Star Wars Rebels: Will Grand Admiral Thrawn survive Season 4?


Will the Chiss Grand Admiral, Thrawn, survive the events of Star Wars Rebels Season 4? Using other canon material, we discover some clues on his fate.

Star Wars Rebels is on a collision course with the events of Rogue One and A New Hope, going full-throttle towards the circumstances of what started it all within a galaxy far, far away. With only a handful of episodes left, the fate of individual characters hangs in the balance.

On the side of the Rebels, we learn that Kanan Jarrus, Jedi Knight’s fate is looking gloom, while his apprentice, Ezra Bridger is about to meet with pure darkness — Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine himself! We do know that Hera survives until after the events of Return of the Jedi, but the fate of the other mainstays is hanging in the balance.

What about the villains? We know that Darth Vader, the Emperor, and Tarkin all survive — donning that A New Hope plot armor. However, Grand Admiral Thrawn is more vulnerable, with his fate left unprotected within the Star Wars canon.

We have gathered clues from other Star Wars canon storylines which may provide insight on the Chiss’ ultimate fate. Like any case, there is an argument on both sides. Let’s take a look at each side of the coin, and see if it points to Thrawn’s survival or demise.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Evidence for Thrawn surviving Star Wars Rebels.

  • Dave Filoni mentions that Thrawn outlives Galen Erso from Rogue One, but it’s unknown whether he meant the character’s legacy or actual timeline.
  • Thrawn is responsible for hyperspace routes for the Empire, leading them to Snoke. It would make sense for him to serve the Supreme Leader and do it well.
  • The Thrawn novelization ends directly before the events of Rebels Season 1. The upcoming Thrawn Alliances novel with Thrawn and Darth Vader makes it likely that the Grand Admiral lives providing just a short gap of time.

Evidence for not surviving Star Wars Rebels:

  • Bendu reveals to Thrawn that he knows how he dies; which would make sense to flush out during Rebels and not within other canon material.
  • Thrawn is nowhere to be seen come the events of A New Hope or any of the Original Trilogy.
  • In Legends, Thrawn is betrayed and murdered by his loyal bodyguard Rukh. Why bring the assassin into Rebels, unless you’re going to use him to kill Thrawn?

More from Dork Side of the Force

After weighing all of the evidence, it makes logical sense for Thrawn to meet the Maker by the end of Rebels. It’s likely they are using Rukh as a red herring, so it will have to go down another way.

How epic would it be for Darth Vader to murder the Grand Admiral, at the beckoning of his Master Darth Sidious? You know, treachery is the way of the Sith and they like to cover their tracks — with Thrawn likely knowing too much about the Dark Side duo.

Or, what if Kanan slays Thrawn rescuing his beloved Hera. That would be a fantastic way to send off the coolest Jedi in the galaxy — granted he’s really the only active Jedi at the time, but still.

No matter which method Lucasfilm chooses, the Grand Admiral must be sent off epically. Or, Thrawn may just venture into the Unknown Regions and pop up again during the events of Episode IX. The possibilities are endless, and we cannot wait to find out for sure.

Next: We talk to Ashley Eckstein about Ahsoka Tano and more!

Star Wars Rebels returns on Disney XD, February 19.