Many longtime Star Wars fans were disappointed when Disney and Lucasfilm announced that the “Extended Universe” – a collection of novels, comics and games which for a time comprised an official post-Return of The Jedi continuity for the Star Wars Saga – would be declared retroactively non-canonical and rebranded as “Star Wars Legends”. Many fans were heartbroken that their favorite characters would no longer “count,” but some softened when it was revealed that new Star Wars film and TV projects would be allowed to revive aspects of the EW as part of the official canon.
One such figure is the fan-favorite villain Grand Admiral Thrawn, who joined the official modern Star Wars Universe in season 3 of the animated TV series Star Wars Rebels. Created by writer Timothy Zahn in the bestselling novel Heir to The Empire, Thrawn is likely the most popular villain to emerge from the Extended Universe and likely the most widely-known antagonist in the franchise who has not yet appeared in a live-action film. A member of the blue-skinned Chiss race, Thrawn is known for his military genius and general ruthlessness; a popular characterization established across The Thrawn Trilogy and The Hand of Thrawn Duology (along with less-prominent appearances elsewhere in the EW continuum).
That same ruthlessness is on display in this new clip from Rebels’ upcoming episode “An Inside Man”, wherein the Grand Admiral makes an example to those under his command of a conscripted Imperial worker. Suspecting that the man has done an inadequate job of repairing a speeder bike, Thrawn orders him to perform an acceleration test that places his life in imminent danger as the vehicle’s unstable engine threatens to overheat and explode. Left unsaid is whether this is actually a gambit to expose Rebels’ heroes, who are on the scene undercover in Imperial workers’ uniforms.
Set between the events of Episode III: Revenge of The Sith and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the animated Rebels follows an unlikely crew of characters aboard the starship Ghost as they make life difficult for the Empire in the earliest days of the Rebellion. Thrawn’s well-received presence on the series, long predicted by fans, has fueled speculation that the character may at some point be incorporated into the live-action films in the future – though no official indication has yet been given that this will be the case.
Star Wars Rebels continues with ‘An Inside Man’ on Disney XD at 8:30 pm EST on Saturday, December 3rd.
Source: Disney XD