- "To defeat an enemy, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, philosophy, art."
Thrawn was a Chiss male who served as an officer in the Imperial Navy, holding the rank of Grand Admiral in the years prior to the Battle of Yavin. Thrawn, the commander of the Seventh Fleet, was promoted after gaining the favor of the Emperor, Darth Sidious, following the battle of Batonn. In its aftermath, Governor Arihnda Pryce of Lothal requested Thrawn's expertise to eliminate the rebels who operated in her sector. Believing in the importance of understanding an enemy's culture, art, and philosophy to defeat them, the Grand Admiral set out on a strategy to destroy the growing rebellion before it could become a true threat to the Galactic Empire's reign over the galaxy.
Rise to powerEdit
- Thrawn: "The Emperor recently promoted me after my victory at Batonn."
- Kallus: "Civilian casualties outnumbered the insurgents at the time."
- Pryce: "Acceptable margins, Agent Kallus, for there are no longer rebels in that sector."
- ―Grand Admiral Thrawn, ISB Agent Kallus, and Governor Arihnda Pryce speak of Thrawn's victory at Batonn[src]
A Chiss male, Thrawn was an Imperial officer who served in the Imperial Navy in the years prior to the Galactic Civil War. Admiral Thrawn defeated numerous rebel groups in the years before the Battle of Yavin, including a group of insurgents in the Batonn sector. This victory resulted in the elimination of rebel activity in the sector, but also the death of many civilians, the number of which surpassed the amount of rebel casualties. Following his victory at Batonn, Thrawn was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Admiral by the Emperor, Darth Sidious. A capable strategist who earned a reputation for his tactical prowess and ability to understand an enemy's culture, art, and philosophy as keys to defeating them, Thrawn commanded the Imperial Navy's Seventh Fleet. Because of his success in utterly wiping out his opponents, Thrawn was not himself well known to the rebellion at large, a fact which he would later use to his advantage during the occupation of Ryloth.
Fighting the rebellionEdit
- "I will start my operations here, and pull the rebels apart piece by piece. They will be the architects of their own destruction."
- ―Grand Admiral Thrawn
In the years before the Battle of Yavin, a rebel cell that operated in and around the Lothal sector proved to be a nuisance to Imperial operations in the area. Governor Arihnda Pryce of Lothal requested to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Governor of the Outer Rim Territories, that Thrawn and the Seventh Fleet be assigned to assist with the rebel threat. Although the Sith Lord Darth Vader had dealt with one of the rebels' Jedi leaders, Commander Ahsoka Tano, Pryce believed it was time to have the assistance of someone who could see the bigger picture—the threat of rebel cells coming together to form an organized resistance movement, to which Tarkin agreed.
The Grand Admiral soon arrived and began overseeing operations against the rebels. He attended a briefing with Pryce, Agent Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau, and Admiral Kassius Konstantine, 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. The Grand Admiral 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 Galactic 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 Admiral 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 RylothEdit
- "War. It's all you've ever known, isn't it? You were so young when you survived the Clone War. No wonder you are equipped in spirit to fight us like you do. War is in your blood. I study the art of war. Work to perfect it. But you...You were forged by it."
- ―Thrawn to Hera
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 Syndulla 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 arangements. However, Thrawn knew that Syndulla 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 Syndulla family portrait that she was Hera Syndulla. Thrawn was also able to see that the Scout trooper was actually Ezra Bridger and stunned him.
Thrawn then went aboard a Imperial light cruiser and watched as Slavin did a prisoner exchange between Syndulla and his daughter. However, Syndulla and the Rebels were able to escape from Slavin's forces. Thrawn then allowed the rebels to have their victory.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "My apologies, Captain Slavin. I'd forgotten not everyone is able to appreciate art as I do."
- ―Thrawn, to Slavin
Grand Admiral Thrawn was a member of the Chiss species who possessed a calm and collected demeanor. He was a brilliant military strategist, known for his anticipation of enemy attacks and his own tactical precision. 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. In spite of his generally cool temperament, Thrawn, at one point, furiously grabbed a fellow Imperial by his uniform after he insulted his enemy's artwork.
Thrawn was also polite and respectful, even towards his enemies, whom he generally tended to admire. Even when interrogating Hera Syndulla, he showed mannerly behavior despite their antagonistic relationship.
Behind the scenesEdit
Thrawn is a character created by author Timothy Zahn. He was first introduced in the Star Wars Legends novel Heir to the Empire, part of The Thrawn Trilogy. He made his first canon appearance in the third season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels, voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. Zahn is also writing a canon novel titled Thrawn, focusing on the character's first encounter with the Galactic Empire and the years leading up to the third season of Rebels. Executive producer Dave Filoni first expressed interest in using Thrawn in 2010, while producing Star Wars: The Clone Wars.