- "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, more commonly known as 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 Galactic Civil War. Thrawn hailed from the Unknown Regions and had knowledge of the uncharted region of the galaxy, knowledge that Emperor Sheev Palpatine used due to his interest in discovering the secrets of the dark side of the Force that the Unknown Regions held. By 2 BBY, the Emperor promoted Thrawn to Grand Admiral due to Thrawn's victory over a rebel insurgency at Batonn.
Grand Admiral Thrawn, the commander of the Seventh Fleet, oversaw the Galactic Empire's efforts to destroy the rebellion growing in the Lothal 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 Empire's reign over the galaxy. His efforts were aimed at discovering the location of the rebel base.
At the end of the Galactic Civil War, the remnants of the Imperial Navy, defeated by the New Republic at the Battle of Jakku, ventured into the Unknown Regions to rebuild. Thrawn's knowledge of the Unknown Regions was in part used to travel to the region of space, where the Empire's remnants reorganized into the First Order.
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]
Mitth'raw'nuruodo, better known as Thrawn, was a Chiss male who hailed from the Unknown Regions, a dangerous and uncharted region of the galaxy. He pretended to live in exile for several months, in order to study the Galactic Empire before he was "rescued" by soldiers of the Galactic Empire. Thrawn's ingenuity and tactical prowess caught the attention of Emperor Sheev Palpatine. The Emperor, who, behind his public identity, lived as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, believed that the source of his dark power came from beyond the known galaxy, and he felt a dark presence call to him from the beyond—a presence that not even his apprentice, Darth Vader, could sense. Palpatine took an interest in Thrawn as a result, keeping the alien in his midst because of what Thrawn knew of traversing the Unknown Regions. Thrawn entered the Imperial Navy as a Lieutenant. He briefly attended the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant with his translator Cadet Eli Vanto.
Thrawn proved his worth to the Empire, as well as his ambition and military capabilities. He conducted numerous missions to defeat smugglers, spies, and pirates, earning countless victories with his renegade tactics. He received several promotions as did his aide and translator, Ensign Eli Vanto, whom he instructed in combat, leadership, and victory. Politics, on the other hand, was not his strong suit, and he worked with Arihnda Pryce, Governor of the Lothal sector, as she could have been a key ally or an enemy. Much of his knowledge and ambition were put to the test once he ascended to the rank of Admiral.
By 2 BBY, Thrawn ascended to the rank of Grand Admiral. He received the promotion from the Emperor himself after defeating a group of insurgents in the Batonn sector. The battle of Batonn resulted in the elimination of rebel activity in the sector, including the death of Nightswan, but also the death of many civilians, the number of which surpassed the amount of rebel casualties—an acceptable margin in the eyes of the Empire. 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, the Phoenix Squadron 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 an Arquitens-class command 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.
- "No, Admiral, I want you to handle it yourself. A single light cruiser should be sufficient for a man of your talents."
"You would send me? In one ship?"
"Unless you're not...up to it."
"I will leave immediately."
- ―Thrawn dispatches Admiral Konstantine to Mykapo
Grand Admiral 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 trap the Iron Squadron's leader Mart Mattin and cripple his ship Sato's Hammer and attempted to use him to lure his rebel rescuers into a trap. However, the Spectres 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 nearly collided with his ship but managed to flee under the ventral hangar. Speaking to Thrawn over the com, Sato vowed to meet him again. Thrawn 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.
- "When we find our spy, and we will find them, we shall turn them from an obstacle to an asset."
- ―Thrawn on locating a possible Imperial spy
After a surge of defective vehicles at the Lothal Imperial Armory Complex, the Imperial High Command dispatched Grand Admiral 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 starfighter equipped with deflector shields. Thrawn believed that this starfighter would contribute to the Empire's counter-insurgency efforts against the rebellion.
The disillusioned Imperial Security Bureau Agent 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 and the astromech droid Chopper 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. Unknown to Thrawn, he was part of Ryder's rebel cell and a saboteur.
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 Agent Kallus. Thrawn took this as an opportunity to warn the workers that they would be personally testing every vehicle they built. Thrawn then ordered Governor Pryce, Agent 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 weapons. Meanwhile, Thrawn reassured Governor 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 AT-DP walker. When the walker collapsed, Thrawn gestured for his stormtroopers to arrest the man.
Thrawn later summoned Lieutenant Lyste and Agent Kallus to his office at the Imperial headquarters. The office was decorated by holographic displays of the Spectres, Sabine's graffiti, Mandalorian art and a Jedi Temple Guard's helmet. 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 crew of the Ghost, whom he had encountered on Ryloth, had a special connection to Lothal.
When Thrawn inquired about their crackdown, Lyste informed the Admiral 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 starfighter 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 Lieutenant 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.
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 the former Sith Maul and attacked a rebel soldier. While Ezra, Kanan, and Sabine stayed behind to deal with Maul, Hera proceeded with the mission.
Continuing the searchEdit
- Kallus: "You seem, in surprisingly, good spirits, considering this loss."
- Thrawn: "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."
- ―Kallus and Thrawn discussing the outcome of the EXD infiltrator droid sabotage.[src]
Later, Grand Admiral Thrawn embarked on a campaign to scour the Outer Rim Territories for the Phoenix Squadron's base. Under his command, E-XD infiltrator droids were dispatched to Outer Rim worlds to search for the bases. 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, using the pseudonym 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 an Imperial Star Destroyer.
Following the destruction of the Star Destroyer, Thrawn met with Agent Kallus aboard his flagship Chimaera. When Thrawn asked how the explosion happened, Kallus responded that he believed that the rebels reprogrammed the infiltrator droid to explode upon returning back to the ship. Despite the setback, Thrawn remained in good spirits because the incident greatly narrowed down the planets that could be housing the rebel base.
- "I believe Agent Fulcrum will prove far more useful to the Empire than Kallus ever was."
- ―Thrawn revealing his discovery of the identity of Fulcrum
Later, Grand Admiral Thrawn enlisted the ISB Colonel Wullf Yularen's help in ferreting out the rebel agent known as Fulcrum. After Yularen interrogated several sector command staff for rebel affiliations, Thrawn summoned Lieutenant Yogar Lyste accompanied by Agent Kallus for a meeting aboard his flagship Chimaera. After practicing hand-to-hand combat with a pair of Imperial sentry droids, Thrawn met with Yularen, Lyste, and Kallus. Thrawn and Yularen briefed 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 Governor Pryce, who had come to inquire about progress in determining the rebel base's location and the identity of the rebel spy. 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. This shuttle thief turned out to be the rebel Ezra Bridger, whom Thrawn had encountered earlier on Ryloth. Ezra had intentionally gotten himself captured in order to rescue Kallus, whose identity as Fulcrum was close to being exposed. Thrawn decided to visit the prisoner for himself.
Before he could do so, Kallus freed Ezra from his cell using Lieutenant Lyste's stolen code cylinder. Kallus, Ezra, and the rebel droids AP-5 and Chopper then infiltrated Thrawn's office where they deleted the rebel base on Atollon from Thrawn's star chart. Chopper also stole the clearance codes necessary for their rebel comrades Kanan Jarrus and Rex to board Thrawn's flagship. When Thrawn along with Governor Pryce and Colonel Yularen arrived at the detention block, they discovered that the prisoner Ezra 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, "Lyste" and Chopper had deleted the Atollon system from his charts and were hiding behind one of his exhibits to avoid detection. Meanwhile, Kallus reprogrammed two of Thrawn's sentry droids into assassin droids and set them to Thrawn's office. The sentry-turned assassin droids entered the room and knocked out the guards. Thrawn attempted to disable the droids with the command "Override Rukh", but failed. Following a fierce struggle, Thrawn managed to destroy the droids by shooting them in their chests. Thrawn also caught sight of Ezra fleeing his office and mistook him for Lieutenant Lyste. 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, with Agent Kallus framing Lyste as Fulcrum by tricking the lieutenant into stunning Governor Pryce. Kallus, who was the real Fulcrum, decided to stay behind in order to help the rebellion. Following Lyste's arrest, Thrawn and Yularen interrogated him and quickly ascertained that he was not Fulcrum. Despite being aware that Lyste was innocent, Thrawn told Kallus and Pryce that Fulcrum was apprehended, before dismissing the two. In private, Yularen expressed his dissatisfaction with how easy the conclusion was. Thrawn agreed with Yularen's assessment. They then analyzed the helmet Ezra had left behind, which was inscribed with an artistic depiction of a Loth-cat. Thrawn recognized the art style as belonging to the rebel Sabine Wren and identified Ezra Bridger 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 MothmaEdit
- "She could be our key to locating the true rebel fleet."
- ―Grand Admiral Thrawn on the possible capture of Mon Mothma
After Senator Mon Mothma resigned from the Imperial Senate and gave a fiery speech denouncing the Ghorman Massacre placing the blame upon Emperor Palpatine, Thrawn received intelligence that Mothma and the Spectres rebel cell were planning to travel through the Archeon Nebula to avoid Imperial detection. Based on his knowledge of Phoenix Leader Hera Syndulla, Thrawn anticipated that Hera 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 Governor Pryce and Admiral Konstantine with positioning two Star Destroyers outside of the Archeon Nebula to capture them when Commander Skerris drove them out. Despite Thrawn's planning, Hera and the Spectres managed to escape with Mon 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 on the planet Dantooine.
- "I believe this C1 astromech is the droid infiltrator Grand Admiral Thrawn referenced in his memo about the rebels of Phoenix Squadron."
- ―LT-319 on capturing Chopper
As part of his counter-insurgency efforts, Grand Admiral Thrawn also utilized the services of a team of Imperial Information Office intelligence officers based aboard an IGV-55 surveillance vessel. This team was led by Imperial Controller LT-319 and were tasked with gathering intelligence and monitoring rebel activities. These individuals were fitted with AJ^6 cyborg construct implants and gave up part of their autonomy in the Empire's service. 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 Spectres rebel cell'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 rebel ship Ghost and used a data 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 Syndulla then destroyed the surveillance vessel by sending back their data feed, causing a data surge that blew the vessel apart.
Blockading Chopper BaseEdit
- "I do not require glory, only results for my Emperor."
- ―Thrawn's response to Kallus after he derided Thrawn for holding his capital ships.[src]
Later, Grand Admiral Thrawn acquired the services of several elite death troopers. He flew his Lambda-class shuttle to the Imperial Complex in Lothal's Capital City for a private meeting with Governor Pryce and Admiral 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 Grand Moff 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 at Tarkin's request.
Agent Kallus was listening to Thrawn's conversation and traveled to Ezra's former home, which had a transmitter which he had used to send his Fulcrum transmission 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 ISB agent, though Kallus destroyed his jammer and was able to warn the rebels. Kallus was taken captive by two death troopers and brought to Thrawn's command center. Calculating the trajectory of both General Dodonna's fleet and Kallus' Fulcrum transmission, Thrawn was able to determine that the hidden rebel base was located in the uncharted Atollon system.
Thrawn ordered Admiral Konstantine to blockade the Atollon system with his Seventh Fleet, cutting off any escape with two Interdictor cruisers. He then traveled to Atollon aboard the Chimaera with Governor Pryce and the captive Kallus in tow. Thrawn then issued a hologram transmission to Captain Syndulla, Commander Sato, and General Dodonna vowing to rain down defeat upon 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 Commander Sato's Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier Phoenix Home. Sato rammed his ship into Konstantine's Interdictor cruiser; destroying both vessels and allowing the rebels 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 assaultEdit
- "You cannot see. But I can."
"What? What do you see?"
"I see your defeat. Like many arms surrounding you in a cold embrace."
- ―The Bendu and Thrawn
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 shield could withstand orbital bombardment, Thrawn ceased the attack. He then delegated command of the Seventh Fleet to Governor 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 the former Clone Captain Rex and the Lasat Garazeb Orrelios' detonators and a rocket launcher. Thrawn then deployed several AT-AT walkers that were protected by shield generators. 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 rebel GR-75 medium transport fleeing offworld. Thrawn and his troops then surrounded Hera, General Dodonna and several rebels. When Hera refused to surrender, Thrawn threatened to kill them one by one beginning with the Jedi 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 one of Thrawn's troopers and a walker. This gave the rebels the window needed to flee into space with their comrades.
Undaunted by this new enemy, Thrawn ordered his soldiers to fire at the Bendu, effectively ending its rampage. Back in space, Ezra, Sabine and their Mandalorian allies were able to destroy the second Interdictor, allowing the remains of the rebel fleet to escape into hyperspace. While he was unable to capture the rebel leadership and crush the rebellion completely, Thrawn viewed the Battle of Atollon as an Imperial victory.
Following the battle, Thrawn confronted the fallen Bendu. When Thrawn asked Bendu what manner of creature he was, the Bendu replied that he was beyond Thrawn's power to kill. The Bendu also predicted Thrawn's defeat, describing it as "many arms surrounding you in a cold embrace". Undaunted, Thrawn attempted to kill the Bendu, but by the time he fired, it was already gone. Thrawn could still hear the Bendu's laughter ringing in the air. Meanwhile, the surviving rebels fled to Yavin 4.
Seven years after his battles with the nascent rebellion, the Alliance to Restore the Republic that formed from the early rebel cells had managed to cripple the Empire, kill Emperor Palpatine, and give rise to the New Republic. The shattered remnants of the Empire were defeated during the Battle of Jakku in 5 ABY, and the Imperial Navy retreated into the Unknown Regions. To do so, they used an Imperial Observatory on Jakku to help chart the way through the harsh region of space. Much of what Thrawn knew of the Unknown Regions had been used in the Observatory's computations. As a result of Thrawn's knowledge, as well as information retrieved by the few survey teams and droids the fallen Emperor had once sent into the unknown, the Imperial Navy reorganized into the First Order in the depths of the galaxy. This was part of Palpatine's Contingency, a plan to ensure that the Galactic Empire would not outlive him—but that was co-opted by surviving Imperials to ensure that the Empire continued after his death.
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. He was known to speak at least two languages, Sy Bisti, being his native tongue and learning to speak Galactic 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 a fellow Imperial by his uniform after he insulted his enemy's artwork. He quickly regained his composure however and apologized to the officer for his emotional outburst.
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. Thrawn did not have a high opinion of Admiral 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 starfighters 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 the factory worker and rebel agent Morad 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 crew of the rebel ship Ghost, who had outsmarted his predecessors. In addition, Thrawn's scrutiny of Lieutenant Lyste and Agent 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 was willing to take high risks as shown when he dispatched E-XD infiltrator droids to hunt for the Phoenix Squadron's Chopper Base. Despite the loss of a Star Destroyer, Thrawn succeeded in narrowing the the search for the rebel base from possibly thousands to 94 worlds. Agent Kallus later tried to elude Thrawn's hunt for Fulcrum by planting clues that incriminated Lieutenant Lyste. However, Thrawn discovered Kallus' deception and decided to manipulate the traitorous 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.
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 Admiral Konstantine, who was only interested in personal glory. Thrawn was angered by Konstantine's desire for personal glory and realized that his subordinate's 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 and also preferred to lead his men from the front. As a scientifically-minded man, Thrawn was unperturbed by mystical threats like Bendu as seen when 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.
Skills and abilities Edit
- "I am a warrior, Your Majesty. A warrior may retreat. He does not flee. He may lie in ambush. He does not hide. He may experience victory or defeat. He does not cease to serve."
- ―Thrawn pledging his alliance to Emperor Palpatine
Thrawn was a seasoned military commander and accomplished tactician who was known to be thorough and respected by his subordinates. Thrawn wielded a blaster pistol and on some occasions, he stunned the rebel fighter Ezra, who had disguised himself as a scout trooper, and tried to execute Bendu with it before Bendu disappeared. 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 Agent 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 Agent 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 Admiral 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 the Commander Sato's flagship.
Behind the scenesEdit
Grand Admiral Thrawn was created by author Timothy Zahn as an antagonist in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire. IGN has asserted that the character "essentially kicked off the wave of Expanded Universe novels," while Empire Online credited Thrawn with doing "much to revitalize and legitmise [sic] Star Wars fiction… at a time when the franchise was in danger of dying." He remained popular for years, and in 2016 Zahn described it as "highly gratifying" that Thrawn "captured the imaginations of so many people over the past quarter century."
Thrawn was brought into Star Wars canon in the third season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels, voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. Zahn also wrote a canon novel titled Thrawn, focused 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.
- Star Wars: Force Arena
- Thrawn (First identified as Mitth'raw'nuruodo)
- Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow (First appearance) (First identified as Thrawn)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Hera's Heroes"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Iron Squadron"
- Star Wars Rebels – "An Inside Man"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Visions and Voices" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Warhead"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Through Imperial Eyes"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Double Agent Droid" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
- Star Wars Rebels Season Four
- Aftermath: Empire's End (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels (Set: 75170 The Phantom)
- "An Unbeatable Strategy"—Star Wars Insider 168
- Star Wars Insider 172