Will We See Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels?

Ever since Star Wars: Aftermath, the first canon novel to follow the events of Return of the Jedi, was released, many have questioned whether or not the mysterious figure at the close of the novel was indeed Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn, or Mitth’raw’nuruodo, was a high-ranking blue-skinned male Chiss, who first arrived in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire. Despite the Empire’s highly speciesist ways, he was considered their greatest military strategist.

Heir to the Empire is now firmly a Legends book, meaning it isn’t considered canon. But many believe Thrawn to be one of the greatest additions to Star Wars lore, and fans are split on whether or not the Grand Admiral should be brought into canon Star Wars or not. But there is a big new hint that just hit Twitter as to whether or not he will be joining the canon.

In the second season of Star Wars Rebels, Ahsoka Tano quite ominously said “there’s always a bit of truth in legends.” This is a play on the real-life notion that all legends are based on some fact. But the term “Legends,” as Star Wars fans know, indicate any stories that aren’t considered canon. So in the meta text of that quote, fans have made the assumption that Rebels would reintroduce Legends into canon.

Dave Filoni, the show’s primary writer, had this to say on Twitter:

The first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels season 3 will be shown at Star Wars Celebration Europe, which is exciting, but the second half of that tweet is even more revealing. Again that phrase “there’s always a bit of truth in legends,” is teased. But this time we get an image of a partial spine of an old Star Wars book. What book is that, and is that a hint towards what is coming?


It looks as though that book’s spine matches that of Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn’s classic novel which introduced us to Thrawn himself. Is this some form of subtle confirmation? Or was Filoni just using that spine as a random symbol of the Legends legacy? What do you think? Would you like to see Ezra, Kanan and the rest of the Rebels team face off against him? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, I just bought a Macbook Pro, so this is my first blogpost written on a computer. Prior to this I’ve been using my iPad 3 and iPhone 6 exclusively. That said, I’m totally at a loss for how to create good featured images on the new laptop, so I’ll be sticking to my iPad for that. If you have any tips, please let me know.

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11 thoughts on “Will We See Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels?

    1. I don’t know that Lucasfilm or Disney would be in any way hurting if they had to pay to use him as a character, but it’s my understanding that Disney ultimately owns any Legends/EU stuff.


  1. Seeing that rumours of Thrawn being brought into Rebels have been flying around for months, he’s the most likely candidate. And chances are that we won’t be seeing Vader on the show again for the foreseeable future (if ever) so Thrawn would be a perfect adversary for the Ghost crew.

    On the subject of Legends characters, one character I would love to see on the show (if they could pull it off properly) would be Starkiller from The Force Unleashed. The Inquisitors have proven somewhat ineffective and I’m pretty sure Kanan and Ezra will still be on Vader’s hit-list so it’d be an opportune moment to bring in Vader’s secret apprentice. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think for it to be a plausible plot point for Rebels, they’d have to make him more along the lines of an Inquisitor than an actual apprentice, but I could definitely get behind him being nothing more than an Imperial assassin if it’s done properly.

        I’ve got faith in Filoni and his team so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in season three. :-3

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Heir to the Empire rekindled my love for Star Wars as an adult and I genuinely believe that it started the rebirth of Star Wars as a cultural phenomenon. I’m sure many others feel the same way. Without it, the original trilogy would’ve fizzled and be relegated to its own Legend status. To think that Thrawn will make an appearance in Rebels really excites me. (Not in a naughty way, though.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This would be wonderful, and definitely make me want to watch the show for it, though I worry that they’ll mess him up somehow. You know how precious we Star Wars devotees get over our favourite characters! But as to the wider lore, it would be awesome if Thrawn was brought back into the canon, whether he’s the guy at the end of Aftermath or not.

    It’s been said by others before, but it’s stuff like this that is making me really excited about Star Wars again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember Thrawn, though I read those books a long, long time ago. I recall he was an excellent tactician and gave Luke and company quite a run. It would be interesting to see him pop up in other media of some form.

    Liked by 1 person

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