Grand Admiral Thrawn will be The Mandalorian movie’s big bad, according to Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni. After almost 20 years working on Star Wars, Dave Filoni will direct a live-action, theatrical Star Wars film. The still-untitled The Mandalorian movie is being described as the culmination of the “Mandoverse,” which refers to the Star Wars shows set after Return of the Jedi that revolve around The Mandalorian.
Speaking to Empire Magazine, Dave Filoni was asked whether Grand Admiral Thrawn is “the big bad” of the New Republic timeline, to which the director answered, “Definitely, in my eyes.” Filoni went on to describe what makes Thrawn such an “iconic villain,” noting that he is not “another helmet-wearing, lightsaber-wielding bad guy.” The New Republic era goes from Return of the Jedi’s ending to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Therefore, Filoni’s answer confirms that Thrawn is Mandoverse’s big bag. Considering that Filoni’s The Mandalorian movie is the culmination of the Mandoverse and the New Republic era, the director’s response also confirms that Thrawn will be The Mandalorian movie’s villain.
Grand Admiral Thrawn, The Mandalorian Movie’s Villain, Explained
Grand Admiral Thrawn was originally introduced in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, a novel set shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi. Thrawn, a Chiss strategist that served under Palpatine’s Empire, would return in two other Expanded Universe novels, making it the “Thrawn trilogy.” The Thrawn trilogy, just like every entry in the Expanded Universe, was labeled as Legends after Disney acquired the franchise. In other words, the original Thrawn stories were no longer canon.
However, Disney’s Star Wars canon would revisit Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels season 3. Thrawn was the first major Expanded Universe character to be brought back into Disney’s Star Wars continuity, although his role in the story was now a bit different. Instead of a post-Palpatine villain, Rebels followed Thrawn during the age of the Empire. Star Wars also released new Thrawn novels by Timothy Zahn, all set before A New Hope. At the end of Star Wars Rebels, which took place shortly before A New Hope, Thrawn disappeared through hyperspace.
The Mandalorian season 2’s “The Jedi” revealed that Ahsoka Tano is still looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn’s whereabouts can reveal what happened to Ezra Bridger after Rebels, which is why Ahsoka wants to find him. The Mandalorian season 3 confirmed that Thrawn’s return is imminent and that the villain is part of the Imperial Shadow Council. Grand Admiral Thrawn will debut in live-action in Ahsoka, which might lead directly into The Mandalorian movie.
Source: Empire Magazine