In Obi-Wan Kenobi Part 4, it is said that no one knows what secrets the Empire is hiding in the Fortress Inquisitorious on Nur, in the Mustafar system.
But as Kenobi and Tala infiltrate the base, Obi-Wan stumbles upon the secrets that are hidden there: a large room filled with tons of bodies of presumably slain Jedi or Force sensitive people, displayed along the wall and encased in an amber-like substance (think Jurassic Park). Most of these people are brand new to us, but not all of them. There’s Tera Sinube, the kind old Jedi Master who assisted Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars. There’s one of the younglings killed by Darth Vader during the attack on the Jedi Temple. Some eagle-eyed viewers have even spotted what appears to be Coleman Kcaj, who sat on the Jedi High Council at the time of Order 66, though there’s no confirmation whether it’s him or not.
Many have wondered what’s up with this sequence and what it really means, so I thought I’d write an article exploring some possibilities.
First, and most importantly, is the effect it’s intended to have on this particular story in this particular moment. In this moment, Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t know anything more about the Empire’s plans or workings here, just like we don’t, but it has a powerful effect on him. Why? Because it’s showing him that this is the place where the Inquisitors have killed and kept Jedi. He’s a Jedi, infiltrating the place where Jedi go to die, trying to rescue a Force sensitive young girl being held prisoner there. This moment surely land a significant emotional weight for him, and it should for the audience too. We know the Inquisitors have been hunting Jedi down. This is the horrifying proof of that.
Furthermore, imagine Kenobi’s feelings as he walks down that hallway, with person after person encased in this amber-like substance. Can’t you just imagine him breathlessly wondering who he’s going to find next? What if it’s someone he knew? It carries a lot of weight whether he knew them personally or not, but just like the audience is waiting and wondering who we’ll see next, so too is Obi-Wan.
Understanding that – and understanding that the impact on this story needs to be the first consideration – I do think there are at least three possibilities about what might be at play here. What is the Empire actually hiding in the Fortress Inquisitorious?
1. The first such possibility is the simplest and most likely (and not mutually exclusive from the others that follow): this is a display like a demented trophy case of sorts. This is where the Inquisitors keep their trophies of people they have killed, like hunters might hang an animal they killed up on the wall. This is obviously sick and twisted, but, well, they’re the bad guys. It does seem rather unlikely that they’d keep every kill, however, but it does look like there’s at least a second story to this display. At bare minimum, I think this is an aspect of what’s at play.
2. There’s another horrifying possibility of what these bodies are preserved for, however: luring unsuspecting Jedi into a trap. In Star Wars Rebels, the Empire used the body of Luminara Unduli – who was executed many years earlier – to lure Jedi into trying to come rescue her from her imprisonment. Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger launched a rescue operation, only to discover that the Grand Inquisitor was using Unduli’s corpse as bait. So there is actually precedent for this being a tactic used by the Inquisitors in their hunt for Jedi, and therefore I think it’s very possible that these corpses are being preserved in case they would be needed for such a situation.
3. A third option might be the most far-fetched, yet would be extremely interesting if it’s connected: being saved for Palpatine’s cloning experiments. We know that Palpatine took a vested interest in cloning even during his days as the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, and that continued into the earliest days of his reign as Emperor. He continued to secretly explore cloning methods, working with the Sith Eternal Loyalists on Exegol, all laying the foundations of a contingency plan in the event of his death. There have been hints both in The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian of the Empire’s mysterious interest in cloning, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see a hint of it here either. I would be curious, however, why Palpatine would choose to utilize these facilities on Nur, which seems more like Vader’s territory, when he’s especially secretive on these matters.
In short, we don’t know exactly what this haunting room is, aside from the emotional weight that’s left upon seeing it – both for the viewer and, more importantly, for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yet this being Star Wars, things like this are rarely left unconnected for long, and that’s why I’ve outlined a few possibilities of what the Empire is actually hiding in this place.