- "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 a member of the Chiss Ascendancy and 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.
During the Clone Wars Thrawn was exploring the Outer Rim of the galaxy to find out if the Galactic Republic could be an ally to the Chiss Ascendancy and met Jedi General Anakin Skywalker who he aided in a battle. He concluded that the Republic would be an unfit ally. Years later, after the Republic had transformed into the Galactic Empire he managed to join the Imperial Navy as a Lieutenant. Believing in the importance of understanding an enemy's culture, art, and philosophy to defeat them, Thrawn, helped by his aide Eli Vanto, rose through the ranks, defeating smugglers, insurgents and traitors along the way.
By 2 BBY, Thrawn had been promoted to Grand Admiral and given the command of the Seventh Fleet due to his victory over a rebel insurgency at Batonn. He was then assigned to destroy the Phoenix Squadron located in the Lothal sector, which was a part of the growing rebellion against the Empire. His efforts were aimed at discovering the location of the rebel base which he eventually did find and attacked. The battle was a success and the squadron was mostly destroyed however the Spectres, an important cell of the rebellion and the Imperial traitor Kallus managed to escape. Moreover the Empire suffered major damages and Thrawn received a prediction of his death from a mysterious Force-sensitive individual known as the Bendu.
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.
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. During this time he rose through the ranks to become a well respected member of the Chiss Ascendancy.
Exploring the Outer RimEdit
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 BeltEdit
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, finding himself impressed with Anakin's courage and cunning. Anakin also found himself impressed with Thrawn, speaking highly of him to Chancellor Sheev Palpatine when he returned to Coruscant.
Thrawn was unimpressed, however, with the state of the Republic. He believed it to be unfit for an alliance with the Chiss Ascendancy, citing that the Republic's democratic style of government created a bogged down system where everyone had a voice but nothing was accomplished.
Encounter with the NeimoidiansEdit
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 Galactic 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 Galactic Republic. Thrawn refused their offer, but returned to the Chiss intrigued.
Return to the Chiss AscendancyEdit
After his encounter with the Neimoidians, Thrawn returned to the Chiss Ascendancy seeking counsel. Growing increasingly worried about the threat in the Unknown Regions, the Ascendancy ruled that the time had come to judge whether or not the Empire would be a suitable ally. Thrawn was given his mission; he would infiltrate the Empire in order to either make them an ally or to weaken them as easy prey for the threat to attack instead of the Ascendancy. In order to carry out this mission, Thrawn proceeded to fake his exile.
Gaining Access to the EmpireEdit
Faking his ExileEdit
With the help of the Ascendancy and Aristocra, Thrawn chose a planet in Wild Space and set up a hut designed to look as though Thrawn had been living in it for years. After several attempts and a few standard months, Thrawn finally managed to gain the attention of the Empire.
Encounter with the crew of the StrikefastEdit
Thrawn was away from his encampment when the Venator-Class Star Destroyer Strikefast led by Captain Voss Parck arrived at his 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 protocolss, 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 Major Wyan had brought the stuffed flight suit into the imperial encampment for Parck, Barris, and Vanto 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 snuck 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 standard 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 Vanto. Using Vanto 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. Vanto 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 Sheev Palpatine himself.
Thrawn was sent to his temporary living quarters onboard the Strikefast, and a separate meeting was held between Parck and Vanto. In this meeting it was determined that, due to his knowledge of the Chiss and Sy Bisti, Vanto would serve as Thrawn's translator and basic teacher for the duration of the trip.
Meeting at the Imperial PalaceEdit
For the rest of his passage to Coruscant aboard the Strikefast, Thrawn spent his time in the company of Vanto. In addition to helping Thrawn with his basic, Vanto 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, Vanto, Barris, Parck, and several navy troopers and stormtroopers boarded A Lambda-class T-4a 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, Vanto noticed, he looked maddeningly confident.
Upon deboarding the shuttle, Thrawn and the Imperials were guided by two of Palpatine'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 Palpatine 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 Palpatine that he was to be trusted, Thrawn offered the name of Anakin 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 Anakin 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 Vanto as his translator.
Wishing to discuss the threat in the Unknown Regions further, Palpatine 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 Palpatine discussed Palpatine's personal interest in the mysteries of the Unknown Regions. Palpatine came to the decision that Thrawn did not need a translator, but agreed to give him Vanto anyway.
Education at the Royal Imperial AcademyEdit
Upon arriving at the Royal Imperial Academy, Thrawn and Vanto found their way to the office of Commandant Deenlark. Thrawn was met with hostility in Deenlark's office, Deenlark openly expressing contempt for the alien Thrawn and the fact that he had arrived in Deenlark's office by command of the Emperor himself. As the meeting with Deenlark drew to a close, Thrawn was informed that instead of graduating the academy as an ensign like Vanto, he would be graduating with the rank of lieutenant. Thrawn was given his lieutenant's rank insignia plaque, Deenlark secretly hoping that it would make Thrawn the target of bullying. On the way out of the office, Vanto informed Thrawn of Deenlark's intent, and Thrawn took the opportunity to learn more about the social hierarchy within the academy. Ultimately, Thrawn decided not to wear his rank plaque until it proved convenient to him, masquerading as a normal cadet.
From the start of their term at Royal Imperial, Thrawn and Vanto were plagued by incidences of bullying and harassment. Thrawn refused to give a response, however, hypothesizing that the lack of response would embolden the bullies to cross the line and commit a punishable act of bullying.
Thrawn's hypothesis proved true one month into the three month term when cadets Spenc Orbar and Rosita Turuy invited him and Vanto to play a game of cards called Highland Challenge in the metallurgy lab. Thrawn was aware that the offer was a trap intended to get the Chiss and Vanto caught gambling for credits in a lab they weren't authorized to be in, but chose to accept the offer anyway. Vanto protested Thrawn's decision, but Thrawn felt confident that he could twist the trap in his favor.
Arriving in the lab at the appointed time, Thrawn and Eli were quick to turn down Orbar and Turuy's offer to play for credits. Turuy was upset with their decision, but decided not to push the matter. The four proceeded to play a tense game of Highland Challenge, Orbar and Thrawn discussing the topic of traps in the context of hands of cards. As the round drew to an end and Orbar activated his trap by discreetly calling in an instructor, Thrawn slipped on his lieutenant's rank plaque. The instructor, powerless to punish a lieutenant for being in the lab, was forced to reluctantly let Thrawn and Vanto go, much to Orbar and Turuy's chagrin. Confident that he had dismantled the trap and embarrassed the two cadets enough, Thrawn set down his hand of card and declared that the game was over.
Thrawn and Vanto walked back to their barracks, Vanto expressing his admiration for Thrawn and how he had managed to subvert the trap with such precise timing. A moment later, however, Thrawn pushed Vanto into the bushes as he was assailed by Cadet Gimm and two other unidentified cadets who had been called to the scene by Orbar and Turuy. Thrawn fought off the assailants, allowing them to land a few hits in order to assess their combat skills before, with the help of a distraction from Vanto, injuring one of the assailants and causing all three to scatter.
After the assailants had fled the scene, Thrawn and Vanto returned to Deenlark's office to report the incident. Thrawn deduced that the attack had been masterminded by Orbar and Turuy, and informed Deenlark that the assailants were likely friends of the two cadets. When Deenlark protested that it would be impossible for him to punish the guilty cadets because of their influential parents, Thrawn suggested that rather than being punished Gimm and the assailants should be transferred to the Skystrike Academy for fighter pilot training. He explained that during the fight he had observed that all three had tremendous aptitude as fighter pilots and that it would be a waste of their potential if they weren't transferred to Skystrike. Furthermore, Thrawn argued that the punishment would be paranoia. Gimm and the assailants would live in fear that they would one day be punished and Orbar and Turuy would be frightened by the fact that their friends had disappeared so suddenly. Commandant Deenlark agreed to carry out Thrawn's suggestion, and the matter was closed.
Two standard months later, Thrawn graduated the Royal Imperial Academy as a lieutenant. On the day of his graduation, Thrawn received a second rank insignia plaque, Deenlark having forgotten that he gave Thrawn his plaque the day he arrived at the school. Thrawn held onto his spare plaque for later use if he ever needed it. After the graduation ceremony, Thrawn briefly met Eli's father and mother who both expressed subtle discomfort around him. As they left, the Vantos mentioned wishing they could use their beckon call, a technology that intrigued Thrawn greatly. After the Vantos were gone, Thrawn and Vanto reported to Deenlark's office for the first assignments of their careers.
Thrawn was assigned to be Second Weapons Officer of the Gozanti-class cruiser Blood Crow, and Vanto was assigned the role of his aide. They boarded the transport and began their careers in the Imperial Navy.
Service Aboard the Blood CrowEdit
For the first eighteen standard months of his service aboard the Blood Crow, Thrawn served under Captain Rik Virgilio hunting smugglers, aiding distressed vessels, and diffusing political situations in the Mid Rim and Outer Rim. Thrawn enjoyed his service under Virgilio, facing little to no discrimination and enjoying a quick promotion to First Weapons Officer. Additionally, Virgilio granted Thrawn use of the Blood Crows previously unused Number Two storage bay for the storage of the collection of Clone Wars era technology that Thrawn was amassing. Thrawn was using the technology as a means to study the era and war, and by the end of the eighteen months, he had collected two doonium-shelled Mark One Buzz Droids, a droideka, half a STAP, and most of a hyperdrive ring. This was not to last, however, as Virgilio was replaced suddenly and without explanation by Captain Filia Rossi.
Thrawn found himself at odds with Rossi not long after she first set foot aboard the Blood Crow. Discovering Thrawn's stache of Clone Wars technologies while surveying the ship with First Officer Senior Lieutenant Nels Deyland, Rossi demanded a meeting between the three of them in the storage bay. Rossi, eager to assert her dominance as captain, demanded that Thrawn's collection be dumped or otherwise destroyed. Thrawn, still having plans for his collection, argued that he should be allowed to keep his collection due to the value of the pieces that he had accrued with his own credits. With the help of Deyland, Thrawn managed to argue Rossi down to a compromise. She told Thrawn that he was allowed to keep his collection until the Blood Crow reached Ansion. In that time he would be allowed to continue to attempt to get the buzz droids working again in order to bring them up to their maximum market value. At that point, the collection would be turned over to her and she would be allowed to sell it. Thrawn agreed to the compromise. Unbeknownst to Rossi, Thrawn had already managed to get the buzz droids back to full working order.
Thrawn found his service under Rossi notably more difficult than his service under Virgilio. Unlike Virgilio, Rossi was prejudiced against aliens and took offense to the fact that Thrawn was allowed an aide. As a result, Thrawn found himself assigned to every dirty, nasty, or undesirable job on the Blood Crow while working under Rossi.
The Dromedar Incident Edit
Boarding the Dromedar Edit
As a consequence of Rossi's tendency to assign him to the undesirable jobs, Thrawn was not surprised when he and Vanto were assigned to investigate the distress call coming from the cargo freighter Dromedar. The freighter was carrying a valuable shipment of static-locked tibanna gas, a locking mechanism infamous for generating incredible amounts of dirt and dust. Once the Blood Crow reached the adrift Dromedar, Thrawn boarded a shuttle to the vessel alongside a boarding party which consisted of Vanto, Ensign Merri Barlin, Electronics Tech Layneo, and Engineering Tech Jakeeb.
Once they had boarded the Dromedar, Thrawn assigned Vanto, Layneo, and Jakeeb to investigate the engine section while he made his way to the bridge with Barlin. Several minutes later, Vanto signaled Thrawn that he had found someone in the central passageway. Thrawn instructed Vanto to return to the bridge with the prisoner.
It was at this moment that Thrawn met the man he would later come to know as Nightswan, currently operating under the alias "Nevil Cygni". Thrawn asked Nightswan why he had threatened Vanto, Layneo, and Jakeeb, to which he replied that he had mistaken them for pirates. He explained to Thrawn that the Dromedar had been attacked by pirates hoping to make off with the tibanna gas and that they had taken the crew of the freighter hostage while they returned to their base to get a slicer to help them restart the Dromedar's hyperdrive. Assessing the situation, Thrawn commanded Vanto to contact Rossi and request a full operational team to either restart the hyperdrive or transfer the tibanna gas canisters to the Blood Crow. Vanto protested that Rossi wouldn't like Thrawn's request, but Thrawn did not change his mind. Once Vanto had gone to relay the message, Thrawn began a thorough examination of the ship.
As Vanto had predicted, Thrawn was not granted his requested full operational team by Rossi. Instead, Thrawn was granted the supplies he needed and up to three crew members aside from Vanto and himself. Additionally, they would be left to deal with the Dromedar situation on their own as the Blood Crow had been called to Moltok to deal with a Makurth boss' attack on a Ho'Din settlement. Thrawn was fine with this arrangement, remaining on the Dromedar with Vanto, Barlin, Layneo, and Jakeeb as the Blood Crow voyaged to Moltok.
On the Dromedar's bridge, Thrawn oversaw Barlin and Layneo's attempts to find an asymmetric backdoor code that would get the ship up and running again. As they worked, Thrawn moved with Vanto and Nightswan to the cargo bay. There, Thrawn unpacked one of his crates of supplies from the Blood Crow, revealing one of his two Mark I Buzz Droids. Taking the buzz droid to where the tibanna canisters static-locked to the hull, Thrawn explained his plan to free the tibanna. The static-lock sealed the canisters, but only from the cargo bay side. Thrawn intended to use his buzz droid to cut through the hull and free the tibanna canisters. Nightswan was impressed with the plan, shocked he hadn't come up with it himself and that people didn't use it more often. Thrawn admitted that his plan wasn't completely unheard of, but that it would require the sacrifice of one of the tibanna canisters, a sacrifice that many weren't willing to make. This plan was required unnecessary, however, when Barlin and Layneo got the hyperdrive back in working order.
Run in With Pirates Edit
When he turned back around to face Nightswan, however, Thrawn found himself staring down the barrel of Nightswan's second blaster. Calmly, Nightswan requested that Thrawn order Barlin, Layneo, Jakeeb, and Vanto to surrender so that no one would have to be harmed. Before Thrawn could give the order, however, he found himself, Vanto, and Jakeeb surrounded by Angel and his pirate crew. Nightswan gave Thrawn one more chance to surrender, and Thrawn obeyed, surrendering and commanding Barlin and Layneo to surrender via comlink.
Thrawn, Vanto, Barlin, Layneo, and Jakeeb were then taken, with the buzz droid, to Angel's ship Marauder to be with the prisoners from the Dromedar. Nightswan, only interested in the tibanna and Dromedar, demanded that Thrawn and the prisoners be dropped off unharmed at a predetermined rendezvous. Angel reluctantly agreed, locking up Thrawn and the imperials with the Dromedar crew.
Once they were locked inside the cell, Thrawn proceeded to wait silently until Nightswan and Angel had reboarded the Dromedar and jumped to lightspeed. Once the Dromedar had gone, Thrawn set his plan into action. He asked Layneo if she could isolate the bridge and fly the Marauder from the control panel in the room, to which she replied that she could as long as she could reach the panel. Pleased with Layneo's answer, Thrawn removed his insignia plaque, revealing that he had turned the spare plaque from graduation into a beckon call for the buzz droids. Using the beckon call, Thrawn guided the buzz droid to attack the prison cell's locking mechanism. Drawn by the commotion, three pirates entered the lockup and Thrawn redirected the buzz droid to attack them. While they were distracted with the buzz droid, Jakeeb kicked apart the damaged cell door and the imperials and prisoners rushed the pirates. The three pirates were subdued, and Thrawn directed his second buzz droid to cut the ship in half so that they wouldn't have to deal with the pirates in the forward portion of the vessel. Once Layneo had used the control panel to gain control of what remained of the ship, Thrawn took command of the Marauder.
Finding the Dromedar Edit
Back aboard the Blood Crow, Thrawn and Vanto were brought before Rossi to justify their actions aboard the Dromedar and Angel's ship. In this meeting, Thrawn revealed that he had realized Nightswan was deceiving him, had anticipated his betrayal, and had allowed himself to be captured in hopes of finding the Dromedar's crew via capture. Rossi was unhappy with Thrawn's report, berating him for choosing the crew instead of the much more financially valuable tibanna gas. Thrawn was baffled by Rossi's assessment, believing that his decision to save the crew and capture some of the pirates was the correct one. Rossi, however, stuck by her original statement, believing the value of tibanna to outweigh the value of lives. As a punishment for Thrawn's failure in the eyes of High Command, Rossi sentenced Thrawn to suspension at Admiral Wiskovis' base on Ansion while she waited for a more official ruling from Coruscant. Seeing this as his opportunity to get the Dromedar back, Thrawn subtly manipulated Rossi into sentencing Vanto to suspension along with him.
Once on Ansion, Thrawn managed to convince Wiskovis to allow him to interrogate the three pirates they had captured with Vanto as witness to the interrogation. Correctly deducing that the pirates, who called themselves Culoss (Read: Q-Less), were remnants from the crew of Queen Q'anah, Thrawn threatened the three prisoners with a visit from Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, the man who had been responsible for the death of Q'anah and most of her crew. The pirates, frightened by the prospect of being turned over to Tarkin, allowed Thrawn to tell them his deal. In exchange for the location of Nightswan, Angel, and the Dromedar, Thrawn offered the pirates safe transport out of the sector before Tarkin and the ISB arrived for additional interrogations. Hoping to trick Thrawn, the pirates had a short meeting in Sy Bisti where they planned to give Thrawn false information in order to secure their freedom. Speaking in Basic once more, the pirates told Thrawn that the Dromedar had been taken to Cartherston on the planet Keitum.
Out of the interrogation room, Thrawn, Vanto, and Wiskovis used the pirates' use of the slang words "trapo", "ub-dub", and "squalsh" to determine that the Dromedar had been taken to a trading post on the planet Uba in the Barsa sector. Hoping to save Wiskovis from any of the career fallout that Thrawn feared might accompany his actions, Thrawn volunteered to take full responsibility for the operation to Uba to rescue the Dromedar. Interpreting this action as Thrawn attempting to hoard the glory, Wiskovis became angry and argued with Thrawn for several minutes before ultimately deciding to save the argument for later. Returning to the more pressing matter at hand, Thrawn and Wiskovis dispatched forces to Uba and Keitum to arrest the pirates and retake the tibanna gas. Hypothesizing that the stolen tibanna may be taken from Uba to the nearby tibanna producing planet Kril'dor, Thrawn also ordered a force be sent there as part of the reclamation effort.
Aftermath of the Dromedar Incident Edit
Thanks to Thrawn's actions on Ansion, the Dromedar and its tibanna canisters were found and recovered although Nightswan managed to evade capture. Once the tibanna canisters were checked, however, it was discovered that Nightswan had managed to covertly steal the contents of twelve of the twenty canisters using a variation of the technique that Thrawn had suggested aboard the Dromedar. This partial defeat vexed Thrawn greatly, kicking off his obsession and rivalry with the insurgent known as Nightswan.
Despite the fact that the operation had been an arguable success, Thrawn found himself facing the threat of a court-marshal from High Command due to his actions throughout the Dromedar Incident. As such, Thrawn spent the following Ascension Week and Empire Day on Coruscant, touring parties and mingling with the influential elite alongside Vanto and ISB Colonel Wullf Yularen. Yularen believed that Thrawn's actions on Ansion had been justified and beneficial, and sought to aid Thrawn with the court marshal by introducing him to senators and ministers that he felt could be an asset against the investigation. It was at one such Ascension Week party, the party in the Alisandre Hotel's grand ballroom, where Thrawn met Arihnda Pryce for the first time, then an aide to Lothal Senator Domus Renking. The two spoke briefly, Pryce correctly guessing Thrawn's purpose at the party, before Yularen, Thrawn, and Vanto moved on to speak to another senator.
Thrawn and Yularen's party-going strategy ultimately paid off, Thrawn being cleared of all charges by the court-marshal committee. Despite the fact that the committee's decision had closed the Dromedar Incident officially, Thrawn continued to be bothered by the incident's outcome and Nightswan's cunning. Additionally, he found Nightswan's knowledge of the Mark I Buzz Droid's value intriguing, asking Vanto if he could investigate doonium demand. Thrawn had begun to suspect that the Empire was working on a secret military project of some sort, and wished to discover the truth.
After the court-marshal committee made their decision, Thrawn received new orders from High Command. He was promoted from lieutenant to captain and assigned the role of First Officer aboard the Arquitens-class light cruiser Thunder Wasp with Vanto still playing the role of his aide. Thrawn was disappointed that Vanto was not promoted, having recommended Vanto for both a rank promotion and a combat position, but the two accepted their new assignments nonetheless.
Battling Insurgents Over Umbara Edit
Prelude to the Battle Edit
After being assigned to the Thunder Wasp, Thrawn spent the next year hunting smugglers and pirates in the Mid Rim under the guidance of Commander Alfren Cheno. During this time, Thrawn also made five visits to Coruscant, traveling to the Imperial Palace to help Emperor Palpatine map the Unknown Regions. Thrawn also paid a visit to Yularen during each of his five visits to Coruscant, working with him on an investigation of Nightswan and his activities in the galaxy.
Sometime towards the end of his first year of service aboard the Thunder Wasp, Thrawn noticed a sudden uptick in the value of vulture droids while shopping for his collection. Hoping to investigate, Thrawn purchased another vulture droid part, sneaking a glimpse at the rodian salesman's order requests when the rodian wasn't looking. It was on the order requests that Thrawn discovered that Nightswan had purchased a large number of vulture droid parts and paid with iridium.
Not long after, Thrawn and Vanto investigated and arrested a group of smugglers who had been smuggling iridium in the shells of Paklarn grist mollusks. Looking into the matter further, Thrawn deduced that the smuggling operation had been masterminded by Nightswan and that Nightswan had used the smuggled iridium to pay for large shipments of vulture droids. Pressing the captured smugglers for details, Thrawn discovered that Nightswan had mentioned Umbara when he had been instructing the smugglers. Vanto dismissed Umbara as a false lead, believing that Umbara wouldn't dare to try insurgency again after choosing to join the Separatists and being defeated during the Clone Wars. Thrawn, however, felt confident in his intuition and believed that an investigation of insurgent activity on Umbara was necessary.
The Battle Over Umbara Edit
Thrawn spent the entirety of the passage to Umbara locked away in his cabin. He used the solitude to immerse himself in Umbaran art, surrounding himself with holograms of Umbaran art through the ages. He noted the subtle differences between pre and post Clone Wars art, using the similarities and differences to extrapolate details of modern Umbaran culture and military doctrine.
Thrawn was interrupted mid-thought when Vanto entered his cabin to inform him that they had arrived at Umbara and that Cheno had requested his presence at the bridge. By the time Thrawn arrived at the bridge, the Thunder Wasp was in position and ready for battle, joined by Gendling's ISD Foremost and two Raider-class imperial corvettes. As they stood on the bridge, Cheno joked with Thrawn that he hoped the Umbarans would attack so that he and the Thunder Wasp could finally get some recognition. Thrawn, however, felt it was unlikely that the Umbarans would attack.
Thrawn watched from the bridge alongside Vanto and Cheno as Gendling delivered his ultimatum to the Umbaran insurgents, demanding that they hand over their leaders within the hour or face reprisal. Even as Vanto declared the matter finished after Gendling's ultimatum the battle erupted as four hundred vulture droids appeared from behind Umbara's outer moon.
As the battle began and Cheno commanded a counterattack against the vulture droids, Vanto was quick to point out to Thrawn that he had been wrong. Thrawn, however, stood by his original statement, deducing that the attack was not by the Umbarans and that they were merely watching it in hopes of deciding whether or not to join in.
As the battle continued and the Thunder Wasp took more and more damage, Thrawn realized that Cheno was unable to command the battle and promptly seized control of the Thunder Wasp. Moving Senior Lieutenant Hammerly to a turbolaser station, Thrawn sat down with Vanto at Hammerly's sensor station to study the attack patterns of the vulture droids. After several moments of watching the vulture droid attack patterns, Thrawn was able to deduce that the vulture droids were not acting on their swarming programming but rather were being controlled directly by a transmitting base. Utilizing the transmission shadows where vulture droids relied on their swarming programming rather than the transmissions, Thrawn was able to pinpoint the location of the transmitting base on the surface of Umbara. His analytical work done, Thrawn called out to Cheno, telling him to contact Gendling to inform him of the location of the base. Gendling, however, felt that Thrawn's assessment was merely guesswork and disregarded the advice.
Frustrated with Gendling's ineptitude, Thrawn ordered the comm officer to signal the remaining ships to attack the vulture droids when they were flying through the transmission shadows. The other ships acknowledged Thrawn's strategy and shifted tactics, quickly turning the tide of the battle.
By the end of the battle, one of the corvettes had been destroyed and the remaining corvette, Thunder Wasp, and Foremost were all badly damaged, but the vulture droids had been destroyed and Umbara unconditionally surrendered.
Aftermath of the Battle Edit
Despite the fact that Thrawn's strategy had won what had begun to appear to be a losing battle, Gendling was furious with both Thrawn and Cheno for their roles in the battle. His pride bruised, Gendling promised Cheno that the battle would be the end of his career. When Gendling turned on Thrawn, however, Cheno stepped in to save his career. Once they were alone Cheno admitted that he believed Thrawn to be the future of the Imperial Navy, saying that it had been a privilege to be Thrawn's commander for even just a short time.
After departing from the meeting with Gendling and Cheno, Thrawn met with Vanto to discuss the possibility of Nightswan's involvement in the battle. By analyzing the value of Umbaran ore as well as the success rates of smugglers on Umbara versus smugglers on an Imperial-controlled planet, Thrawn was able to deduce that Nightswan had orchestrated the events on Umbara in order to ensure that the Empire took over Umbara's mines in order to further his smuggling operations. Going even further, Thrawn concluded that Nightswan had purposefully allowed the iridium smugglers to be caught in order to draw the Imperials to Umbara. Impressed, Thrawn admitted that he would be forced to wait until Nightswan chose to resurface again.
As a result of the actions taken during the battle, Cheno was forced to retire by Gendling and High Command. This decision angered Thrawn greatly as he considered it nothing more or less than a foolish waste of resources. Surprised by Thrawn's reaction, Vanto informed him that Cheno was neither the first navy career Thrawn had destroyed nor was it the last career he would destroy. Thrawn was vexed by this, but resigned himself to the reality of his situation and the Empire's military politics.
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]
He pretended to live in exile for several months, in order to study the Galactic Empire before he was "rescued" by soldiers of the 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 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 and met Darth Vader 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 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 ISB 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 above 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 ISB 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 for regarding his collectable Kalikori as Twi'lek trash. 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 abilitiesEdit
- "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 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