MALAGA, SPAIN - 2018/05/05: A member of the 501st Legion Spanish Garrison dressed as "Darth Sidious" from the movie saga Star Wars, performs during a charity parade in favour of bone marrow donation, organized by the Luis Olivares foundation. Hundreds of volunteers from the 501st Legion Spanish Garrison, an association that promote the hobby for the movie Star Wars and contribute in solidarity causes, took the main streets in downtown Málaga with the objective of encourage the bone marrow donation and the fight against cancer. (Photo by Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sith Happens

Star Wars theory reveals a terrifying Sith villain’s shocking origin story

Just when did the Inquisitors begin? Star Wars may be about to reveal the answer.

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The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch may have one thing in common — besides Fennec Shand, that is. They’re both Star Wars shows where we probably won’t see a lot of lightsabers. Because the chronology of The Bad Batch follows Order 66, the people who use lightsabers the most — the Jedi — are mostly extinct. But other than a very likely cameo from Darth Vader at some point, there’s another type of person who still uses a lightsaber at this point in Star Wars history— the Inquisitors!

This group of lightsaber-wielding assassins from the Star Wars Rebels-era exist in a chronological grey area. Did they originate in 5 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) during Rebels? Or have they been around since roughly 19 BBY, just right after the events of Revenge of the Sith? And is it possible some of the first Inquisitors were actually former Jedi who we’ve actually met before?

A new Star Wars fan theory says yes to that last question, and points toward a larger possibility: The Bad Batch could secretly retcon Star Wars by revealing exactly how many Jedi were taken out by clones — and how many were hunted down by people not named Darth Vader afterward.

The Bad Batch and the Inquisitors

Barriss Offee in The Clone Wars.Lucasfilm

Over on Reddit, one Star Wars fan is arguing that Jedi Barriss Offee could be revealed as an early Inquisitor on The Bad Batch. The reasoning goes as follows: We already know that several Inquisitors were former Jedi before they broke bad, but most of the ones we’ve encountered were from the Rebels-era from right before A New Hope. In the post Order 66-era of right after The Clone Wars, it stands to reason that Vader and the Clone Army didn’t exclusively hunt down and destroy the Jedi. There had to be some other Sith operatives, right?

The leap here is that of all the Jedi we got to know in Clone Wars, Barriss Offee is the most prominent Jedi to straight-up betrayed other Jedi. At the end of Clone Wars Season 5, Offee framed Ahsoka for the bombing of the Jedi Temple, partially because she thought the Jedi were hypocritical. So could that have led to Offee later being recruited by Vader and Palpatine?

It feels like a stretch, but on the other hand, if The Bad Batch is going to show us more of the aftermath of Order 66, it seems likely there are some broken Jedi that might play a role. Barriss is at the top of that list!

Bad Batch can retcon Order 66

The first Inquisitor in the first season of Rebels. Did this guy have a bunch of antecedents 15 years prior?Lucasfilm

Most of what we know about the time right after Order 66 comes from assumptions, and tossed-off one-liners. The idea that recruited Stormtroopers eventually replace Clone Troopers will almost certainly be addressed in The Bad Batch, but what about other aspects of the Empire?

In Rebels, the introduction of the Inquisitors was one of the smartest ways of explaining how the Empire was able to fully suppress the power and beliefs of the Jedi. But at the same time, having the Inquisitors running around just five years before A New Hope also kind of felt like overkill. The moment when the Empire would actually need the most help with Jedi-hunting would be right after Order 66. Not half a decade later.

Over the years, various comics (both canon and non-canon alike) have documented Vader’s ongoing chore of finding every single Jedi and taking them out, mafia-style. But it’s way more realistic that Vader would have been helped by other bad Jedi. At least at first.

Whether or not Barriss Offee actually appears as an Inquisitor is beside the point. What’s more interesting the idea that The Bad Batch could address some basic logistical questions about how the Empire established a power base so quickly. If we learn more about the Jedi stragglers who hung on for a while after Order 66, then we may learn more about a whole group of people we’ve never thought about before.

There might have been only two Sith at this time — Vader and Palps — but they certainly didn’t bring usher in their reign of terror alone.

The Bad Batch hits Disney+ on May 4, 2021.