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- This page is about the character, Thrawn. You may be looking for the novel by the same name or the novel's sequel, or the sequel's follow up
- “There are things in the universe that are simply and purely evil. A warrior does not seek to understand them, or to compromise with them. He seeks only to obliterate them.”
Mitth'raw'nuruodo, born as Kivu'raw'nuru with the core name Vurawn, recognized in his early military career as Mitth'raw'nuru and better known by his core name Thrawn, was a male Chiss who served as a member in the Chiss Ascendancy as a Commander. Thrawn hailed from Rentor in the Unknown Regions. He met Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and later worked with him when he was known as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. In his tactics Thrawn believed in the importance of understanding an enemy's culture, art, and philosophy to defeat them.
Thrawn was discovered by the Galactic Empire in Wild Space. Thrawn was found by Captain Voss Parck, and also met cadet Eli Vanto. Thrawn was brought before Emperor Palpatine, who was impressed by the Chiss's knowledge of the Unknown Regions, and Thrawn joined the Empire. Both Thrawn and Eli attended the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant, and the two graduated. The two had developed a friendship as they would work together, and Thrawn rose through the Imperial ranks. After defeating his enemy "Nightswan" Thrawn became a Grand Admiral and had Eli join the Chiss Ascendancy.
After rising to the rank of Grand Admiral, Thrawn commanded the Seventh Fleet and was assigned to destroy the rebels of the Lothal sector, eventually tracking them down, culminating in the battle of Atollon. Phoenix Squadron was largely destroyed, and Thrawn encountered a being known as the Bendu who predicted his eventual defeat. After many battles with the Rebels, Thrawn and his fleet were defeated during the liberation of Lothal by Ezra Bridger and the Purrgil. The Purrgil wrapped Thrawn in their tentacles and took him and Ezra through hyperspace to parts unknown.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Fighting the Rebellion
- 1.2.1 First Encounter
- 1.2.2 Occupation of Ryloth
- 1.2.3 Testing Konstantine
- 1.2.4 Hunting down Subversives
- 1.2.5 Strike on Lothal
- 1.2.6 Continuing the Hunt
- 1.2.7 Discovering Fulcrum
- 1.2.8 Hunt for Mon Mothma
- 1.2.9 Spy Droids
- 1.2.10 Battle of Atollon
- 1.3 Working with Lord Vader
- 1.4 Procuring Weapons
- 2 Personality and Traits
- 3 Skills and Abilities
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Trivia
- 8 References
Mitth'raw'nuruodo, better known as Thrawn, was a Chiss male who hailed from the planet Rentor, in the Unknown Regions. During this time, Thrawn rose through the ranks to become a well respected member of the Chiss Ascendancy.
At some point during his career within the Chiss Ascendancy, Thrawn was assigned to explore the Outer Rim of the galaxy. The Ascendancy had discovered a mysterious threat in the Unknown Regions, and wished to know if the Galactic Republic would be a suitable ally against the threat.
Encounter in the Thrugii Asteroid Belt
Eventually, Thrawn's travels led him to the Thrugii Asteroid Belt where he met with Jedi General Anakin Skywalker who was there fighting a battle in the Clone Wars. Thrawn fought alongside Anakin in the battle and garnered a mutual respect. Anakin spoke highly of him to Chancellor Sheev Palpatine when he returned to Coruscant.
Encounter with the Neimoidians
Nevertheless, Thrawn continued his exploration of the Outer Rim until, some time after the rise of the Galactic Empire he discovered a colony of refugee Neimoidians. The colonists warned him of the tyranny of the Empire, pleading with Thrawn to bring the full force of the Chiss Ascendancy against the Empire on Coruscant. Furthermore, they promised to help with the attack if it meant the revival of the Republic. Thrawn refused their offer, but returned to the Chiss intrigued.
Faking his exile
After this encounter, Thrawn warned the Chiss Ascendancy of a threat looming in the Unknown Regions. To determine whether or not the Empire would be a suitable ally, Thrawn was assigned the mission of infiltrating the Empire in order to form an alliance against any threats to the Ascendancy.
Thrawn chose a planet in Wild Space and set up camp to give the appearance tht he'd lived there for years. After months of attempted contact, Thrawn finally managed to gain the attention of the Empire.
Encounter with the Strikefast
Thrawn was away from his encampment when the Venator-class Star Destroyer Strikefast led by Captain Voss Parck arrived at the planet searching for smugglers. As Parck, Colonel Mosh Barris, and Cadet Eli Vanto examined his encampment and the Sy Bisti markings on the crates around it in accordance with Imperial Unknown Alien protocols, Thrawn managed to crash a V-Wing Starfighter surveying the planet with carefully placed monofilament line. Thrawn managed to remove the pilot's body from his flight suit, steal the pilot's blaster, power packs, comlink, and Concussion Grenades, stuff the flight suit with grass, leaves, and fermented pyussh berries, and escape the crash site before Major Wyan arrived at the scene to investigate.
Once Wyan had brought the stuffed flight suit into the Imperial encampment for Parck, Barris, and Eli to see, Thrawn set his plan to board the Strikefast into motion. Hiding on the edge of the encampment, Thrawn removed the sturm dowels from his stolen blaster power packs and strapped them to the backs of small nocturnal creatures as improvised explosives. Drawn by the smell of the fermented berries, the creatures ran into the Imperial encampment, exploding and causing chaos within the base.
In response, Parck ordered another group of V-Wings to perform a grid search. Thrawn, realizing he would need to replace his stolen comm before they jammed it, managed to crash another V-Wing and swapped his stolen comm with the pilot's. Thrawn also stole the pilot's blaster, power packs, and concussion grenades, but did not remove the pilot's corpse from his flight suit. When Barris discovered that Thrawn had stolen the first pilot's comm he ordered that particular comm shut down. Barris did not, however, discover that Thrawn had swapped the first stolen comm with the second pilot's, so Thrawn was still able to eavesdrop on Imperial communications.
Thrawn attacked the navy troopers with explosives throughout the night, hoping to goad the Imperials into sending Stormtroopers into the forest to investigate. Once the Stormtroopers were sent out in search of Thrawn, he used another explosive to dispatch one in order to study the armor, jamming the Imperials' comms in order to distract from the sound of the explosion.
After the screeching of the comms subsided, Barris decided that he had had enough of Thrawn's attacks, deciding to take Thrawn's hut aboard the Strikefast to study it there. Knowing the time had come for him to return to his camp, Thrawn silently killed another Stormtrooper. Filling the Stormtrooper's armor with explosives, Thrawn sneaked the armor into the encampment and propped it up by the transport with sticks. While the Imperials were distracted by the exploding armor, Thrawn hid himself in a power generator casing from his camp. The casing was then loaded into a transport and taken, with the rest of Thrawn's hut and crates, to the Strikefast.
Once Thrawn was aboard the Strikefast, he spent two hours waiting in the casing before leaving his hiding place. Moving swiftly, but not so swiftly that he wouldn't be seen, Thrawn crossed the hangar and boarded a Zeta-class Cargo Shuttle. When Parck sent troopers to intercept him, Thrawn allowed himself to be captured without resistance.
Once he had willingly surrendered himself, Thrawn was brought before Parck, Barris, and Eli. Using Eli as a translator, Parck asked whether Thrawn spoke Basic or Sy Bisti, to which Thrawn replied that he knew a fair bit of Basic but was far more comfortable with Sy Bisti. Eli served as Thrawn's translator for the remainder of the conversation as he told the Imperials of his exile and how he had crashed the V-Wings, attacked the camp unseen, and infiltrated the Strikefast. This conversation impressed Parck, to the point that he decided to present Thrawn to Emperor Palpatine himself.
Thrawn was sent to his temporary living quarters onboard the Strikefast, and a separate meeting was held between Parck and Eli. In this meeting it was determined that, due to his knowledge of the Chiss and Sy Bisti, Eli would serve as Thrawn's translator and basic teacher for the duration of the trip.
Meeting at the Imperial Palace
For the rest of his passage to Coruscant aboard the Strikefast, Thrawn spent his time in the company of Eli. In addition to helping Thrawn with his basic, Eli told him the legend of the Chiss that he had heard growing up on Lysatra. Thrawn was amused by the legends, finding them interesting and informative but at times false or over-exaggerated. The two also discussed the Empire, particularly the Empire's social hierarchy and prejudices against aliens and those not from the Core.
Once the Strikefast reached Coruscant, Thrawn, Eli, Barris, Parck, and several navy troopers and Stormtroopers boarded a Lambda-class Shuttle for the flight to the Imperial Palace. Despite knowing the importance of the man he was about to meet, Thrawn did not feel daunted by the prospect of meeting the Emperor. Instead, Eli noticed, he looked maddeningly confident.
Upon deboarding the shuttle, Thrawn and the Imperials were guided by two of the Emperor's personal royal guardsmen to the throne room. Once they had arrived before the Emperor, Parck presented Thrawn as a gift to him. Thrawn, however, offered himself as not a gift but a resource. He informed the Emperor that the Ascendancy had discovered a mysterious threat in the Unknown Regions, offering his information on the threat in exchange for the Empire's help. In hope of convincing the Emperor that he was to be trusted, Thrawn offered the name of Skywalker as someone who could vouch for him, believing Anakin to be a servant to the Emperor. The Emperor informed Thrawn that Anakin had died at the end of the Clone Wars, but also that he had spoken highly of him before he had died. Accepting Thrawn's offer for information on the Unknown Regions, the Emperor offered something else in return: a role in the Imperial Navy. Thrawn accepted on the condition that he was allowed to keep Eli as his translator.
Wishing to discuss the threat in the Unknown Regions further, the Emperor guided Thrawn to the privacy of his throne room's interior garden. Thrawn was impressed by the artistry of the garden, believing it to be indicative of power, subtlety, and depth of thought. Once within the garden, Thrawn and the Emperor discussed his personal interest in the mysteries of the Unknown Regions. The Emperor came to the decision that Thrawn did not need a translator, but agreed to give him Eli anyway.
Promotion to Grand Admiral
For his efforts on Batonn, Thrawn was promoted to the rank of Grand Admiral, receiving a new uniform and a rank insignia plaque reflecting his new rank. Before he would take the promotion from the Emperor himself, however, Thrawn demanded to know about the Death Star. Thrawn was concerned that the Emperor was diverting too many resources to one asset. The Emperor assured him that, once completed, the Death Star would subdue any further rebellion in the galaxy.
As he prepared to begin the campaign against the rebels of Phoenix Squadron, Thrawn decided it was finally time for he and Eli to part ways. Pleased with the progress Eli had made in the areas of tactics, leadership, and strategy, Thrawn believed that Eli would be a perfect candidate for the Chiss Ascendancy's army. Gifting Eli his journal, Thrawn directed Eli to a set of coordinates in the Unknown Regions. These coordinates would bring Eli to Admiral Ar'alani and the Chiss Defense Fleet, carrying with him greetings from Thrawn.
Fighting the Rebellion
As soon as he arrived on Lothal, Thrawn began overseeing operations against the rebels. He attended a briefing with Pryce, Agent Alexsandr Kallus of the ISB, Konstantine and Tarkin, where they discussed that the rebels had attacked a Mining Guild convoy at the Sereeda Waypoint. Thrawn deduced that the rebels were planning an operation on Reklam Station in the Yarma System. Thrawn declared that he would pull the rebels apart piece by piece, ensuring that they would be the architects of their own destruction. The Imperial garrison there was alerted to the potential rebel threat.
During the rebels' operations, they stole a number of Republic Y-Wing Starfighters that were left over from the Clone Wars. A convoy of rebel ships arrived to assist, and Thrawn allowed them to escape. While some officers, such as Konstantine, believed that these ships were the rebel fleet, both Thrawn and Pryce knew that there was a larger resistance movement growing in the galaxy and that these rebels could be the key to the Empire destroying them all.
Occupation of Ryloth
Later, Thrawn fought against the Free Ryloth Movement led by Cham Syndulla. The Twi'lek, who had found previous success fighting against the Imperial occupation of Ryloth under Captain Slavin, underestimated Thrawn's abilities and battle strategies. When combating the Twi'leks, Thrawn used far more precise tactics compared to other Imperial officers Cham had encountered. Thrawn established a base of operations on Ryloth in the Tann Province, where he spent time commanding Slavin's forces against the Twi'lek resistance fighters as well as studying their culture to better understand them.
Thrawn then spoke with Slavin in his headquarters inside the Syndulla residence about his security arrangements. However, Thrawn knew that Cham would come for his family's Kalikori. Thrawn and Slavin then ran into a servant who tried to steal the Kalikori. Thrawn, Slavin and several troopers then took her into questioning. There, Thrawn was able to deduce from the sentimental value of the Kalikori to a single Twi'lek family and the Syndulla family portrait that she was in fact Hera Syndulla, Cham's daughter and noted rebel. Thrawn was also able to see that the Scout Trooper on guard was actually Ezra Bridger and stunned him.
Leaving both rebels locked up, Thrawn asked Slavin to have the Kalikori transferred to his ship to which he derisively called it a "piece of Twi'lek trash". Enraged at the philistine remark, Thrawn seized the captain by the front of his tunic in an uncharacteristic display of emotion, but released him after a moment and apologized for forgetting that not everyone appreciated art like he did.
Thrawn then went aboard an Imperial Light Cruiser and watched as Slavin did a prisoner exchange between Cham and his daughter. However, Cham and the Rebels were able to escape from Slavin's forces. Thrawn then allowed the rebels to have their victory, making no effort to prevent their escape.
Thrawn was aboard the Chimaera above Lothal with the Seventh Fleet when Admiral Konstantine and another Imperial officer arrive to report on the imposition of martial law on Mykapo and the ongoing Imperial blockade of Synistahg. After learning that a local rebel cell called the Iron Squadron had attacked an Imperial patrol with the help of the Ghost, Thrawn deduced that the rebels were evacuating Mykapo's "treasonous" inhabitants. Curious about the Iron Squadron, Thrawn dispatched Admiral Konstantine to deal with the rebels there.
When Konstantine announced that he would depart with a full squadron, Thrawn insisted that the Admiral only deploy a single light cruiser. He reasoned that one ship would be sufficient for a man of his talents. The Admiral was unhappy but complied after Thrawn insinuated that he was not up to the challenge. Konstantine managed to damage the Iron Squadron's leader Mart Mattin and his ship Sato's Hammer and attempted to use him to lure his rebel rescuers into a trap. However, the Ghost Crew circumvented Konstantine's plan and managed to rescue Mart with the help of his uncle Commander Jun Sato. In desperation, Konstantine sent a call for reinforcements to Thrawn.
Thrawn arrived in his Star Destroyer shortly after the rebels damaged Konstantine's light cruiser. The rebels narrowly collided with his ship but managed to flee under the ventral hangar. Speaking to Sato over the com, Thrawn vowed to meet him again. The Grand Admiral replied in a similar fashion and allowed the rebels to escape. Thrawn then turned his attention to Konstantine and asked whether he had contacted him for assistance. Konstantine tried to deny it by claiming he had called to report that he had driven the rebels from the system. However, Thrawn realized that Konstantine was lying after seeing his blazing cruiser and noted that the planet's "treasonous" inhabitants had already escaped.
Hunting down Subversives
After a surge of defective vehicles at the Lothal Imperial Factory, the Imperial High Command dispatched Thrawn to investigate the presence of subversives at the factory. In fact, a small rebel cell led by the former Governor Ryder Azadi had been infiltrating the factory and sabotaging vehicles. Thrawn also initiated a new starfighter initiative to develop a TIE equipped with deflector shields and hyperdrives. Thrawn believed that this TIE would contribute to the Empire's counter-insurgency efforts against the Rebellion.
The disillusioned Kallus leaked intelligence of the starfighter project to the Rebellion. While Kallus did not know the full details of the project, his information led the Phoenix Squadron to send Ezra, Kanan Jarrus and C1-10P to spy on the factory and link up with Ryder's cell. The rebel mission coincided with Thrawn's crackdown on the factory. After berating the workers for their poor craftsmanship, Thrawn forced the worker Morad Sumar to demonstrate how fast a 614-AvA Speeder Bike could reach maximum speed. Sumar had earlier inspected the vehicle.
The speeder bike began to overheat and Sumar begged Thrawn to end the simulation. However, Thrawn was not satisfied and set the speeder bike's engines to full speed. The faulty bike exploded and killed Sumar. Thrawn's actions horrified Ezra, Kanan, the workers, and even Kallus. Thrawn took this as an opportunity to warn the workers that they would be personally testing every vehicle they built. Thrawn then ordered Pryce, Kallus, and Lieutenant Yogar Lyste to question each of the workers. As a precaution, the Empire also jammed the factory's communication signals.
However, Ezra and his team managed to slip away and reach Section A2, which stored the blueprints for Thrawn's weapon. Meanwhile, Thrawn reassured Pryce that he had secured the chamber by ordering the sentries to shoot anyone trying to enter the facility without his personal code on sight. When Kallus expressed skepticism that Thrawn's new fighter initiative would make a difference, Thrawn responded that victory and defeat depended on the smallest details. He then ordered another worker to demonstrate his All Terrain Defense Pod. When the walker collapsed, Thrawn gestured for the Stormtroopers to arrest the man.
Thrawn later summoned Lyste and Kallus to his office. The office was decorated with holographic displays of the Ghost Crew. Thrawn then showed his subordinates one of Sabine's starbird graffiti paintings. While Lyste merely dismissed the painting as a retaining wall, the more perceptive Kallus recognized the starbird as a creature of light that had been re-appropriated as a symbol of the Rebellion. Thrawn speculated that the Ghost Crew had a special connection to Lothal.
When Thrawn inquired about their crackdown, Lyste informed him that two of the workers had disappeared following his speech and that they had left behind their uniforms. Kallus advised issuing an alert but Thrawn countered that the rebel infiltrators had already found new disguises and were after his secret project. Thrawn ordered Kallus and Lyste to secure Section A2 but the rebels managed to escape the factory with the help of Kallus. Kallus allowed the rebels to escape on an AT-DP walker at the east gate's hangar bay. The rebels' escape coincided with a diversionary attack launched by Ryder at the east gate.
Reasoning that the Rebel infiltrators would take advantage of the attack to make their escape, Thrawn ordered the AT-AT Pilots aboard the AT-AT Walkers "271" and "414" to attack the Rebel's stolen AT-DP Walker. Despite the efforts of Thrawn, the Rebel infiltrators managed to escape with the stolen plans. Later, Thrawn heard a report on the skirmish from Lyste. Satisfied, he dismissed him and then turned to talk with Pryce and Kallus. Thrawn voiced his suspicions that the Empire had a mole within their ranks who was supplying the Rebellion with information. When Pryce suggested questioning all Imperial personnel, Thrawn suggested to set up a trap for the traitor.
Strike on Lothal
Using the information stolen by Chopper, Ezra, and Kanan, Hera was able to plan a strike on the Lothal Imperial Factory. She planned to deploy a fraction of Phoenix Squadron and assigned Ezra to carry out reconnaissance work on Imperial military positions. When Sabine asked if Thrawn was there, Hera replied that there had been an increase in Imperial ships above Lothal but that they did not know for sure. Hera was forced to relieve Ezra of his duties after he experienced a Force vision of Maul and attacked a Rebel Crewman. While Ezra, Kanan, and Sabine stayed behind to deal with Maul, Hera proceeded with the mission.
Continuing the Hunt
- “You seem, in surprisingly, good spirits, considering this loss."
"Loss you say? The rebels may have protected the location of their base for now, but, in doing so, they have narrowed my search. Before today, they could have been hiding in any of the thousand systems. But now, now I know they are, almost certainly, on one of the ninety-four planets surveyed by my infiltrators. The rebels have won this battle, but the war will be ours.”
- ―Alexsandr Kallus and Thrawn discussing the outcome of the Imperial Infiltrator Droid sabotage[src]
Later, Thrawn embarked on a campaign to scour the Outer Rim for Chopper Base. Under his command, Imperial Infiltrator Droids were dispatched to Outer Rim worlds to search for the base. One of these droids, EXD-9, stumbled upon Chopper Base and was adopted by Garazeb Orrelios and AP-5, who mistook him for a Protocol Droid. Kallus, as Fulcrum, managed to warn Zeb who disabled and reprogrammed the droid with the help of AP-5 and Chopper. The rebels then sent EXD-9 back to the Empire as an improvised bomb which destroyed a Star Destroyer.
Following the destruction of the Star Destroyer, Thrawn met with Kallus aboard the Chimaera. When Thrawn asked how the explosion happened, Kallus responded that he believed that the rebels had reprogrammed one of the Infiltrator Droids and programmed it to self-destruct back at its base. Despite the setback, Thrawn remained in good spirits because he had managed to narrow down the search for the rebel base to 94 planets.
After Rebel successes, Thrawn uncovered that the rebel spy went by the codename "Fulcrum", and that it was the only reason for recent rebel successes. Kallus and Lyste were summoned to the Chimaera where they encountered Sector Command staff en route to Thrawn's Office. Kallus and Lyste encountered Thrawn as he was practicing hand-to-hand combat with a pair of Imperial Sentry Droids, and then continued to the office and met with Yularen and Konstantine. Thrawn then met with the group and, along with Yularen, briefed Konstantine, Lyste and Kallus about the danger posed by Fulcrum. During the meeting, Thrawn also revealed that he had narrowed down the search for the rebel base by analyzing Rebel attack patterns on Imperial installations and ships, and most importantly their proximity to the planet Lothal. When Lyste expressed his enthusiasm in hunting Fulcrum, Thrawn warned him that nobody was above suspicion.
After dismissing his guests, Thrawn met with Pryce, who had come to inquire about progress in determining the Rebel base's location and the identity of Fulcrum. Thrawn told her he had set a trap by asserting that the Rebel spy in question was present for the meeting and that they now needed to wait for the spy to pass on the information they learned. Yularen then informed Thrawn that a coded message had been beamed off the Chimaera following the transfer of the shuttle thief that Lyste had apprehended above Lothal. Thrawn decided to visit the prisoner for himself.
When Thrawn along with Pryce and Yularen arrived at the detention block, they discovered that the prisoner had escaped. After Yularen discovered that Lyste was the last person to access the detention block, Thrawn came to suspect that Lyste was the rebel agent Fulcrum.
Thrawn returned to his office and was informed by the Stormtrooper sentry outside that Lyste was waiting inside his office. Already suspicious, he beckoned for two Stormtrooper guards and cautiously entered his office. By this time, Fulcrum "Lyste" and Chopper had deleted the Atollon System from his charts and were hiding behind one of his exhibits to avoid detection. Meanwhile, Fulcrum reprogrammed two of Thrawn's sentry droids into assassin droids and set them to Thrawn's office. The droids entered the room and knocked out the guards. Thrawn attempted to disable the droids with the command "Override Code Rukh", but failed. Following a fierce struggle, Thrawn managed to destroy the droids by shooting them in their chests. Thrawn also caught sight of "Lyste" fleeing his office. Believing that Lyste had tried to assassinate him, Thrawn contacted Yularen and instructed him to proceed to the Chimaera's hangar bay.
The rebels managed to escape, but Lyste was arrested as Fulcrum. Following Lyste's arrest, Thrawn told Kallus, Pryce, and Konstantine that Fulcrum was apprehended, before dismissing the three. In private, Yularen expressed his dissatisfaction with how easy the conclusion was made and how Lyste was too inexperienced and naive to be capable of what he's been accused of. Thrawn agreed with Yularen's assessment. They then analyzed the helmet the shuttle thief had left behind, which was inscribed with an artistic depiction of a Loth-Cat. Thrawn recognized the art style as belonging to Sabine and identified Ezra as the owner of the helmet. When Yularen asked why Kallus did not report Ezra's capture, Thrawn concluded that Kallus was the real Fulcrum and had framed Lyste for the crime. Thrawn's plan was to manipulate Kallus into revealing the location of the rebel base in the Lothal Sector.
Hunt for Mon Mothma
After Senator Mon Mothma resigned from the Imperial Senate and gave a fiery speech denouncing the Ghorman Massacre placing the blame upon Palpatine, Thrawn received intelligence that Mothma and the Ghost Crew were planning to travel through the Archeon Nebula to avoid Imperial detection. Based on his knowledge of Hera, Thrawn anticipated that she would be risky enough to travel through the Archeon Pass. In response, he deployed his prototype TIE Defender piloted by Imperial ace, Commander Vult Skerris, and escorted by two TIE Interceptors to flush the rebels out of the nebula. Thrawn also tasked Pryce and Konstantine with positioning two Star Destroyers outside of the Archeon Nebula to capture them when Skerris drove them out. Despite Thrawn's planning, Hera and the Ghost Crew managed to escape with Mothma and her entourage following a brief skirmish in the Archeon Nebula. Following her escape, Mothma and other rebel leaders formally established the Alliance to Restore the Republic above Dantooine.
As part of his counter-insurgency efforts, Thrawn also utilized the services of a team of Imperial Information Office intelligence officers based aboard an Imperial Listener Ship. This team was led by Controller LT-319 and were tasked with gathering intelligence and monitoring rebel activities. As part of their intelligence operations, these spies were tasked with keeping an eye out for rebel droids such as Chopper, who had taken part in numerous undercover missions.
During the Ghost Crew's mission to Killun Station, LT-319's team detected Chopper's presence at the Imperial Security Bureau base. Using a network terminal, the team reprogrammed Chopper into a double agent droid and tried to use him to discover the location of Chopper Base. As part of the operation, Chopper hijacked the Ghost and used a Computer Spike to transfer data from the ship's navigation computer to the surveillance vessel. Before the download could be completed, the rebels retook control of their ship and removed the Imperial programming from Chopper. Hera then destroyed the surveillance vessel by sending back their data feed, causing a data surge that blew the vessel apart.
Battle of Atollon
Blockading Chopper Base
Later, Thrawn acquired the services of several elite Death Troopers. He flew to the Imperial Complex in Lothal's Capital City for a private meeting with Pryce and Konstantine. Inside the briefing room, Thrawn closed the blinds and warned them that they still had a traitor in their midst. He also initiated a hologram conversation with Tarkin and warned that the Phoenix Squadron and General Jan Dodonna's Massassi Group were planning to attack the TIE Defender factories on Lothal. While Thrawn had not determined the location of the rebel base yet, he vowed to capture the rebel leadership alive.
Kallus was listening to Thrawn's conversation and traveled to Ezra's Tower which had a transmitter which he had used to send his Fulcrum transmissions to the rebels. Aware that the traitor had listened in on the briefing, Thrawn followed him. When Kallus tried to inform the rebels, Thrawn startled him and revealed a communications jammer in his hand. Following a fist fight, Thrawn managed to defeat the rogue agent, though Kallus destroyed his jammer and was able to warn the rebels. Kallus was taken captive by two Death Troopers and brought into the tower. Thrawn coolly stated to Kallus that by looking at both the trajectory of General Dodonna's fleet and Kallus' transmission, they pointed at a spot that was not shown on Imperial charts. Thrawn was aware that it was not on the charts, but by looking at the ancient art of the people in the sector, instantly knew that the rebel base was in the Atollon System.
Thrawn ordered Konstantine to blockade the Atollon System with the Seventh Fleet, cutting off any escape with two Interdictor Cruisers. He then traveled to Atollon aboard the Chimaera with Pryce and the captive Kallus in tow. Thrawn then issued a hologram transmission to Hera, Sato, and Dodonna, stating that negotiations were off the table and vowed to crush them. The rebel fleet tried to break the blockade but Thrawn's Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters inflicted heavy casualties. The rebels only managed to find a gap in Thrawn's blockade after Konstantine disobeyed orders and went to intercept Sato's Imperial Light Carrier Phoenix Nest. Sato rammed his ship into Konstantine's Interdictor Cruiser; destroying both vessels and allowing the Ezra and Chopper to flee on a Gauntlet Fighter into hyperspace. Thrawn witnessed the debacle and hoped that Konstatine's folly would not undermine his battle plan.
The Ground Assault
Despite this setback, Thrawn's forces had inflicted heavy casualties on the two rebel groups. After forcing the rebels back on the ground, Thrawn ordered his fleet to bombard Chopper Base from orbit. However, the rebels had managed to activate Sabine's prototype deflector shield generator. To give the rebels the impression that their shields had stood up, Thrawn ceased the attack. He then delegated command of the Seventh Fleet to Pryce while he led the ground assault on Chopper Base. Thrawn deployed both AT-DP and AT-AT walkers for the ground assault.
In order to learn the rebels' strength, Thrawn sent his AT-DP walkers into the canyon leading to Chopper Base first. The walkers were destroyed by Rex and Zebs' detonators and a rocket launcher. However, Thrawn then deployed several AT-AT walkers. These walkers destroyed the remaining detonators, forcing the rebels to retreat. Thrawn and his Death Troopers then entered the base. The Grand Admiral also ordered his ground forces to storm the base.
One of Thrawn's AT-AT walkers managed to destroy a GR-75 Medium Transport fleeing offworld. Thrawn and his troops then surrounded Hera, Dodonna and several rebels. When Hera refused to surrender, Thrawn threaten to kill them beginning with Kanan. However, Thrawn was interrupted by the mysterious Force entity known as Bendu, who embodied the balance in the Force. Bendu used lightning to destroy the base and strike down Thrawn's forxes. This gave the rebels the window needed to flee into space with their comrades
Undaunted by the mystical Bendu, the Grand Admiral ordered his troops to concentrate fire on Bendu, which led to him falling down to the ground effectively ending his rampage. Meanwhile, Ezra and Sabine's Mandalorian forces were able to destroy the second Interdictor Cruiser. This allowed the tattered rebel remnants to flee into hyperspace. Despite failing to capture the rebel leadership and destroy the rebel forces completely, the Battle of Atollon ended as a victory for Thrawn.
Following the battle, Thrawn confronted the fallen Bendu. When Thrawn asked Bendu what manner of creature he was, Bendu replied that he was beyond Thrawn's power to kill. The creature also predicted Thrawn's defeat, describing it as "many arms surrounding you in a cold embrace". Undaunted, Thrawn shot Bendu with his blaster. While the creature disappeared, he could still hear his laughter ringing.
In the aftermath of the battle, the Rebel Alliance had come to believe, because of Thrawn's victory, that they weren't ready for open warfare against the Empire, and their mission to liberate Lothal would have to be postpone.
Working with Lord Vader
Following his failure on Atollon, Thrawn spoke with the Emperor and Vader on Coruscant. The Emperor was displeased with how the rebels escaped. Thrawn was tasked with traveling with Vader to Batuu to deal with a disturbance in the Force felt by the Emperor. During their trip, Thrawn took multiple occasions to taunt Darth Vader about him being the very same Anakin Skywalker he fought alongside on Batuu many years ago.
Civil War on Mandalore
Shortly before Thrawn's victory against the rebels on Atollon, an uprising led by Clan Wren of Krownest against the Imperial-backed government of Mandalore had begun as a result of Sabine to return to her homeworld. This event saw the death of Governor Gar Saxon and all-out conflict engaged on Mandalore. Acting on the Emperor's behalf, Thrawn contacted Saxon's brother and successor as Governor, Tiber Saxon, instructing him to end the uprising as swiftly as possible. Saxon assured Thrawn that he would succeed in ending the conflict and promised that he would unveil a new weapon prototype that would prove invaluable to the Empire.
A short time after the weapon had been tested for the first time during a battle with Clan Wren, Saxon showed Thrawn, present via hologram, the efficiency of the Arc Pulse Generator, also known as "The Duchess". Thrawn was shown the successful test of the Duchess against Clan Wren's warriors. Despite being impressed by the Duchess's abilities to target the Beskar metal in Mandalorian Armor, Thrawn expected the range to be greater. Though Tiber tried to defend that he had managed to rebuild the weapon from what fragment remained, Thrawn bluntly stated that Tiber couldn't use the Duchess to its fullest potential because he does not truly understand it. Thrawn then suggested to Tiber that he should capture the Duchess's creator, Sabine.
Upgrading the TIE Defender
Some time later Thrawn and Pryce, with an accompany of Death Troopers, visited an Imperial base on the plains of Lothal to see how his new prototype was faring. Upon arriving, he was greeted by Skerris, who promised to show him the fighter's capabilities. During the visit, a TIE Pilot caught Ezra off guard, causing him to be spotted by Thrawn and Pryce. Thrawn was surprised to see the rebels here, and ordered his Death Troopers to secure the prototype, before watching the young Jedi's antics with vague curiosity and responding to Ezra's casual greeting with a dry remark, sounding not surprised.
Ezra was merely distracting the Imperials for Sabine, as she was inside the Defender Elite attempting to steal its Flight Data Recorder. Seeing Ezra pinned down, she lifted off in the fighter and helped him inside before destroying most of the depot's parked fighters and even strafing the area where Thrawn was standing. Unfazed by the powerful bolts scorching the ground inches from him, Thrawn calmly stood his ground and fired up at the rogue fighter with his blaster even as his fellows scurried for cover until it went screaming over his head. The fighter then proceeded to blow up the shuttle Thrawn had arrived in and strafed the command tower before screeching off into the grasslands. Still calm, Thrawn dryly inquired if the debacle had been part of the aforementioned demonstration. Pryce offered to activate the Defender Elite's kill switch, but Thrawn instead saw a perfect opportunity to test the ship's combat abilities and ordered Skerris to deploy three TIE Interceptors in pursuit.
After two of the Interceptors were destroyed in short order, Skerris surmised that Hera is piloting the Defender Elite. Thrawn states that it was unlikely, as he was aware of her piloting skills and that all three interceptors would have been destroyed by then if she was the pilot. When the Defender Elite's transponder was disabled, he notes that it has been done in record time and guesses that Sabine was also on the Defender Elite with Ezra. He then comments on the strength of the Defender Elite, as a novice pilot like Ezra was easily able to destroy the three TIE Interceptors. Thrawn then allowed Pryce to activate the kill switch. He promises her ground reinforcements in their attempt to find Ezra and Sabine, but they fail to find them, as a Loth-Wolf had already taken them to safety.
Having secured the crash site, Pryce contacted Thrawn and informed him that both the flight data recorder and hyperdrive were missing from the wreckage. This lead Thrawn to deduce that they would try to get the data to Rebel Command, and so he dispatched his own personal agent, Rukh, to stop them. When Pryce protests that such help was not necessary, Thrawn points out that the rebels' presence on Lothal and the theft of the Elite are testaments to the contrary. Despite Rukh's efforts, the rebels nonetheless escape his grasp. Attaching the stolen hyperdrive to an aging U-Wing Starfighter, Hera escapes Thrawn's massive blockade by jumping to lightspeed through the hangar of an Imperial Construction Module. Thrawn was visibly annoyed when informed of this.
After Hera returned to Yavin 4 with the data recorder, the rebel leaders were reluctant to commit to an attack because of Thrawn's tactical brilliance. Hera was however able to convince the reluctant leaders to show the galaxy that the Rebellion would not back down.
Attack on Lothal
Thrawn was later holding command on his flagship when he was informed of several rebel starfighters entering the system and realized that the long-awaited attack on Lothal was now commencing. Reasoning that the rebels would most likely target the TIE Defender factory and Lothal Fuel Depot in Capital City, Thrawn contacted Pryce and ordered her to shore up ground defenses. When the rebels already on Lothal managed to destroy the anti-air batteries on the ground, Thrawn ordered Skerris to join the fray and prevent any rebels from reaching the surface. Skerris, piloting a new TIE Defender Elite, destroyed two rebels in quick succession but was unable to resist pursuing Hera (newly promoted to General) after she revealed herself. Unable to match the Elite's speed, Hera instead headed straight for the Chimaera.
Realizing she was attempting to lead Skerris into a trap, Thrawn ordered him to cease his pursuit but was refused. Thrawn nonetheless ordered his gunners to open fire and the blasts struck both Skerris' Defender Elite and Hera's X-Wing Starfighter, disabling their shields. Hera then damaged the ChimaeraTemplate:'s targeting array, briefly hid in the smoke produced by the subsequent explosion, and fired on Skerris' now vulnerable fighter, damaging its wing assembly and sending it spinning into an light cruiser. The crippled light cruiser in turn then crashed into a Star Destroyer and sheared through its bridge tower, allowing the strike force to make a break for the planet surface. Before they were able to reach their targets, Thrawn had ordered the second wave of TIE fighters to intercept them, and they managed to destroy the entire strike force. Upon being informed that by Woldar that several X-Wings crashed in and around the Capital City, Thrawn contacted Rukh on the ground and ordered him to locate and capture any survivors, particularly Hera. After a lengthy chase through the streets of Capital City, Rukh caught up with Hera and successfully captured her after a short fight.
Threat to the Defender Project
- “Your TIE Defender program is at risk. Orson Krennic has been quite persuasive about diverting the funding to his own project: Stardust."
"The Emperor has assured me that he supports my project."
"In my view, Director Krennic's project has been nothing but expenses and excuses for years on end. If construction of the Defender is to continue, you must make your case directly to the Emperor himself. I have already arranged the meeting."
"I'll leave immediately, Moff Tarkin.”
- ―Wilhuff Tarkin and Thrawn discuss the continued support for the TIE Defender program[src]
While Pryce was torturing Hera , Grand Admiral Thrawn entered the Pryce's office and asked if Hera had revealed the location of the rebel fleet yet. Pryce responded that she had not begun questioning Hera yet. Thrawn questioned Hera but the rebel leader remained defiant. Thrawn then showed Hera her Kalikori and talked about the shapes on the Twi'lek artifact. When Thrawn questioned Hera about her lost brother, Hera responded that he was unworthy of holding it. Believing that the Kalikori would end with her, Thrawn promised that the Kalikori would be in good hands before leaving the room.
Due to the attack against the Lothal factory and the theft of the Defender Elite, Tarkin informed Thrawn that Orson Krennic, the Director of Advanced Weapons Research, had persuaded the Imperial authorities to divert further funding to his "Project Stardust" - the Death Star, which had been under development and construction for nearly two decades. Thrawn protested that the Emperor had already assured him that he supported the TIE Defender program, to which Tarkin replied that he had arranged an audience with the Emperor for Thrawn to plead his case. Thrawn immediately departed Lothal aboard the Chimaera to return to Coruscant.
While on Coruscant, Thrawn learned that Pryce had destroyed the fuel depot outside of Lothal's capital in an attempt to prevent the Rescue of Hera Syndulla. Though the resulting explosion had killed Kanan, it had also crippled the Imperials by destroying all of their fuel on the planet, bringing the Defender program screeching to an indefinite halt. Thrawn chastised the governor for having the audacity of holding a parade to hide the magnitude of the disaster. Cutting off her protests, the Grand Admiral coldly informed Pryce that he would deal with her upon his return to Lothal, but in the meantime, he felt that without Kanan's leadership, the rebels - particularly Ezra - would be aimless, and attack recklessly. To that end, he dispatched Rukh to eliminate them once they showed themselves.
Pryce became afraid of what Thrawn would do to her when he returned, and resolved to capture the Rebels before he arrived.
Fooling Scout Troopers
Sometime later, the Ghost Crew attempted to infiltrate the Lothal Jedi Temple. Which was now under the Empire's control. To that end, Chopper displayed a hologram recording of Thrawn during the Battle of Atollon to distract two Scout Troopers long enough for Zeb to knock them out and give their armor to Ezra and Sabine.
Liberation of Lothal
Thrawn returned from Coruscant to find that Ezra and his forces had captured Pryce and taken control of Imperial headquarters in the capital, falsely enacting Protocol 13 to lure the planet's garrison into the dome in order to remove them from the planet. The Chimaera positioned itself directly above the dome, so that the dome crashing into it would destroy Capital City, and Thrawn called Ezra's bluff by having Rukh disable the planetary shield before opening fire on the city itself.
Seeking to prevent his people from being slaughtered, Ezra surrendered himself to Thrawn aboard the Chimaera, where Thrawn showed him the displays of art he had collected from Lothal, the intent being to preserve them before he destroyed the planet, a course of action he now deemed inevitable. Thrawn brought Ezra into a cargo hold which contained the remains of Lothal's Jedi Temple, and a hologram of Emperor Palpatine himself. Leaving Ezra in the presence of his Emperor, Thrawn returned to the bridge and ordered a full-scale bombardment.
Ezra managed to escape from the cargo hold and stormed the Chimaera's bridge, just as the rebel forces on the ground were able to raise Lothal's planetary shield. Thrawn attempted to contact Rukh, but found that Zeb answered instead, as Rukh was being electrocuted to death. As Ezra and Thrawn faced off, multiple unknown contacts emerged from hyperspace and destroyed Thrawn's blockade fleet in orbit: a flock of Purrgils, summoned by the Ghost at Ezra's instruction.
One Imperial officer reported that the ships attacked by the Purrgil were "just gone", and Pellaeon reported that he had never seen something like it. The Purrgils wrapped their tentacles around the Chimaera, smashing their tentacles through the viewports and holding Thrawn and his crew in their grip. Though he wounded Ezra with his blaster, Thrawn was Force-pushed into the purrgils' tentacles by the young Jedi, the "many arms" of the creatures holding him in their "cold embrace", just as the Bendu had foretold. The creatures carried the Chimaera — and Thrawn and Ezra — into hyperspace, leaving both Thrawn's and Ezra's fates unknown.
Personality and Traits
Thrawn possessed a calm and collected demeanor. He was a brilliant military strategist, known for his anticipation of enemy attacks and his own tactical precision. He was known to speak at least three languages; Cheunh, being his native tongue, Sy Bisti, being the language the Chiss use to communicate with traders, and Basic fluently after joining the Empire. Thrawn worked to perfect the art of war. He had respect for his enemies, believing that in order to defeat a worthy opponent, one must understand them in every aspect, including their history and philosophy. In particular, Thrawn had a strong appreciation for art, and he believed that studying it could allow him to delve into the psyche of the people of the cultures that the artists belonged to. Thrawn's calm demeanor and suave sophisticated mannerisms masked his ruthlessness. Thrawn rarely wavered in his generally cool temperament, though at one point, he furiously grabbed Slavin by his uniform for regarding his collectible Kalikori as Twi'lek trash. He quickly regained his composure however and apologized to him for his emotional outburst. This display may not have been an emotional outburst, however, but rather a calculated tactic on Thrawn's part. In a similar incident years earlier, Thrawn had apparently shouted in anger at a Stormtrooper refusing to listen, but as he explained to Eli he had in fact not been angry but had only broken his usual pattern of behavior, which he believed was an effective tool in dealing with people who would not listen to reason or change their normal pattern of behavior.
Thrawn was also polite and respectful, even towards his enemies, whom he generally tended to admire. Even when interrogating Hera, he showed mannerly behavior despite their antagonistic relationship. Thrawn did not have a high opinion of Konstantine and once sent him on a mission to deal with the Iron Squadron in the Mykapo System. Thrawn set a test for Konstantine by ordering the Admiral to depart with only a light cruiser in order to test his mettle. Konstantine underestimated the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the rebels there. Thrawn was astute enough to discern that Konstantine was lying when the latter tried to save face by claiming to have driven the rebels from the system. In fact, Thrawn was aware that the rebels had already evacuated their sympathizers from the system.
As a tactician, Thrawn sponsored a new initiative to develop TIE Fighters that were equipped with deflector shields. He believed that this feature would give the Empire an edge over their rebel opponents. Thrawn had a low tolerance for incompetence and poor craftsmanship. He personally engineered the death of Sumar in order to send a warning to the Lothal Imperial factory workers. Thrawn was meticulous and ruthless in carrying out his mission to hunt subversives and detect "shoddy" craftsmanship at the Lothal Imperial Factory. Thus, Thrawn was willing to do anything to accomplish his goals.
Thrawn's appreciation for art and his determination to defeat the Rebellion led him to amass a vast collection of images and objects related to the Ghost Crew, who had outsmarted his predecessors. In addition, Thrawn's scrutiny of Lyste and Kallus' reports following the rebel infiltration of the Lothal Imperial Factory led him to realize that the Empire had a spy within their ranks. Thrawn believed that interrogating all Imperial personnel would alert the traitor. Instead, he advocated engineering a trap for the traitor that would turn them into an asset of the Empire.
Thrawn has shown greater patience in dealing with the Rebellion than other Imperial offers, being willing to allow them small victories of little strategic consequence in exchange for studying their methods in preparation for what he intends to be the destruction of the Rebellion as a whole.
Thrawn was willing to take high risks as shown when he dispatched Imperial Infiltrator Droids to hunt for Chopper Base. Despite the loss of a Star Destroyer, Thrawn comforted himself with the knowledge that he reduced the search for the rebel base to 94 worlds. Kallus later tried to elude Thrawn's hunt for Fulcrum by planting clues that incriminated Lyste. However, Thrawn discovered Kallus' deception and decided to manipulate the rogue ISB agent into helping him find the rebel base.
While other Imperial commanders overlooked the threat posed by rebel droids such as Chopper, Thrawn kept a catalog on these droids which he circulated to his intelligence operatives. This information enabled LT-319 to embark on an ambitious plot to hijack the Ghost and find the location of Chopper Base.
While generally calm and even respectful towards almost everyone around him, this belied Thrawn's ruthlessness and depravity, having been responsible for a large number of civilian deaths, which he simply shrugged off as collateral damage, to the subtle disgust of Kallus.
In an effort to find the location of Chopper Base, Thrawn set a trap for Kallus by revealing that his spies were aware that the rebels were planning to attack Lothal. Cross-referencing his knowledge of ancient Lothalian art with the trajectories of General Dodonna's Massassi Group and Kallus' Fulcrum transmissions, Thrawn deduced that Chopper Base was in the Atollon System. As a career officer, Thrawn was not interested in personal glory but was only concerned with yielding results for his Emperor. His interest in the bigger game irked Konstantine, who was only interested in personal glory. Thrawn was angered by Konstantine's desire for personal glory and realized that his subordinates actions jeopardized the Imperial offensive on Atollon.
Thrawn was also an excellent ground commander. To test the mettle of the rebels, he bombarded Chopper Base. In an effort to learn the enemy's strength, Thrawn was willing to sacrifice several AT-DP walkers in the first attack wave. Thrawn was skilled at coordinating both his ground and starfighter forces. Thrawn also preferred to lead his men from the front. As a scientifically-minded man, Thrawn was unperturbed by mystical threats like Bendu. He used the combined firepower of his troops and walkers to bring down the mystical Force-being. Thrawn was not intimidated by Bendu and tried to destroy the Force-wielding being by shooting him with his blaster, only to be surprised and unnerved by his sudden disappearance and mocking laughter.
As a seasoned military commander, Thrawn advised Saxon to capture Sabine in order to utilize the Arc Pulse Generator's full potential. While impressed by the weapon's ability to incinerate Mandalorian warriors by reacting with the beskar alloy in their armor, he believed that Saxon did not know how to utilize the weapon's full potential.
Due to his combat experience, Thrawn was not the least startled when Ezra and Sabine flew their stolen TIE Defender Elite inches above him. Maintaining a steely resolve, Thrawn instead fired back. Thrawn was not upset by the loss of the Defender Elite prototype and instead used the rebels' theft as an opportunity to test the fighter's flight capabilities and weapons systems against TIE Interceptors. Thrawn's growing frustration with Pryce's ability to capture the Ghost Crew and Ryder's cell and stop the theft of the Defender Elite led him to dispatch Rukh to hunt down and eliminate the insurgents.
When Hera attacked Lothal with a strike force of X-wings, Thrawn unleashed the power of his Seventh Fleet on them. Despite using his ships to form a blockade, Thrawn's plan was undermined when Skerris defied his orders to cease pursuing Hera's X-wing. Due to Skerris' insubordination, Hera was able to destroy his TIE Defender Elite, causing it to crash into a light cruiser, which collided with a Star Destroyer. This created a gap which allowed Hera and a few rebel pilots to land in Capital City.
Thrawn's respect for Hera led him to visit her while she was being interrogated by Pryce. While Thrawn regarded looking after her Kalikori as a sign of respect, Hera was insulted that her enemy would hold a valuable family heirloom. Thrawn believed that his TIE Defender project was a better investment than Krennic's Death Star project and traveled to Coruscant to lobby the Emperor.
Thrawn's efforts came to naught when Pryce destroyed the Lothal fuel depot in an effort to destroy the rebels, in the process damaging the TIE Defender factory. While Pryce managed to kill Kanan, Thrawn thought that the loss of the TIE Defender factory outweighed the Jedi's death. Frustrated with Pryce's incompetence, Thrawn resolved to deal with her when he returned to Lothal.
As a tactician, Thrawn detected a flaw in Ezra's plan to trap the Imperial garrison in the Imperial Complex. With his army in a safe position, Thrawn used the Chimaeara to bombard Capital City. Knowing Ezra's Jedi training made him put others first, Thrawn was willing to kill civilians and destroy buildings in order to force Ezra to meet him aboard the Chimaera to discuss his surrender.
Thrawn regarded the Jedi as rosy-eyed idealists who were willing to sacrifice strategically-sound choices for perceived "just and moral" reasons. Thrawn regarded the Force as a weapon and believed that the Jedi did not know how to use it. Intending to destroy Lothal, Thrawn collected Sabine's art since he regarded her as a talented artist and believed that he was safeguarding her legacy.
Thrawn displayed fear, anger, and frustration when Ezra's Purrgil allies attacked his fleet and latched onto the Chimaera. Despite his brilliant tactics, Thrawn for the first time was outmaneuvered by a lesser opponent. Though he was surrounded by Purrgil tentacles, Thrawn accepted his fate and maintained a steely resolve, telling Ezra that the same fate awaited him.
Skills and Abilities
While Thrawn was a seasoned military commander and accomplished tactician, he was also known to use physical force when necessary. Thrawn was known to wield a blaster pistol. On one occasion, he stunned Ezra, who had disguised himself as a Scout Trooper. On another occasion, Thrawn grabbed Slavin by the scruff of his collar after the latter exasperated him with his arrogance and contempt for art. Thrawn also had considerable skill with hand-to-hand combat, often practicing with a pair of Sentry Droids. Thrawn used his combat skills to survive at least one assassination attempt by Kallus, who had reprogrammed his sentry droids.
Thrawn was physically fit and agile. He was adept at unarmed combat and was familiar with the limitations of Imperial Academy martial art. Thrawn managed to defeat Kallus in unarmed combat. As a Grand Admiral, Thrawn was familiar with the various rebel tactics including the Danaan formation. To prevent the rebels from escaping, he reinforced the center of the Seventh Fleet with Konstantine's Interdictor Cruiser. While this tactic prevented the rebels from escaping, it came undone when Konstantine ignored Thrawn's orders and decided to engage Phoenix Nest.
As a military commander, Thrawn devised a cunning strategy to intercept and trap Hera's X-wings. While Thrawn's fleet succeeded in wiping out much of the rebel assault force, his plan was undermined when Skerris defied his orders to cease pursuing Hera and created an accident, which allowed Hera and some rebels to escape to the planet's surface. However, Thrawn had prepared a contingency force of TIE Fighters which shot down these fighters, leading to Hera's capture.
While Thrawn was an effective communicator, his plan to encourage the Emperor to support his TIE Defender project was fatally undermined when Pryce destroyed Lothal's fuel supply in order to kill Kanan.
Though the rebels managed to capture the Imperial Complex and lure the Imperial garrison aboard, Thrawn devised a counter-strategy which involved Rukh and his Imperial forces sabotaging the Complex's shield generators. This enabled Thrawn to bombard Capital City in a successful effort to force Ezra to meet him to discuss his unconditional surrender. As a commander, Thrawn maintained an iron resolve when confronting the rebels and preferred to set the conditions of the battlefield.
Despite his skills as a strategic mastermind, he was tricked by Ezra and snared by the Purrgil's tentacles, where they were both vanished away into hyperspace, never to be seen again.
- He and Maul are the main antagonists of Season 3, while he and Arihnda Pryce are the main antagonists of Season 4, making him the only main antagonist to span more than one season.
- He is voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, who is the older brother of Mads Mikkelsen, who portrays Galen Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
- Thrawn first appeared in the Legends novel Heir to the Empire, the first novel in The Thrawn Trilogy, as the main antagonist. In Legends his full name is Mitth'raw'nuruodo, while Thrawn was his "core" name and is more commonly used. His full name was canonized in the novel Thrawn.
- His appearance in "Steps Into Shadow" marks his debut in the canonical Star Wars universe.
- He also appears in the canon book Thrawn, written by Timothy Zahn (the author of the Thrawn Trilogy and the creator of the character), which precedes the events of Season 3.
- The idea to bring Thrawn into Rebels was discussed during early production of Season 1. Each of the producers suggested it to varying degrees at different times. Ultimately, Thrawn is such an important admiral that they felt it wouldn't make sense to introduce him back then: the Lothal rebel cell was just a small team with one ship on one local planet. They reasoned that Thrawn would only be brought in at a later stage when the rebellion had grown into a large enough coordinated military movement that it merited his response - essentially the same reason that they didn't introduce Darth Vader until Season Two. Their overall plan for the series was for the scale of the nascent rebellion to gradually intensify, and the Empire would react with incrementally more significant force appropriate responses.
- Thrawn is the second main antagonist to have survived an entire season, the first one being Kallus during season 1.
- As established in the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy, which covers events between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Thrawn's knowledge of the Unknown Regions inspired a contingency plan-eventually carried out by Rae Sloane-in which remnants of the Empire traveled into that region of space in order to rebuild, leading to the birth of the First Order.
- "Steps Into Shadow"
- Hera's Heroes
- Iron Squadron
- An Inside Man
- Visions and Voices
- Through Imperial Eyes
- Secret Cargo
- Double Agent Droid
- Zero Hour
- In the Name of the Rebellion
- The Occupation
- Thrawn: Alliances
- "Heroes of Mandalore"
- Flight of the Defender
- Crawler Commandeers
- Rebel Assault
- Jedi Night
- A Fool's Hope
- Wolves and a Door
- A World Between Worlds
- Family Reunion - and Farewell