The Star Wars universe has existed beyond the original movie trilogy for decades, primarily in books. Dozens of best-selling authors have taken up the proverbial pen to boldly go where no man has gone before. Wait. No. Wrong fandom. They took up the proverbial pen to introduce new heroes and villains, new worlds, and new adventures.
Probably the most prevalent of these authors is Timothy Zahn. His Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy was deemed the official followup storyline to the movies. It follows the birth of Leia and Han’s twins, Luke’s struggle with the dark side at the hands of Joruus C’baoth, and a plot to destroy the fragile new Alliance. At the heart of it all is Grand Admiral Thrawn, a brilliant Chiss strategist who always thinks 30 moves ahead. Thrawn is a favorite character among Star Wars fans, so when the canon got overhauled a few years ago; Thrawn got the boot and his story was regulated to legend.
Disney and Lucasfilm made a huge announcement at Star Wars Celebration in London that Grand Admiral Thrawn is returning to the Star Wars universe in an official capacity. How? Watch this:
That’s right. Thrawn will be joining Star Wars Rebels as a new villain, voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, brother to Rogue One‘s Mads Mikkelsen. Obviously, this won’t be related to Zahn’s original books because the timeline is much earlier, but we’re super excited to see how he’ll be worked into the cannon. According to the trailer, he will be brought in as a specialist to thwart the crew of the Ghost and their rebel scum pals. Hopefully, this means he will be reoccurring and won’t get blown up in the season finale. We do have hope for more Thrawn beyond Rebels, because as Yoda once said, “There is another…”
Book, that is! In addition to Thrawn’s appearance in Rebels, Timothy Zahn will release a new novel titled Thrawn sometime next year. Unfortunately, there are zero details about it. Just curious, is anyone else bothered by how he has human pupils in this image? Eh, I’ll let it go as long as the quality of the story is there.
Additionally, Rebels fans can expect to see a few more familiar faces in season 3. Ashoka Tano might make a comeback. Season 2’s ending left her fate hanging in the balance, but co-creator Dave Filoni stated, “It’s likely that you might not have seen the last of Ahsoka Tano.” Maybe that’s a little vague, but it’s enough to get our hopes up. Everybody’s favorite Zabrak Darth Maul will be around, likely serving as a bad influence to Ezra, plus Wedge Antilles popped up in the trailer. Oh, and did we mention that Tom Baker of Doctor Who fame is joining the cast as a neutral Force user named Bendu? Because that’s also happening. Filoni also revealed that the current plan is to align the story between Rebels and Rogue One to sync up in the timeline. Could that lead to an animated K-2SO cameo voiced by Alan Tudyk, because we’d love that on so many levels!
Are you excited as we are about this return? Tell us what you love about Grand Admiral Thrawn in the comments!
Image credits: Del Rey, Lucasfilm, Disney