The Star Wars fandom has a PhD in speculation and theories and we’ve certainly continued in that fine tradition with Rebels. One theory that’s come up a few times especially in the wake of the Season 1 finale is that it’d be interesting to see Barriss Offee resurface as an Inquisitor. Personally? I think that’s a bad idea.
I’ve said more than a few times that I strongly disagree with how Barriss was used in The Clone Wars Season Five finale. I don’t think it made sense for her character and didn’t have the intended impact since she’d rarely been in the show over the past few seasons. A different character could have better served the role of betraying Ahsoka. If you’re going to mess with a character to her very core than at least earn it through a well built arc.
However, this isn’t about The Clone Wars and what happened is canon. Although she fell to the dark side (I find this debatable) and blamed the Jedi for the war, we don’t actually know what happened to her. A good guess is that she was put in the Jedi’s prison basement which they (like the X-men and Avengers) totally have and after that, your guess is as good as mine. For all we know, Barriss was redeemed or maybe she was another casualty of Order 66. That said, I find it unlikely that she survived the Jedi Purge.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say she did survive.
The biggest roadblock to Barriss being an Inquisitor is Vader himself. Something that I find key to his character once he becomes Vader is that no one really knows that he was once Anakin Skywalker aside from Palpatine. Obviously, there are a handful in the Rebellion like Bail Organa who know and then a handful more in the Empire who have strong yet unconfirmed suspicions like Tarkin. If Barriss were to be, through whatever means, converted into an Inquisitor, there is no way she wouldn’t recognize Anakin’s Force presence. She knew him during their time at the Jedi Temple and she’s smart enough to figure it out given the context clues. Palpatine and Vader are unlikely to wish such a person in their midst. Vader would dislike a reminder of his previous life especially one associated with a painful memory like Ahsoka leaving the Order. While Palpatine does enjoy rubbing Anakin’s giant mistakes in his face, he would likely see her as a potential threat and someone who knows the Skywalker secret which ever so slightly lessens his power and control over his apprentice.
History between two characters can often strengthen a story but it can also weaken it or even just get in the way. While a relationship between an Inquisitor Offee and Darth Vader is intriguing, I truly believe that the show would be better served by creating a new Force sensitive female character. Rebels is also a show that’s supposed to be about the crew of the Ghost. The biggest reason why audiences fell in love so fast is because what a fantastic job the creators did with these new six characters. There were cameos from characters we knew, sure, but the focus was always upon the Ghost’s crew. The season finale was a game changer in a lot of ways including how it brought our team into a larger world that included Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader who will clearly be players in Season Two. If Barriss were to be brought in as an Inquisitor, that would be another Clone Wars character in this Rebels show with lingering plot lines that would take away from this new crew that we all love so much. I’m all for using Ahsoka and Vader in supporting roles but let’s keep as much of the focus on Kanan, Hera, and company as possible.
If Rebels decides to use her, they have a chance to give her a much better storyline whether it shows her getting back to her healer roots or taking a cue from Asajj and being a bounty hunter or even working on that pony farm. If she does show up, I can only hope that she’d get a worthwhile storyline that fits with her character. There’s a better plot line out there for Barriss; one that will serve all the characters much better than this one. Besides, we’ve already gotten a mummy!Luminara. Full Dark Side Barriss would just be too much. (What did the Mirialans ever do to you, Filoni?)