Obi-Wan Kenobi shocked audiences in Episode 2 when the Third Sister, Reva, turned against her boss and stabbed the Grand Inquisitor in the stomach. This wasn’t shocking purely because of Reva’s portrayal, but because we know the Grand Inquisitor shows up later in the timeline in Rebels.
It seemed like either the Grand Inquisitor’s demise was a fakeout or the version in Rebels was some sort of clone. After several episodes passed, it also didn’t look like we’d ever get an answer to just how the character survives. Thankfully, Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 5 finally explained it — at least part of it. Here’s what happened to the Grand Inquisitor— and how why it makes sense. Spoilers ahead!
After Reva turns on Darth Vader, the two fight and it doesn’t go well for Third Sister. After defeating the traitor, Vader calls over his shoulder and the Grand Inquisitor walks into the hangar as if nothing happened. Considering he got one of the galaxy’s strongest weapons right in the gut, this is a bit of a surprise.
So how could the Grand Inquisitor have survived the stab he got from his subordinate? There are two main theories.
First, Darth Vader may have prepared his Inquisitors for just such an event. In the 2017 comic Darth Vader #7, Vader is shown cutting off the arm of one of his Inquisitors to teach him a lesson “about loss.” If that’s what he does to a lowly brother, what could he possibly do to the one in charge?
It’s possible Reva’s attack may not be the first time the Inquisitor has taken a saber to the stomach. If Vader had put the Grand Inquisitor through this rite of passage, he may have had parts of himself replaced bionically — like Fennec Shand in The Mandalorian. In that case, an injury wouldn’t be a matter of months in a bacta tank, but a quick trip to the mechanic.
The second theory is something a bit more exciting — maybe Inquisitor sabers are simply not as powerful as the ones we’ve seen before. Maybe Reva’s saber only caused a flesh wound, not enough to extuinguish the Grand Inquisitor.
This makes even more sense when you consider the end of Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 5. Reva gets stabbed with her own lightsaber only to get back up after Darth Vader leaves. The episode ends with her discovering a message sent by Bail Organa to Obi-Wan, which inadvertently reveals the location and true identity of Luke Skywalker.
Kenobi is clearly setting up a confrontation back on Tattoine in Episode 6 that will feature Reva, which means she also somehow survived a lightsaber to the gut. Could it be that inquisitor sabers aren’t very effective? This makes sense if you think that Darth Vader would have wanted to avoid any of his pupils rising up against him — a sensical concern given the way Sith relations usually play out.
But regardless of the reason why, the Grand Inquisitor is back, and he isn’t going anywhere. At least not until Star Wars Rebels when he finally does meet his maker.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is now streaming on Disney+.