Grand Admiral Thrawn is canon. Hell. Yes! For fans of The Thrawn Trilogy books, this past weekend’s Star Wars celebration was special. Thrawn was introduced in the season 3 trailer for Star Wars: Rebels.

Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn books weren’t perfect. But he absolutely nailed the villain. Thrawn put fear back into the heart of the New Republic (formerly the Rebellion).

So, who is Thrawn? He’s a male Chiss – a blue human with glowing red eyes. The species hails from the ‘Unknown Regions,’ a region of space neither the Republic or Empire explored. In the books, his real name is Mitth’raw’nuruodo – which is shortened (thankfully) to his core name Thrawn.

Thrawn wasn’t your typical Imperial. Ruthless? Yes. But he would not execute his own men for mistakes. He only asked they learn from them. Plus, he was commanding the Empire after the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Endor. Thrawn couldn’t afford to waste the men and women serving under him.

Everything that made Thrawn special from the books is carried over to Rebels. Our first look at Thrawn shows him surrounded by art.

Grand Admiral Thrawn rebels

“To defeat an enemy, you must know them,” are Thrawn’s first words in the trailer. “Not simply their battle tactics. But their history, philosophy, art.”

In the books, Thrawn believed he could find an adversary’s weakness by studying their art. There was one instance where he couldn’t create a tactic to defeat a certain species. Instead, he resorted to wiping them out. Completely. Before the species was wiped out, he had them build a statue. It was the only time Thrawn’s brilliant tactics didn’t work in his favor.

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Star Wars Rebels carries over the main traits of Thrawn. But some of the timing will be thrown off. That’s where Zahn comes in. Yep, we are getting another Thrawn book. Titled ‘Thrawn,’ it’ll be released in spring 2017. This will flesh out Thrawn’s backstory in the new canon.

I can’t wait to see what kind of changes are coming in the canon version of Thrawn. I just have one request. Please don’t kill him in Rebels. Give him some reason to go away. Just don’t kill him. We need a standalone film featuring Thrawn first.

Thrawn might not be Zahn’s only creation coming over to Rebels. Fans are speculating the two lizard creatures behind him are ysalamiri. These animals project a bubble where Force-users can’t influence the force while inside it. A handy tool for dealing with Jedi, or Sith.

Grand Admiral Thrawn is back. And with him, hopes that other characters from the Expanded Universe are coming to the canon.

But executive producer Dave Filoni threw some cold water on one of these characters. During the audience Q&A, one question centered around Mara Jade – a former operative for the Emperor and eventual wife of Luke Skywalker.

Filoni had bad news. “I saw that coming a mile away,” he said. “No, not likely. You got Thrawn! Remember we got Thrawn? Yay?”

If you could choose one other storyline or character to become canon, what would it be? Give me the X-Wing series any day of the week. We need more space battles in Star Wars!

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