Episode 4 of Obi-Wan Kenobi saw the live action debut of a famed location in Star Wars lore. Or, better yet, an infamous location. In his quest to save young Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) from the talons of Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram), Ben Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Tala (Indira Varma) ventured into Fortress Inquisitorius, headquarters of the Inquisitors. The episode saw Kenobi wander through the bowels of this nearly impenetrable military base and discover dark new secrets about it.
As with almost everything in Star Wars, though, this wasn’t the first appearance of Fortress Inquisitorius in the franchise. As the franchise’s Disney + shows continue to connect with the other mediums the saga has sprawled into, what is shown on TV is usually never the full story, and it always pays to learn a bit more about the lore of the saga. It’s no different with the Inquisitors’ lair, one of the most dreadful places in the whole galaxy.
In the period in which Obi-Wan Kenobi takes place, Fortress Inquisitorius is located on Nur, a water moon in the Mustafar system. By now, we should all be familiar with this system – it’s where Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) himself resides in his own stronghold, Fortress Vader. Mustafar is also known as the place Vader fell to Kenobi’s blade in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sithand was chosen by the Dark Lord as his seat of power because of the Dark Side nexus located beneath his fortress (as seen in the awesome Vader Immortal VR series), and so he can reminisce on his failure to kill his former mentor.
From the strategic point of view, establishing the Inquisitor program on Nur is the best possible scenario for the Empire. First, it’s a short distance away from Darth Vader’s grasp. After Ben, Leia and Tala fled from the fortress on Episode 4 of Obi-Wan KenobiVader was able to quickly be there to personally lay his wrath on Reva, for example, as well as another famed Inquisitor … But more on that in a bit.
Second, Nur is, as mentioned, a water planet. Fortress Inquisitorius consists of a single spike stabbing out of the ocean that permeates the whole moon, with most of its infrastructure submerged. This spike is the main entry way into the base, as well as the only way out, and it’s where most of the military contingent stationed there is available. The submerged corridors house the Inquisitors’ base itself, complete with meeting rooms, dojos, torture rooms … The usual stuff.
Inquisitorius, however, was not always the home of the Inquisitor program. When it began, shortly after Order 66 was issued, the base of operations for the Inquisitors was on Coruscant. There, they were trained by Vader himself in the art of hunting and killing Jedi. But placing such an initiative in the galactic core is not necessarily a good idea, as it eventually was made clear for the Empire. In the great Charles Soule’s Darth Vader run of Star Wars comics in 2017, two of the Inquisitors training there went rogue after chasing former Jedi Master Eeth Koth through the streets of the Imperial capital in the chronological year of 14 BBY. Later, the duo was executed by Vader himself for developing an attachment to each other, compromising their commitment to the cause they served. That, along with the possibility of the Inquisitors disrupting the image of peace and order the Empire wanted to maintain, was reason enough to move it to a desolate place such as Nur.
In 2019, Fortress Inquisitorius made it from the comics to the screens through another celebrated Star Wars IP, the game Jedi: Fallen Order. Set in the same year as the aforementioned arc of Darth Vader comics, the game developed the dark aura around the stronghold that Obi-Wan Kenobi helps to consolidate. It also tells one of the saddest and most tragic stories in the franchise. One of the most vicious of the Inquisitors, the Second Sister (Elizabeth Grullón) joined the program after her former master, Jedi Cere Junda (Debra Wilson), revealed her location during torture. That set her on a destructive path of revenge towards Junda and also against Cal Kestis (Cameron Monaghan). It should go without saying that the story did not end well for the Second Sister, despite figuring among many fans’ favorite Star Wars villains. After finally having Kestis and Junda trapped inside Fortress Inquisitorius, the Second Sister is executed by Darth Vader, setting up the final boss fight of the game for Kestis against the Dark Lord.
So, Obi-Wan Kenobi was actually the third major appearance by Fortress Inquisitorius in the new canon of Star Wars. And the series did a great job of further building on the tragic history of the place. Perhaps the most haunting aspect of Chapter 4 of the show was the discovery of what Ben describes as a “tomb” for fallen Jedi. In this eerie corridor, the bodies of his colleagues are kept in perfect conservation, a perfect demonstration of the psychopathy of the Dark Side. Two of these bodies stand out. The first one belongs to Jedi Master Tera Sinube, one of the oldest the Jedi Order had by its end. He has appearances in several episodes of The Clone Warsas well as The High Republic comics and the audiobook Dooku: Jedi Lost.
The last body Kenobi sees in this corridor belongs to an unnamed Jedi youngling, still wearing his training helmet, which leads us to a theory about Reva’s dark past. In the very first scene of the series, a group of younglings is shown inside the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, all of them still with their training helmets on. When their teacher (not yet master, as they are not yet Padawans) is killed by 501st Legion clone troopers, one of them suggests that the only thing they can do is run. This Padawan is currently rumored to be a young Reva, with the youngling in the corridor supposed to be her first Jedi kill.
By now, there are still two episodes left for Obi-Wan Kenobi, and there is no telling if Fortress Inquisitorius may show up again before the finale. Still, this dark place is our best bet to know Reva a little better – and perhaps to see new tragic stories unfold.
Read more about Obi-Wan Kenobi:
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‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Episode 4 Review: Ewan McGregor Embarks on a Classic Rescue Mission
Traitor, Renegade, Rebel: Tala’s Dark Side Defiance in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’