In the latest episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, as Ben infiltrates the Fortress Inquisitorious to rescue Leia Organa, he stumbles upon a horrific discovery: a tomb of Jedi.
There are several possibilities of what the Empire is up to with this tomb, and most of the people encased in the walls are unfamiliar. But there is one figure in particular who is notable, who we’ve seen before, and who attentive fans might remember: Tera Sinube. He’s the first one glimpsed up-close by Kenobi.
But odds are you’re asking, “who is Tera Sinube?”, so I thought it’d be a good idea to take a brief moment to unpack that further.
He first appeared in The Clone Wars, in the season two episode “Lightsaber Lost.” In that episode, Ahsoka Tano loses her lightsaber to a pickpocket on Coruscant, and librarian Jocasta Nu suggests she enlist Master Tera Sinube’s help, since he is an expert on the Coruscant crime world. He seems to be a quirky old Jedi, but Ahsoka comes to realize that he is not to be underestimated (one such instance: his lightsaber is ‘sheathed’ in the cane he carries around). He is kind and wise, and he helps her recover her weapon.
Sinube showed up again in a few later episodes of the show, but mainly in background roles – such as when he was shown training younglings in the Jedi Temple courtyard. Some more of his backstory has been established in subsequent stories. In The Rising Storm, set during the High Republic, it’s revealed that Sinube is a recently-elevated Jedi Master who is overseeing a Jedi Outpost on Derra. That makes him one of the few Jedi who were around both in the High Republic and in the Clone Wars. He appeared in Dooku: Jedi Lost as well, training younglings, which seems to be a common role he took on. And in the Dark Temple comic, he’s glimpsed sitting on the Jedi High Council, meaning that at some point prior to the events of the prequel trilogy he was part of the distinguished group.
But mostly, Sinube is known for the single episode of The Clone Wars, working alongside Ahsoka. And now, it appears, he met the same grim fate that befell most of the Jedi Order.
There’s no indication about how he died or when, but he’s the first victim glimpsed up-close in this episode, and he’s also the most notable figure that we as the audience are aware of in the tomb of the Fortress Inquisitorious. There’s something haunting about learning that this kind old Jedi was murdered and just finding out by seeing him like this, but that makes it hit even harder. It underscores how widespread this catastrophe was, and how it spared no one, from the youngest to the oldest. It didn’t matter whether one was a youngling or a wise Jedi Master who had been around since the days of the High Republic. The Empire came for them all, and the Jedi fell.
But as Obi-Wan Kenobi stumbles upon this tomb, we remember the whole reason for him being at the Fortress in the first place is to rescue Leia Organa, and we are reminded that even though the Jedi have fallen and things look hopeless, the daughter and son of Anakin Skywalker will one day rise up and change the course of galactic history forever. Even amidst the darkness of the Imperial reign and the Jedi purge, there is a small beacon of a new hope shining forth.