Lars Mikkelsen is coming as the live-action Grand Admiral Thrawn in The Mandalorian era, but Star Wars has already confirmed his fate. The highest-ranking nonhuman in the Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a tactical genius who would have surely defeated the Rebel Alliance had he not been lost in the Unknown Regions surely before the Galactic Civil War began. This story was told in Star Wars Rebels, but the character is soon to make his live-action debut.


Thrawn was name-dropped in The Mandalorian season 2, set five years after Return of the Jedi, and the first Ahsoka trailer confirmed he is returning in that period as the “Heir to the Empire.” The name is an appropriate one, given it was the title of the first book in Timothy Zahn’s “Thrawn trilogy,” the non-canon books that introduced Thrawn in 1991. As much of a force to be reckoned with as Thrawn may be, though, his fate has already been confirmed.

The Sequel Trilogy Confirmed Thrawn’s Fate

The Star Wars sequel trilogy featured the First Order, the next evolution of the Empire. While Thrawn may well be a major part in setting this up, it is evident he will not be around to see it take down the New Republic. If Thrawn had won, it is likely the First Order would have risen to power soon, and they would certainly have been much more formidable with him at the helm. Thrawn is a master tactician, which made him practically impossible to defeat in Star Wars Rebels; with the full might of the First Order behind him, it would have been even harder for the heroes to win.

Thrawn’s absence in the sequel trilogy proves he is destined to lose in Dave Filoni’s Mandalorian era. Not only that, but Thrawn is not even mentioned in any of the sequel movies, nor is there any trace of his Imperial Remnant. Leader like Brendol Hux were absorbed into the First Order. If Filoni’s Mandalorian era movie truly leads directly into Star Wars: The Force Awakens, audiences may see Thrawn usurped by Supreme Leader Snoke.

Thrawn’s Fate May Be Known – But That’s Not A Problem


Star Wars is well known for telling stories where the ending is already known. Viewers already know that Anakin Skywalker will end the prequel trilogy as Darth Vader, while Cassian Andor’s fate at the end of Andor has already been told in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. These projects still work because they are character driven. What will make Thrawn’s story matter isn’t the mystery of whether he’ll lose, but what the hero’s victory will cost. The narrative journey that these characters will go on is what will make the film a success.

There’s a lot that still has to be revealed about Dave Filoni’s unnamed Mandalorian film, but it will no doubt end with Grand Admiral Thrawn losing. Thrawn’s loss could directly set up how Supreme Leader Snoke came to power, or why Ahsoka Tano’s voice is included in the voices of Jedi past at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. As more information about the film is released, the larger implications of the film within the Star Wars universe, and Thrawn’s loss will definitely be clearer.

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