In the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series, the Empire rules with an iron fist, spreading fear from world to world. Meanwhile, the few remaining Jedi are hunted across the galaxy -- and the cold, calculating Imperial Inquisitor is the hunter.
Fully revealed in this new video, the Inquisitor recalls classic Star Wars villains but is also distinct in many ways. According to Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, the Inquisitor is not a Sith, though he does wield a red lightsaber and taps into the dark side. “His intensity is based on the purpose of the assignment,” Hidalgo says. The design of the Inquisitor evolved during early phases of production, but one specific element truly finalized both the character’s threatening look and personality.
“Once we put the [Pau’an] head on, it all kind of fell into place,” says executive producer Dave Filoni. Indeed, the Inquisitor’s face is intimidating and frightening, featuring carved lines, red markings, and jagged teeth. “Suddenly there was this black-suited, armored, creepy, evil Inquisitor. It’s unmistakable.” One crucial factor in bringing the Inquisitor to life, however, is his voice – and that task falls to a veteran of villainy.
Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films) plays the Jedi hunter, joking, “I’ve played a few unpleasant characters. Possibly, you could call them villains -- depends on your point view.” Isaacs notes that the Inquisitor’s job is simple -- to track down and kill all Jedi or Force users with no mercy.
Chris Glenn, concept artist, notes that while the Inquisitor is not a Sith, he is more than a match for Force-wielders. “He’s familiar with a lot of the Jedi ways and training tactics, and he uses that knowledge against Kanan.” Kilian Plunkett, art director of Star Wars Rebels, says that while the Inquisitor visually evokes earlier villains like Darth Maul and Darth Vader, he isn’t just a carbon copy.
Ultimately, the Inquisitor is a major new threat for Star Wars Rebels’ small band of rebels – and that is by design. “When the Inquisitor shows up,” Hidalgo says, “it means something. It’s significant, and it’s a definite challenge to our heroes.”
Star Wars Rebels is scheduled to premiere in the fall as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.