Is Grand Admiral Thrawn Appearing in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?


There have been rumors of a character in an all white uniform and a white cape, appearing on the set of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as well as reports of this mysterious character appearing on the packaging for the branding that will appear around September. Is this Grand Admiral Thrawn?

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According to reports from Making Star Wars — a source that usually gets leaks and rumors correct — a character has been seen on set, filming certain scenes, wearing a white uniform with a grand white cape. Here’s a description of the scenes he’s been seen filming. Of note, it’s thought that this character is portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn.

There is one scene where the character moves through a body of water, his white cape trailing behind him, and then another scene where he walks through legions of assembled Stormtroopers. This makes it sound as if MSW’s source may have had access to some of the film’s dailies in order to get these details, or the source might have been on the actual Rogue One set.

In a recent report from Jedi News’ Justin LaSalata a brief description of the toy packaging for Rogue One’s marketing plan was described:

As you can see, the character in an all white cape is described in the marketing. Could this in fact be an incarnation of the former EU — now relegated to Star Wars Legends — Grand Admiral Thrawn? There is no mention of his blue skin, but that could be added in post-production…or not at all, depending on this version of him, if indeed it is Thrawn.

For those of you not familiar with Thrawn, a brief description follows:

A native Chiss, whose full name is actually Mitth’raw’nuruodo, Grand Admiral Thrawn first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command, which were published between 1991 and 1993. These three books were set five years after Return of the Jedi, and despite being relegated to the now defunct Expanded Universe, are considered to be the real “Aftermath” to Episode VI (and yes that was a shot at Aftermath).

In the books, Thrawn has assumed command of the remaining forces of the shattered Empire and is planning to battle the New Republic. He is considered a brilliant military strategist and commands the remnants of the Imperial Fleet in a series of stunning victories against the New Republic. His odd habit of studying of his enemies’ artwork, gives him insight into their thought processes and cultures, allowing him to create highly effective tailor-made strategies.

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If in fact Ben Mendelsohn is portraying a Grand Admiral Thrawn-type character in Rogue One, then this will be a major step forward for fans of the old EU. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm, and made a new Star Wars canon, the Expanded Universe basically became garbage. But we’ve slowly begun to see certain stories and characters from the EU start to make their way into canon (Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is a callback to Revan and Malachor).

However, it doesn’t exactly make sense to put Thrawn in Rogue One…at least for timing’s sake. Rogue One takes place before A New Hope, and Thrawn didn’t make his appearance until after Return of the Jedi. But, I’m sure that could be explained away that Thrawn was being tutored by the Emperor, during that time.

We want to hear from you! Do you think it makes sense to put Grand Admiral Thrawn in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Does the description of a make character in all white and a grand cape fit Thrawn? Let us know in the comments and on social media.