Star Wars Rebels season 3 arrives on Disney XD this Saturday, and with it comes the debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn. The character was first revealed in animated form in a trailer screened at San Diego Comic-Con, but a new clip from the third episode of the new season has arrived with more of this fearsome foe.
As shown by EW, the episode is called “Hera’s Heroes” and tells of Hera Syndulla attempting to infiltrate her home world, Ryloth, with the Ghost crew to recover a cultural artifact that her people consider precious. In the clip, she tries to circumvent some Stormtroopers when she comes face to face with Thrawn. While she’s initially dismissed as a servant, the admiral stops her and takes her in for questioning.
Watch the clip below.
Thrawn was the main villain of Timothy Zahn’s trilogy of Star Wars novels from the 1990s that would later help establish the Expanded Universe of books fans know and love. In these stories, he inherited what remained of the Empire after the demise of Emperor Palpatine. Since he doesn’t use the Force, what makes him equally ruthless — perhaps even more so — is his ability to outthink his opponents.
According to executive producer Dave Filoni, Thrawn knows that it’s easier to takeover a people if he understands them. He said:
He really stuck out because he was through and through an Imperial officer. He was not facing doubt, he didn’t have these abilities that make all the big arch villains up to that point arch. He wasn’t inept so much like Piett, he wasn’t playing politics like the rest of the Imperial officers, he was purely a military strategist.
Mads Mikkelsen’s brother, Lars, voices the character in Rebels, while Mads portrays Jyn Erso’s father in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.