- "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 by 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 Emperor Palpatine. 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.
- "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.
Hunting down subversivesEdit
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 advised setting 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 huntEdit
- 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 rebel cell'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 had reprogrammed one of the Infiltrator droids to self-destruct upon returning to base. Despite the setback, Thrawn remained in good spirits because he had managed to narrow down the search for the rebel base from a thousand to just ninety-four systems as a result.
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. 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.
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 the rebel fighter Ezra, who had disguised himself as a scout trooper. On another occasion, Thrawn grabbed Captain Slavin by the scruff of his collar after the latter exasperated him with his arrogance and contempt for art.
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.
- Star Wars: Force Arena
- Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow (First appearance)
- 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 – "Zero Hour"
- Aftermath: Empire's End (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Star Wars Rebels – "An Inside Man"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Star Wars Rebels – "Hera's Heroes"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Star Wars Rebels – "Iron Squadron"
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Visions and Voices"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Star Wars Rebels – "Warhead"
- ↑ Swank, Jason (May 14, 2010). Weekly ForceCast: May 14, 2010. The ForceCast.