The role of Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels

12 April 2023
In Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn is reintroduced into the franchise as the commander of the Seventh Fleet and a newly promoted Grand Admiral. 

He is a patient tactician who is brought in by Imperial Governor Arihnda Pryce to help crush the series' eponymous rebel cell. In the season three premiere episode "Steps into Shadow," Thrawn demonstrates his tactical prowess by allowing the rebels to escape after they attempt to sabotage his fleet.

He intends to manipulate them into orchestrating the complete downfall of their rebellion. Thrawn's ultimate goal is to dismantle the rebel alliance by identifying its key members and disrupting their operations.

Thrawn appears in several other episodes of Rebels, including "Hera's Heroes," where he takes command of the Imperial occupation of Ryloth, the home planet of Hera Syndulla, one of the rebels' leaders. Thrawn has his first face-to-face contact with the rebels in this episode.

thrawn rebels

 In "Iron Squadron," he orders the incompetent Admiral Konstantine to deal with rebels and rebel sympathizers in the Mykapo system. After Konstantine's ship is disabled, Thrawn arrives in his personal Star Destroyer, the Chimaera, and is revealed to have previously encountered rebel Commander Jun Sato. 

In "An Inside Man," Thrawn is now in charge of the Imperial occupation of the planet Lothal, where he oversees the factory where the new TIE Defender and various other pieces of equipment are manufactured. He puts an end to rebel acts of sabotage by enforcing a policy of the workers testing their creations. Thrawn is also shown to be studying pieces of artwork that grant insight into each member of the Ghost crew. He determines that there is a rebel spy within the Imperial ranks, but intends to use this to his advantage.

In "Warhead," Thrawn uses probe droids to determine that Sato's hidden rebel base is located on one of less than a hundred planets. Thrawn is shown to be skilled in hand-to-hand combat in "Through Imperial Eyes," and learns that Agent Kallus is the rebel spy. 

In "Secret Cargo," Thrawn and Pryce pursue Senator Mon Mothma, who is being transported to safety by the rebels after speaking out publicly against Palpatine. In "Zero Hour," Thrawn confronts Kallus about being Fulcrum, a code name for a high-ranking rebel spy within the Imperial ranks, and executes his carefully planned attack on the rebel base on Atollon. 

He is thwarted by the ingenuity of the rebels and the assistance of Bendu, a powerful being who resides on the planet, and who cryptically warns Thrawn of his impending defeat, "like many arms surrounding you in a cold embrace."

In the series finale "Family Reunion and Farewell," Thrawn's Star Destroyer is attacked by Purrgil, massive space creatures that can travel through hyperspace. The Purrgil ensnare Thrawn's ship with their tentacles while simultaneously confronting the Force-wielding Ezra Bridger, who brought the Purrgil to defend Lothal, the planet that the rebels call home. 

Thrawn's Star Destroyer is dragged from the planet's vicinity by the Purrgil, leaving both Thrawn's and Bridger's fates unknown. 

In The Mandalorian episode "The Jedi" it is revealed that Ashoka Tano is seeking Thrawn, presumably to rescue Ezra. This will be resolved in Dave Filoni's 'Ashoka'.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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