Should Barriss Offee be an Inquisitor?

On Twitter recently, Making Star Wars’s Jason Ward said something quite interesting that got the attention of some Star Wars fans:

 

It’s hard to tell exactly whether he’s meaning to report something or whether he’s poking fun at a fan theory (thus the “Lol”?), but given that Ward has earned the trust of many when it comes to his Star Wars reporting, it seems most responsible for him to actually be saying something that he has heard.  So we’re going to take this with a significant grain of salt until we hear further report(s) or confirmation, but what Ward is (possibly) hinting at is very interesting.

As many fans have understood this tweet, “Barris is a sister” refers to Barriss Offee being an Inquisitor, and “Video game!” refers to the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.  Fallen Order is a new game coming late this year from EA and Respawn Entertainment, which is a story-based game focused on a Jedi Padawan who survived Order 66.  This is a very interesting idea for a game, and I’m super excited for it!  Given the timeline and nature of the story, it seems almost a given that it will feature Inquisitors, possibly hunting down this Jedi.  A month ago on the Star Wars Leaks reddit, a user posted a number of alleged leaks from a marketing presentation.  Many of the things that the user said have been since reported by Making Star Wars, lending further credence to them.  One of the things that this Reddit user said that I haven’t seen reported elsewhere (but that may be true, given the other things reported) is that Fallen Order will have the Second Sister and Ninth Sister.  This is, of course, referring to Inquisitors.  On the topic of Inquisitors, we glimpsed some new ones in Charles Soule’s Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic, and there was one Inquisitor in particular that caused people to wonder if she was the Second Sister.  She wears armor and a mask similar to that of the Seventh Sister, and this has led some to speculate – perhaps based primarily on hope – that it is Barriss Offee.  The thinking goes that, since the Seventh Sister and Barriss are both Mirialan, they may indeed wear very similar armor and masks.

So if you couldn’t tell by now, we’re dealing with A LOT of speculation here.  Nothing has been clearly confirmed (though Ward’s tweet could certainly suggest it), and all we’re doing here is piecing together some theories.  But the discussion about Barriss Offee being an Inquisitor is not new, as people have been wondering about it since our first glimpse of the Inquisitors in Star Wars Rebels.  We know Offee’s backstory: she was a Jedi Padawan to Luminara Unduli during the Clone Wars, but became disillusioned by what the Jedi had become and orchestrated the Jedi Temple Bombing.  Ahsoka Tano took the blame for it initially, but Anakin Skywalker tracked down Barriss and confronted her in a duel at the Temple, ultimately beating her and bringing her to the trial to confess.  My assumption has always been that Barriss was simply executed, but until we know that for sure, there are plenty of storytelling avenues to take.  Dave Filoni never made Barriss an Inquisitor during Rebels, and there’s no indication that he was planning to either.  But if she were to become an Inquisitor, it would make sense that she’d be the Second Sister, probably behind only the Grand Inquisitor himself.  She would obviously have been familiar with Anakin Skywalker, so it may have worked.

There are debates amongst Star Wars fans about whether it fits Barriss’s character to become an Inquisitor, however, and there are fans on both sides of the issue.  On the one hand, people argue that a person who could engage in murder, rebellion, sabotage, betrayal, etc., would be primed to join the Inquisitors to hunt down the Jedi with whom she was so disillusioned.  But on the other hand, other people argue that Barriss rebelled against the Jedi because of what they were becoming, so she would never join the Empire.  I think another question worth asking too is whether Vader – who as Anakin was so furious at Barriss’s actions and so defensive of Ahsoka – would tolerate Barriss Offee joining the Inquisitors.  So in all of this, I do think there’s a real debate to be had about her motivations, but I’ll just say this: if Fallen Order really does make her an Inquisitor, I don’t think it will be an unfaithful interpretation of her motivations.  We know that the Dark Side of the Force blinds and corrupts people, so it wouldn’t be strange to say that the same thing happened to Barriss: that ironically, as she so hated the Jedi for what they had become, she joined the Empire to fight against the Jedi despite the fact that the Empire was even worse than what the Republic had turned into.  That wouldn’t be surprising, uncommon, unnatural, or unfaithful of an interpretation.  The Dark Side leads to hatred and anger, which can blind a person from thinking rationally through a situation.  It can lead to people being so consumed – say, with killing the Jedi – that they miss the other factors at play.

So anyway, my opinion is that as there are reasonable cases on both sides of that debate right now, whichever way Lucasfilm decides to go with Barriss Offee would be a faithful rendering to her character – it would just be ‘canonizing’ one of the motivations.  Personally, I think it would be a really cool reveal in the video game and could work really well… if done appropriately.

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