This weekend brought plenty of big Star Wars news due to Celebration Europe in London. And while the big reveals were fun for all, there was a fabulous bit of news for fans of the “Star Wars Legends” arc: Grand Admiral Thrawn is officially making his way back to canon, on both printed page and small screen.
Thrawn was one of the most popular Expanded Universe villains, created by Timothy Zahn for the Heir to the Empire trilogy. A humanoid with blue skin and red eyes, Thrawn rose through the ranks–despite the Empire’s xenophobic leanings–due to tactical brilliance and cunning. He was, by far, one of the most threatening antagonists that the Star Wars universe had on hand, and his seeming erasure once the Expanded Universe was relegated to “legend” status had many fans crying foul.
But Dave Filoni–the creator behind both the Clone Wars and Rebels television series–has done an expert job of weaving the best parts of the EU into the current Star Wars canon. At Celebration Europe, he admitted that reintroducing Thrawn had been on their wishlist for quite some time; it was just a matter of finding a story where they could do right by the character. With Rebels heading into its third season, it was the perfect time to bring back the fan favorite.
Filoni addressed the issue of treating Thrawn with the respect he required, comparing him to Darth Vader in terms of how he could be handled in a serial format: “There’s no one to defend them against Thrawn. We want to treat him like a big time villain, as much as Darth Vader, but on the strategic, military side of things.”
The Grand Admiral will be voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, brother of Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One, Hannibal, Casino Royale), and the most recent big bad on Sherlock. Here’s a teaser that features Thrawn for Rebels season 3:
Wondering if those lizards on display in his tactical room are ysalamiri….
But that’s not all! Adding to the new library of Star Wars books, Thrawn is getting a brand new novel–written by his creator, Timothy Zahn. Thrawn will hit shelves next year, an exciting followup to the character’s re-assimilation into the universe.
Oh, very yes.
Only one question really remains at this point–where is Mara Jade?
News via IGN