Star Wars has its fair share of interesting characters, and Admiral Thrawn was one of those fans can’t help but love even though he was a villain working together with the Empire to bring down the Rebellion. Of course, we saw a lot of Thrawn during the events of Star Wars: Rebels, as he was the biggest thorn on the side of the Rebels. Then again, during the main events of the Rebellion, he was nowhere to be found. So, is Admiral Thrawn dead, and how did he die?
Admiral Thrawn’s fate is still unknown, but there is good reason to believe he is still alive in the galaxy. That’s because Thrawn was only thrown into deep space in the final battle against Ezra Bridger in Star Wars: Rebels when Bridger used the power of the Purrgil to throw Thrawn and his ship into hyperspace.
The thing about Grand Admiral Thrawn is that he has always been one of the most calculating and logical characters in the entire lore of Star Wars. He was just as dangerous as any other villain due to his nature as an incredibly intelligent tactician. That is why there’s good reason to believe that he could still be a threat after the fall of the Empire. Now, let’s look at what we know about Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Is Admiral Thrawn Dead?
We know that the heroes of Star Wars: Rebels encountered a lot of different enemies throughout the entire storyline. The Grand Inquisitor was the main enemy during the early part of the storyline. Meanwhile, Darth Vader and the remaining Inquisitors took over that role after the fall of the Grand Inquisitor.
However, we also know that the biggest thorn in the side of the crew of the Ghost was Grand Admiral Thrawn. It didn’t take time for Thrawn to establish himself as a dangerous enemy that Darth Vader trusted enough to take care of the Rebels and the crew of the Ghost. He was an incredibly intelligent, cunning, and manipulative individual that used logic and reason to his advantage. At the same time, although Thrawn didn’t have the Force powers of Vader and the Inquisitor, his ability to command legions of ships and troops and use his mind to his advantage when developing strategies were all indispensable to the Empire.
While the Rebels found it incredibly difficult to evade Thrawn’s wrath because he was seemingly always a step ahead of them, the Rebels still defeated him at the end of the storyline. On top of that, Thrawn was seemingly missing during the main events of the Rebellion in the mainline Star Wars movies. In that regard, he was already out of the picture during the Rebellion period. So, is Admiral Thrawn dead?
Although Thrawn was nowhere to be found when the Empire was struggling against the Rebels in the original Star Wars trilogy, he was alive the entire time. In fact, during the events of season 2 of The Mandalorian, it was revealed that Thrawn was still alive but was hiding somewhere in the galaxy. This was made clear when Ahsoka Tano confronted Morgan Elsbeth, the magistrate of Calodan, regarding the whereabouts of Thrawn, he Ahsoka called her master.
While Ahsoka failed to learn Thrawn’s whereabouts from Elsbeth, the fact is that the former Imperial Grand Admiral was still alive during the events of The Mandalorian, which took place five years after the fall of the Empire. This also means that Thrawn was around when the Empire struggled to defeat the Rebels during the original Star Wars trilogy.
What Happened to Thrawn?
During the events of Star Wars: Rebels, Thrawn was someone that the Ghost crew couldn’t shake off because he always found a way to tail them and the other Rebels. However, when the Rebels tried to free the people of Lothal, they finally got the best of Thrawn.
Then again, Thrawn bombarded Lothal using his ship, the Chimaera. Ezra Bridger gave himself up to Thrawn because he understood that he was far more important to the Empire than any other Rebels, and he understood that Thrawn would stop the bombardment if he gave himself to the Grand Admiral.
While Thrawn threw Ezra to the cargo hold, where a hologram of the Emperor conversed with the young Jedi, Palpatine offered Ezra a chance to join the Empire. But Ezra declined the offer and escaped the cargo hold to get to the bridge of the Chimaera.
When Ezra appeared on the bridge, he revealed that everything had been according to his plan and that Thrawn had lost that fight. Ezra gave himself up to Thrawn on purpose so that he could trap the Grand Admiral. After that, a huge host of Purrgil, gigantic whale-like creatures that can enter hyperspace, appeared out of nowhere when the Ghost, at Ezra’s instructions, led them to Lothal.
Using his powers to communicate with animals, Ezra instructed the Purrgil to take the Chimaera into hyperspace. That meant that Ezra and Thrawn were thrown into hyperspace by the Purrgil at the end of Star Wars: Rebels.
The series ended with the Rebels’ victory over the Empire at the end of the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. However, Ezra was still nowhere to be found. However, Sabine Wren went with Ahsoka Tano on a journey to find Ezra’s whereabouts, as they believed he was still alive.
So, if Ezra was still alive, that would mean that Thrawn survived. After all, the Purrgil only took them to parts unknown when they entered hyperspace. That would mean that they were probably marooned in an unknown star system somewhere in the galaxy or even beyond the edge of the galaxy itself.
This means there’s a good chance that the fates of both Thrawn and Ezra will be revealed during the Ahsoka series events that will be released sometime in 2023. And this is where we might understand why Thrawn was out of the picture for a long time.
It is possible that Thrawn did not return to the picture during the events of the Rebellion despite surviving the trip into hyperspace with the Purrgil because he was entrusted to enact a different plan. And this could be related to the rise of the First Order.
We all know that there were still a lot of remnants of the Empire in the galaxy after Palpatine’s defeat. But we also know that these remnants reformed to become the First Order. As such, there’s a good chance that the First Order became what it eventually became because Thrawn had a hand in its formation during the years after the defeat of the Empire. And that explains why Ahsoka was so hellbent on finding him, as she understood that he was still a threat to the galaxy’s peace as long as he was still out there.