Star Wars Finally Reveals the Fate of a Lost Prequel Trilogy Jedi

Barriss Offee and Lyn Rakish are two fallen Jedi who must face a post-Order 66 future in Star Wars: Tales of the Empire.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Photo: Lucasfilm

This Star Wars: Tales of the Empire article contains spoilers.

The Clone Wars season five finale, “The Wrong Jedi,” was a turning point for Jedi Knight Barriss Offee. While in 2013 fans of the then-recently-made-non-canon Legends timeline knew Barriss best as a brave and kind Jedi Knight who was a gifted healer, “The Wrong Jedi” revealed Barriss’ darker side. After growing disillusioned with the Jedi’s warring ways during the Clone Wars, Barriss orchestrated a terrorist attack on the Jedi Temple that left several Jedi dead. Although Barriss’ friend, Ahsoka Tano, was blamed for the attack at first, Barriss’ crimes were eventually uncovered and she was excommunicated from the Order, then sent to a Republic prison on Coruscant.

That was the last we heard of this Prequel era Jedi first introduced in Attack of the Clones until this week’s Tales of the Empire, a new series of animated shorts that picks up where Barriss’ story left off (while also revealing the origins of Lady Morgan Elsbeth, the villainous Nightsister from The Mandalorian and Ahsoka). In a three-part story covering different points in Barriss’ life after The Clone Wars, we see what became of the former Jedi, including what may very well be her death years after Order 66.

Barriss Offee, Lyn Rakish, and the Inquisitors

The first chapter of Barriss’ story (episode four of Tales of the Empire) takes place right after Order 66 has wiped out most of the Jedi in the galaxy. In the opening scenes, Barriss’ watches from her cell viewport as plumes of black smoke rise from the faraway Jedi Temple she once called home. When she asks a security guard what’s happening, the trooper simply responds, “Just be glad you’re not a Jedi anymore.” It’s a line that should send shivers down the spine of those who remember just what transpired in Revenge of the Sith.

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Later, Barriss is visited by another former Jedi, Lyn Rakish, who has fully embraced the dark side and become an Inquisitor hellbent on hunting down the last of the Jedi. Lyn, who we all first met as the Fourth Sister in Obi-Wan Kenobi, recruits Barriss for the newly-founded Inquisitorius and takes her to meet the Grand Inquisitor. After passing a set of trials, including a fight to the death with another former Jedi, Barriss is knighted as an Inquisitor of the Empire and brought before her new master, Darth Vader.

But we learn quickly that this is actually meant to be a redemption story. During a mission to hunt down a fugitive Jedi in episode five, Barriss witnesses the cruel methods of the Inquisitorius firsthand when Lyn slaughters a village of people trying to protect their prey. When Barriss and Lyn catch up to the Jedi, Lyn cuts him down despite the fact that Barriss was able to get him to surrender peacefully. This is the last straw for Barriss, who turns on Lyn and Force pushes her off a cliff. She decides that she’d rather be a Jedi than a cruel monster for the Empire and goes into hiding like the rest of what remains of her Order.

The Redemption of Barriss Offee and Lyn Rakish

A time jump follows in episode six. Set years later, seemingly after the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi but before Return of the Jedi and the fall of the Empire, we now find an older Barriss living on a remote ice planet. A family running from the Empire bring their Force-sensitive child to Barriss, who is now know only as “The Healer.” Barriss arranges with “an old friend” for the family to travel to a hideout across the galaxy where their child will be safe from the Inquisitors (we can assume that she is referring the Path network introduced in Obi-Wan Kenobi as the hideout in question, although it’s unclear who the old friend is—perhaps Ahsoka herself?).

But just as Barriss’ crew lead the family into a cave that hides the ship that will get them off-world, Lyn arrives at Barriss’ camp. The Fourth Sister is surprised to see Barriss and considers a stroke of luck. Not only has she tracked down the child she’s been after but she can also take down Barriss. Lyn heads into the cave after the family, promising that once she has the child, she’ll return to get her revenge on her former Inquisitor sister.

Despite Barriss’ warnings to not go into the seemingly magical cave because she’ll never find her way out, Lyn rushes in, but it’s too late to catch up to the family, who zip off into space. Now trapped inside, Lyn tries to use the dark side to escape to no avail, with Barriss’ voice telling her that she’s chosen the wrong path (both literally and figuratively). Barriss offers to help an increasingly desperate Lyn, who is beginning to see that her embrace of the dark side is a trap.

Just when Barriss appears in the cave to show Lyn the way out, the Inquisitor’s instincts kick in and she lands a killing blow through Barriss’ abdomen with her lightsaber. The moment seems to shock even Lyn, who realizes how far she’s fallen. Before she falls unconscious (or dies), Barriss tells Lyn that she forgives her and that there’s “a way out” (again, both figuratively and literally) of her predicament despite what the Empire and the dark side wants her to believe.

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The final scene ends with Lyn carrying Barriss out of the cave before the screen fades to black.

Is Barriss Offee Dead?

So, is this the true end of Barriss Offee’s story? It’s unclear as the episode ends whether Barriss has really died or if there’s still a chance Lyn could find help for the Jedi. Considering the remote, barren location, that does seem unlikely. Either way, the episode is meant to once and for all redeem Barriss for her actions during the Clone Wars and the early days of the Empire, while also setting Lyn on her own path of redemption. Barriss is essentially trying to pay it forward through her sacrifice, believing that if she can be saved, so can Lyn.

Where Lyn and Barriss go from here is anyone’s guess. It does seem strange for Star Wars to bring back Barriss, a character Clone Wars fans have longed to see again, after 11 years just to kill her off for good, but since several years have passed between the first part of this story and her final breaths in episode six, Lucasfilm could always go back to the character and tell the stories that happened between Barriss’ exit from the Inquisitorius and before she became the Healer. Either way, Tales of the Empire is a strong continuation of her story that reminds us of one of Star Wars‘ most pivotal recurring themes: that light can still pierce through even the thickest of darkness.

Star Wars: Tales of the Empire is streaming now on Disney+.