Here’s Why Thrawn Is Such a Big Deal & Why Everyone Is Afraid of Him

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The biggest problem that the main characters had in the ‘Ahsoka’ series was Grand Admiral Thrawn, as it was important for them to make sure that he wouldn’t be able to return to the known galaxy from his exile in Peridea. Of course, that was easier said than done because Thrawn did indeed return from his exile. Now that he is back in the known galaxy, the New Republic should have its hands full in its effort to try to stop him from wreaking havoc. But why is Thrawn such a big deal?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Thrawn is very important for the Imperial remnants because he is the last Imperial Grand Admiral at large after the fall of the Empire.
  • The Imperial remnants are scattered all over the galaxy and need an authority figure with the right title and ability to command.
  • No one in the galaxy has the same mind for strategy and tactics that Grand Admiral Thrawn has.

Thrawn is the last Imperial Grand Admiral

Back in the events of the Rebellion, the fall of the Empire started when Emperor Palpatine was killed on the second Death Star. This was when the Rebellion started the foundations of what ultimately became the New Republic. But it took at least one more year to secure the surrender of the Empire as the fighting didn’t stop until 5 ABY when the Imperials finally surrendered after the Battle of Jakku.

So, after the Battle of Jakku, the Empire was formally defeated as the New Republic rose to power to govern the entire galaxy and the different systems that fell under its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, there were still Imperial leaders at large. All of these Imperial warlords led their own forces and acted seemingly independently of the other Imperial remnants all over the galaxy.

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In the four years that went by since the Battle of Jakku, the New Republic focused its efforts on rebuilding the different systems affected by the tyranny of the Empire. While that was happening, different Imperial warlords convened secretly through the Shadow Council, a secret Imperial group that discussed the different activities that the Imperial remnants were busy with. The individual members of the Shadow Council had specific tasks that were in line with the contingency plan of the emperor.

While it may be true that the Imperials had been convening in secret, no person had the right authority and status to lead them. Moff Gideon tried to convince them that he was the right man for the job, and he tried to do so by using his hold over Mandalore as a way to make the other remnants realize that he could be the one to lead and unite the Imperial remnants. Nevertheless, he perished before he could ever convince the members to give him the leadership role.


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In that regard, Grand Admiral Thrawn was the only person who the members of the Shadow Council believed had the right position and authority to unite the Imperial remnants. As Hera told the Defense Council, Thrawn was the only Grand Admiral not dead or captured.

Of course, the title of Grand Admiral isn’t just a military title for the Imperial remnants. There is something deeper about that position because only those whom Palpatine trusted were given the “Grand” titles. That’s why Thrawn and Tarkin held the positions of Grand Admiral and Grand Moff, respectively, as they were both inside Palpatine’s circle of trust. And while the other Imperial officers envied Thrawn for his position and rather quick rise to power, they still understood that Palpatine trusted him well enough to promote him to Grand Admiral.

As such, the only person fit to unite the Imperial remnants is the man who has the authority to command the entire Imperial remnant navy and the trust of the emperor. And Thrawn was the only person left who had both of those qualities.

The New Republic knows that there are still a lot of different Imperial remnants remaining in the galaxy. But the Senate has been comfortable with the fact that they were not acting in unison, and that was why people like Senator Xiono weren’t too worried about the fact that the Imperials were still operating. But if someone were to unite all of those Imperial warlords under one banner, that is where the problem would arise.

No other Imperial leader is as intelligent as Thrawn

On top of the fact that Thrawn has the position to command the Imperial remnants and the trust of the emperor to carry out his contingency plan, one of the most important reasons why Thrawn is so feared throughout the galaxy is the fact that he is far more intelligent than any other Imperial warlord. As Hera said, Thrawn isn’t your run-of-the-mill Imperial warlord because he can do much more than just order troopers and starfighters.

hera senate

The thing that always made Thrawn special was his mind. Using his astute mind and incredible gift for tactics and strategies, Thrawn can step into his enemies’ shoes to think like them. Thinking the way his enemies would think, he can find ways to counter their next moves. This allows Thrawn to always be several steps ahead of his opponents.


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This was seen in how he defeated Ahsoka Tano in the ‘Ahsoka’ series. While he didn’t know much about Ahsoka, he operated under the assumption that she operated like her master, Anakin Skywalker, did. This allowed Thrawn to stay a step ahead of her the entire time until he finally defeated her when he successfully left Peridea while leaving Ahsoka and Sabine stranded.

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In ‘Star Wars: Rebels,’ Thrawn was also seen playing the long game a lot of times whenever he tries to find a way to defeat his opponents. By giving them minor victories, he puts his enemies in a position that allows them to become complacent. But he uses to his advantage every single information he gains from the different skirmishes he has with his enemies.

As such, at the end of season 3 of ‘Rebels,’ he compiled his knowledge and information about his enemies and used it to defeat the Rebels on their secret base on Atollon.

So, with all that said, Thrawn’s mind works in a way that’s different from how the other Imperial warlords think. While other Imperial commanders focus on the here and now and are obsessed with crushing their enemies outright, Thrawn is willing to wait by gathering information so that he can find a way to put his enemies in a position that’s almost impossible for them to escape.

He thinks of long-term plans and executes them to perfection. And there is no enemy scarier than a man who can think rationally and use every single information he has on the table to his advantage.

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