Why are the Inquisitors such poor fighters?

By Domonic Riley

After Order 66 succeeded in removing the Jedi as a credible threat, Palpatine
formed the Inquisitorius, an organization of Force-users tasked with hunting down
and destroying any surviving members of the Order.
While the Inquisitorius as an organization was reasonably successful, many of the
individual Inquisitors were actually poor fighters who were no match for a well-
trained Jedi, easily being defeated by survivors like Kanan Jarrus and Ahsoka Tano.
It might seem that they were just arrogant and lazy, and that certainly played its part,
but there are other reasons for the Inquisitors’ lack of skills.

Poor Training

Many of the Inquisitors were once Jedi who had survived Order 66 and been turned
to the Dark Side. As most of the powerful Jedi Masters and Council members had
been killed or gone into hiding during the Purge, the ones who were found by the
Inquisitors were at best Jedi Knights, or more likely Padawans who hadn’t finished
their training. Some, like Reva, were even younger. While these weren’t the best
Jedi, they were all that were available, so Vader took what he had and formed them
into his Inquisitors. It would also be an easier process to manipulate a young Jedi

who wasn’t fully trained to the Dark Side, especially as they would likely be feeling
confused and angry after the destruction of the Order and death of their master.
Another reason for the Inquisitors’ lack of prowess was their training in the Dark Side
of the Force. While Vader did instruct them in lightsaber combat, they didn’t receive
the same kind of one-to-one mentorship that a Padawan or Sith apprentice would
have done from their master, meaning that they couldn’t reach their full potential.
Even former Jedi Knights like the Grand Inquisitor would be unlikely to fully
understand the Dark Side without proper teaching, and were probably reaching for
the easy path that many Jedi felt drawn towards at some point in their life, using the
raw energy of the Dark Side without knowing its full power.

Easy to Control

The Emperor and Vader would have had personal reasons for keeping the
Inquisitors’ powers in check, as it’s a common theme for the Sith to turn on each
other and kill their masters, and having to face a dozen or more highly-skilled
warriors would have been a strain even for them.
The times when the Inquisitors did exceed their mandate, it was easy for Vader to
pull them back, and even kill them if he had to. Not only that, but the constant

competition between the members of the Inquisitorius meant they were unlikely to
form any strong master-apprentice bonds and learn from each other, or join together
to try and defeat the Sith lords who commanded them. This kind of competitive
mindset also stopped the Inquisitors from working as an effective team when
confronted by a strong Jedi, further reducing their effectiveness.

Lack of Real Experience

The final reason is perhaps the most important, which is that they really didn’t need
to be that good. Order 66 was hugely successful in killing the top Jedi like Mace
Windu, Plo Koon, and Ki Adi Mundi, while those who survived, like Obi Wan and
Yoda, went into hiding in remote parts of the galaxy, sometimes cutting themselves
off from the force and dulling their skills to avoid detection. During their time, it’s
unlikely the Inquisitors ever faced a truly fierce enemy. Even if they did, there was
often a certain amount of overkill to the Empire’s operations, and most Inquisitors
traveled in groups of two or more, often supported by squads of Purge Troopers or
even entire battalions of regular Stormtroopers, making it rare that an Inquisitor went
head-to-head with their victim. If they knew they were going to challenge a strong
opponent, they often played it safe and took a lot of support with them.
We see that when they encounter a strong adversary like Ahsoka, they display a
certain amount of arrogance, suggesting they weren’t aware of what a powerful Jedi
was capable of and didn’t expect such a tough fight. Add to that the fact that many of
their missions were to collect victims for Project Harvester, kidnap Force-sensitive
children before they became a threat, or gather up Jedi and Sith artifacts, and it
seems likely they didn’t get all that much practice at killing Jedi, leading to the
overconfidence that would be the downfall of many an Inquisitor at the hands of a
skilled Order 66 survivor.

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