Grand Admiral Thrawn

From Academic Kids

Template:SW Character Grand Admiral Thrawn is a fictional character from the Star Wars Expanded Universe who first appeared in the Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire Trilogy of novels, set five years after the time of Return of the Jedi. His full name is Mitth'raw'nurodo. Thrawn was his public "core" name, reminiscent of the English word "thrawn", meaning "twisted or crooked", an apt description of his intricate schemes; his full name was only known to a few select individuals. Thrawn is generally regarded as the last great commander of the Galactic Empire in the Galactic Civil War.

Grand Admiral Thrawn was a Chiss, a species of aliens from the Unknown Regions. He was a brilliant military strategist and commanded the remnants of the Imperial Fleet in a series of stunning victories against the New Republic. His strategies were based on study of the artwork of the species he was fighting, hence giving him insight into their thought process and culture. From that, he could devise tailor-made tactics for each enemy he fought.

Grand Admiral Thrawn is described as a tall, solidly built humanoid with blue skin and glowing red eyes. Despite the Empire's prejudice against non-humans, he reached the rank of Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy, the highest rank; he was the only non-human ever to do so, an astounding feat when considering the Empire's severe bias against nonhuman races. As a Grand Admiral, he wore the white uniform befitting his rank. This is distinguished from the standard charcoal grey or olive colored uniforms that Imperial officers wore as shown in the classic Star Wars Trilogy.

Thrawn was considered a true warrior by those who served under him. If a battle Thrawn planned could not be won, Thrawn preferred not to waste troops and equipment in futile displays. He would withdraw and adjust his plans. He also encouraged Captain Pellaeon to voice his ideas, because unlike many egotistical Imperial commanders, Thrawn could accept valid ideas even if they were not his own. Thrawn was not concerned with his own personal glory, only with winning the fight against the New Republic. It was later postulated that Thrawn did not support the Empire per se, but rather wanted to establish order in the known galaxy in preparation to combat as-yet unknown threats he had discovered during his time in the Outer Rim of the Galaxy (probably early scouts of the Yuuzhan Vong).

Thrawn was more tolerant of the failures of those under his command. Unlike Darth Vader, Thrawn would usually not kill a person under his command who failed him. He did have a crewmember responsible for operating the tractor beams killed when Luke Skywalker escaped a trap he set, but only because he thought the crewmember so small minded that he could not adjust to changing situations. Later, when Skywalker escaped a similar trap, the man running the tractor beams had tried an innovative solution in an attempt to capture Skywalker. Instead of having the man killed, Thrawn recognized the man's innovation by promoting him to Lieutenant.

Emperor Palpatine was first alerted to Thrawn's tactical genius even before he assumed the title of Emperor. The Outbound Flight Project, a Jedi expedition into deep space, was to be intercepted and destroyed by Palpatine’s forces, but before this could occur, they themselves were ambushed and nearly annihilated by Thrawn's border patrol on the edge of the Unknown Regions. That a squadron of the Republic’s most elite fighter and pilots could be not only defeated, but also annihilated by the rudimentary defenses of a backwater planet was a credit to Thrawn's spectacular strategic skills. Thrawn was then persuaded for reasons as yet unknown by Kinman Doriana, one of Palpatine’s most trusted advisors and a survivor of the ambush, to destroy the Project himself. At the time, the Chiss would not accept the concept of a preemptive strike, and they exiled Thrawn. Thrawn joined the Empire after being exiled by his people.

Thrawn's early Imperial career has been described in several Star Wars stories. Thrawn was originally a Captain of an Imperial Star Destroyer and commanded several deep space expeditions. He was then promoted to Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral, respectively, and was in charge of a forward deployed fleet and also played a hand in Research and Development. In the Star Wars computer game TIE Fighter, Thrawn is shown to have crushed a major rebellion against Emperor Palpatine by the renegade Grand Admiral Zaarin. As a result, he was promoted to Grand Admiral. Thrawn was not afraid to tell the Emperor the truth. Despite being thought a fool, or someone tired of living, he refused to engage a task force in a battle that could not be won. The Emperor relieved him of command until the task force was destroyed, just as Thrawn predicted.

Thrawn did have enemies within Imperial circles. Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel (who briefly collaborated with Isard in "Rogue Squadron: Isard's Revenge") formerly served under Thrawn, but Krennel's career with the Imperial Navy was almost ruined after Thrawn dismissed him. Captain Dorja of the ISD Relentless was openly critical of Thrawn and Gilad Pellaeon, although the Relentless was part of Thrawn's personal squadron.

During the Dark Horse Star Wars Comic, "The Making of Baron Fel", Baron Soontir Fel was an ace pilot with the 81st Imperial fighter division who distinguished himself during the ambush of a Rebel convoy. That operation was planned by Thrawn although Darth Vader gave the orders. The Baron noted that an alien (such as Thrawn) in such a high position of command was odd, given the Empire's xenophobia. Perhaps due to xenophobia or the manuvering of Ysanne Isard (Imperial intelligence director, nemesis of the Baron), Thrawn went unrewarded after the successful ambush, and was instead moved to the Unknown Regions where he would not embarass the Empire. So Thrawn spent most of his time pacifying the Unknown Regions, even as the Rebellion had successfully dethroned the Empire at the Battle of Endor. Returning from the Unknown Regions, Thrawn took up the ISD Chimera as his command ship.

Thrawn was assassinated at the end of The Last Command, the final novel in the Zahn trilogy. His bodyguard, Rukh, discovered the oppression that Thrawn had put his race under and took vengeance against him, stabbing him aboard his flagship the Chimaera in the middle of a climactic battle. Thrawn's last words were simply, "But . . . it was so artistically done."

About ten years later, Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade discovered that Thrawn had created a clone of himself. Although they were forced to destroy the clone immediately in order to survive, it was later speculated that there was another Thrawn clone loose somewhere in the galaxy, though this remains unconfirmed.


At the time of the Hand of Thrawn incident, the high-ranking Moff Disra employed a con artist known as Flim to impersonate Grand Admiral Thrawn. Flim was a talented mimic, able to imitate Thrawn's voice and mannerisms, and an excellent actor - he studied Thrawn's biography and career points so that he would not be caught out by questions he had not prepared for.

Disra's intention in hiring Flim was to rebuild the Empire using Thrawn's reputation to frighten or impress worlds and systems into joining him. The New Republic would do nothing to stop this, as their member's charter allowed member worlds to exit at any time. However, Disra was being manipulated by his aide, Major Tierce, a cloned Royal Guardsman with all of Thrawn's tactical genius. Tierce also wanted revenge on the New Republic for the destruction of the Empire, and it was this desire that led to the triumvirate's downfall.

When General Garm Bel Iblis of the New Republic attacked the Ubiqtorate Base on Yaga Minor, Talon Karrde and Admiral Pellaeon - who wanted peace between the Empire and the New Republic - were able to foil Disra and Tierce's scheme by revealing Flim's identity, thanks to a datacard given to Karrde by Jorj Car'das. The ultimate fate of Flim is not known.

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