Who does Rupert Friend play in Obi-Wan Kenobi? The Grand Inquisitor explained

We’ve finally seen Rupert Friend in action as the Grand Inquisitor, his Obi-Wan Kenobi character. 

The actor was cast way back in March 2021, but his role was a mystery until the show’s  trailer arrived. In the first two episodes of the series, we see the sinister character in action as he pursues the galaxy’s surviving Jedi with his fellow Inquisitors. 

But who is the Grand Inquisitor, exactly? We’re glad you asked… though be warned that the following contains major spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi episodes 1 and 2. Turn back now if you’re not up to date! 

The Grand Inquisitor

The Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

The sinister Grand Inquisitor is on the hunt for any Jedi who survived Order 66. As the name suggests, the character leads the Inquisitors, a terrifying group of Force-sensitives trained in the dark side who track down the remaining Jedi and kill them. Moses Ingram plays Inquisitor Reva in the series, and Sung Kang is playing the Fifth Brother, another Inquisitor.

In Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 1, we see the three Inquisitors working together – but all is not smooth sailing. Reva is far too ambitious for the Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother’s liking, and they’re not impressed with her quest to find Obi-Wan. 

Then, in Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 2, the unthinkable happens – Reva runs the Grand Inquisitor through with her lightsaber, apparently killing him. The character debuted in animated series Star Wars Rebels, though, which takes place after Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Star Wars timeline

It’s unclear whether the Grand Inquisitor will survive his injury, then, or if the saga is undergoing a significant retcon, but people are certainly confused. We’ll know more as the show continues. 

The Grand Inquisitor’s history 

Rupert Friend as the Grand Inquisitor

(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Like Ahsoka Tano, the Grand Inquisitor lost faith in the Jedi Order following the bombing of the temple – but unlike Anakin Skywalker’s onetime Padawan, he changed allegiances to the dark side.

The Grand Inquisitor reports directly to Darth Vader, and we already know that particular Sith Lord has a part to play in Obi-Wan Kenobi, especially after his dramatic entrance in the episode 2 ending: Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has also promised the “rematch of the century” between Vader and his former Master. How the Inquisitors factor into the sparks about to fly between the Sith and Jedi is a mystery for now.

As we’ve seen, the Grand Inquisitor has a blood red lightsaber that spins and spins, and he belongs to the Pau’an species. His real name is unknown.

The character debuted in animated series Star Wars Rebels and went up against Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus, but he also appeared in The Clone Wars as a Jedi temple guard. In Rebels, he was voiced by Jason Isaacs, who’s best known for playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.

Obi-Wan Kenobi continues on Disney Plus weekly – check out our Obi-Wan Kenobi release schedule to find out exactly when the next episode arrives. 

In the meantime, for much more on the series, see our interviews with Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen on their favorite memories filming the show and how their characters’ relationship has changed, as well as Christensen on why he didn’t speak to George Lucas before returning as Darth Vader and Moses Ingram on playing the galaxy’s newest villain, Reva.

For everything else coming soon from the galaxy far, far away, there’s our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows.

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