand Inquisitor survived and worked with Darth Vader to get revenge on Riva. Moreover, the Grand Inquisitor looked the same as before Reva’s attack, confirming that this was his final real-time design. The return of the Grand Inquisitor not only debunked the basic theory about his death and design, but also continued Disney’s trend of poor adaptation of animated “Star Wars” characters.

One theory explaining the Grand Inquisitor’s supposed death was that the first Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi was not the same character from Star Wars: Rebels. The Grand Inquisitor was a Pau’an, an alien from the planet Utapau. Since the average life expectancy of the Pau’ans was calculated for centuries, there could easily be several Force-sensitive members in the population at the same time. One male Pawan may have been the first Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi, while another Pau’an took on his role in the events of Star Wars: Rebels. Although this theory seemed far-fetched, it could explain the design differences between the animated and live Grand Inquisitor. However, the Grand Inquisitor’s survival refuted this theory and confirmed that the two versions of the Grand Inquisitor were the same character.

The Grand Inquisitor’s design continues Disney’s struggle with adapting animated Star Wars characters to live action. Some transitions worked well. For example, Black Krrsantan, a Wookiee bounty hunter, looked almost exactly the same in Boba Fett’s Book as in his original comics. Similarly, former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano moved from Star Wars: Clone Wars to Mandalorian with minimal changes. For practical purposes, the lekku Ahsoka have been shortened in live action. The design of the other characters is not so well conveyed. Cade Bane’s design in Boba Fett’s Book was too different from his design in Clone Wars, and the Grand Inquisitor also fell into the same category. While the Grand Inquisitor’s survival in Obi-Wan Kenobi solved all the continuity issues, it also refined his unfavorable live-action design.