Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: Darth Vader #6 ahead.
Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s latest run on Star Wars: Darth Vader digs into the most fearsome villain in the galaxy’s formative years. The first story arc reimagined his infamous “birth” scene from Star Wars: Episode III ‒ Revenge of the Sith, shedding new light on the origin of the iconic evildoer. It also explored the mythology behind the Sith’s use red lightsabers, as well as how Vader earned and “bled” his blade. It also divulged one of his "last temptations" by the light side, at least until his redemption.
In Darth Vader #6, the Star Wars film and animated worlds connect once more. The issue deals with Vader’s ascension to his terrifying peak of power (as seen in Rogue One) but also explores the Inquisitorius, first unveiled in Star Wars: Rebels.
Vader succeeds at his mission, returning home with a new lightsaber, but he’s also heavily battered and his robotic body is in ruins. After recuperating, the Emperor sends him to investigate a mysterious incursion into the Jedi Temple, now under Sith control. To his surprise, he’s met by a cloaked intruder wielding a red sword… one fans of Rebels will quickly recognize as the dual-bladed circular, spinning saber introduced by the Grand Inquisitor and his ilk. At first, the two duel fiercely, before Vader reveals he was merely “testing his armor.” The Dark Lord then promptly ends things, almost killing the Inquisitor before the Emperor steps in.
The Birth of the Inquisitorius
Emperor Palpatine, in the course of testing his latest apprentice and the Grand Inquisitor, reveals the basis of the group. He’s been fashioning his Jedi hunters for some time, going to great lengths to track down the right candidates. The Inquisitors are confirmed to be Force-sensitive, and many were once Jedi Knights themselves, including the Grand Inquisitor; each one was selected for their exploitable weakness. In the case of the Grand Inquisitor, he was jealous that the Jedi Order wouldn’t give him full access to the Archives. The Emperor then corrupted him, instructing them in the ways of the dark side.
However, as revealed in Darth Vader #6, their training is far from complete. After quelling his apprentice’s fears of being replaced, Palpatine sets about giving him a new mission. Vader will take control of the Inquisitorius, training them as ruthless Jedi killers like himself and giving them the tools to track down the remnants of the Order, who the Emperor recognizes as the last true threat to his empire.
In a brief 20 pages, Soule effectively illustrates a condensed origin for the Inquisitor program. While there’s much left to reveal, the band of at least eight brothers and sisters is about to receive a crash course in dark side power and anti-Jedi combat from the Emperor’s rising star. Soon, they’ll work to complete Order 66, tracking down the enemies of the Sith under the very corrupted Jedi who helped bring the Emperor’s vision to fruition – including those who escaped the brutal commandment (such as Kanan Jarrus and others), as well as rising Force users (like Ezra Bridger).
Of course, fans of Rebels know how it ends for the Inquisitorius (spoiler: not well). However, their history should prove fascinating to unravel and also provide new insights into the Empire and its dark side lore. Perhaps it will even reveal the names and origins of each dark sider.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #6 is currently available.