Star Wars fans are in for a big treat with the premiere of Obi-Wan Kenobi in just a few days. While the miniseries will spotlight the adversarial relationship between Kenobi and his former friend, the Sith Lord Darth Vader, viewers can expect the Jedi Master to contend with another threat in the form of the Empire’s Inquisitors. First revealed in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, the Inquisitors are a group of Force sensitive Jedi hunters tasked with killing Jedi who escaped Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith. The group is led by the mysterious Grand Inquisitor, who is played by actor Rupert Friend. Friend recently talked about his character in an interview with Entertainment Weekly and how he sees the Grand Inquisitor in the Imperial hierarchy.
While acknowledging that Darth Vader is the Grand Inquisitor’s superior, Friend also suggests that the character could have bigger ambitions. Although lower than Vader in the Empire’s official command structure, Friend says that the Grand Inquisitor views himself as almost an equal to Palpatine’s Sith apprentice in terms of sheer power and mastery of the Force. In keeping with the Grand Inquisitor’s mission as a solider of the Empire, Friend thinks that the character will continue to obey orders, but nonetheless will be ready for an opening for advancement. As such, Friend hypothesizes that should Vader ever fail the Emperor, the Grand Inquisitor will be waiting to challenge Vader for the number two position.
Along with highlighting the Grand Inquisitor’s ambitions, Friend also spoke about how he approached the character going into the series. In preparing for the role, Friend says that he wanted to bring his own interpretation to the Grand Inquisitor. The actor felt that this was important as it ensured that his portrayal would be done in an honorable fashion free from any previous iterations of the villain. As such, Friend deliberately avoided watching episodes of Star Wars: Rebels featuring the Grand Inquisitor to ensure that he did not unintentionally do an impression of the animated series’ take on the villain.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to premiere on Disney+ with a double episode on May 27.