In the wake of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, one of the biggest disappointments for fans was the revelation that the Star Wars Extended Universe would no longer be considered canon. This announcement effectively erased decades of novels, comic books and video games that fleshed out the galaxy far, far away – but also left a blank canvas on which future adventures could be painted, without the studio being forced to adhere to the property’s impossibly dense lore.
But just because the EU stories are no longer “official” doesn’t mean that Disney and Lucasfilm don’t have a healthy respect for their impact and popularity. In fact, earlier this year came the announcement that one of Star Wars fandom’s most beloved characters, Grand Admiral Thrawn, would be featured in the upcoming third season of Star Wars Rebels.
Thrawn was the central character in the Heir to the Empire trilogy – better known among fans as the “Thrawn trilogy” – a series of novels by Timothy Zahn that are widely considered to be some of the best Star Wars stories ever told outside of the feature films. We got our first look at the animated version of the character at Star Wars Celebration, and now a new promo for the upcoming season of Star Wars Rebels heralds his arrival.
Voiced by Lars Mikkelsen (brother of Mads), there’s menace in every word that comes out of Thrawn’s mouth. While the character isn’t likely to be explored with the same level of detail as in Zahn’s novels, the series certainly seems to have captures his personality, and he promises to be one of the most formidable foes that Ezra, Kanan and the rest of the rebels have faced yet.
Here’s the official synopsis for Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels:
Having established a secret base on Atollon, the Ghost crew, now led by a more powerful Ezra, strengthens the rebel fleet by acquiring new resources and recruits eager to stand against the Empire. However, the Imperial efforts to eliminate the rebellion are now being led by the coldly analytical Grand Admiral Thrawn, whose strategic, tactical and cultural insights make him a threat unlike any they have faced before. In season three, Ezra and Sabine take on new roles and challenges as the rebels prepare for their biggest mission yet – a direct assault on the Empire.
If you haven’t been watching this series yet, do yourself a favor and get started, because it’s phenomenal. Season 2 has just been released on Blu-Ray and DVD, so that gives you almost three full weeks to get caught up with the adventures of the Ghost crew. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
Star Wars Rebels returns for its third season on Saturday, September 24, exclusively on Disney XD.
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