The Mandalorian

'The Mandalorian' May Have Revealed An Even Bigger Enemy Than Moff Gideon

by Ani Bundel

The Mandalorian's latest episode was stuffed to the gills. Not only did everyone finally learn Baby Yoda's name, but Ahsoka Tano shocked viewers by suggesting he may turn to the Dark Side of the Force. But that wasn't the only nugget she dropped in Ahsoka's first live-action appearance in the Star Wars universe. During her fight with ex-Imperial Morgan Elsbeth, she demanded information, asking where Morgan's Master was. But she didn't mean Moff Gideon, the show's main antagonist. Instead, she asked: "Where is Admiral Thrawn?" Fans may be puzzled, asking themselves who is Admiral Thrawn? Here's what to know about him:

As the franchise's first live-action TV series, The Mandalorian did a lot in Season 1 to tie back to the big-screen films. The series visited Tatooine, Mando found himself taking down Imperial walkers, and Baby Yoda existed. But fans knew Dave Filoni, the producer of The Mandalorian, was also behind the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, and Star Wars: Resistance. Surely, he would not ignore those animated storylines.

It turns out, The Mandalorian was waiting for Season 2 to bring those in. So far, the series has introduced a live-action version of The Clone Wars main character Ahsoka and Star Wars: Rebels heroine Bo-Katan. Now, the antagonists from these shows are also moving in, starting with Rebels baddie Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Born Kivu'raw'nuru, Thrawn (short for "Mitth'raw'nuruodo," the name he achieved as he rose through the ranks) is a blue-skinned humanoid. He served both in his homeworld's political corps, the Chiss Ascendancy, and in the Imperial Navy during the Empire.

The character first appeared in Star Wars novels that made up the "Expanded Universe" before Disney's acquisition of the franchise. Despite Disney disposing of the Expanded Universe, Thrawn had become such a fan-favorite that his character was brought into the new canon lore.

Reintroduced in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels and voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, he quickly became the show's main Imperial antagonist. He's also been reintroduced in new novels filling out his story back to the Prequel Trilogy.

Thrawn was disposed of in the Star Wars: Rebels series finale when the hero, Jedi Ezra Bridger, trapped him in the clutches of a purrgil (a giant space squid). Ezra blasted off into hyperspace with Thrawn still trapped to ensure he was jettisoned far into space.

Ahsoka's final mission at the end of Star Wars: Rebels was to seek out where Ezra went and perhaps save him. For her to turn up now, on a mission searching for Thrawn, suggests Ezra's plan failed.

So, if Moff Gideon is out there searching for Baby Yoda on Thrawn's behalf, it significantly changes the stakes. Thrawn is one of the Rebellion's greatest enemies, a brilliant tactician who could easily pull strings behind the scenes. Mando's mission right now may be to remain loyal to Baby Yoda, but both may be in greater danger than anyone realizes.