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Mitth'raw'nuruodo (Thrawn)
Biographical information



9 ABY (44), Chimaera, over Bilbringi[2]

Physical description





1.8 meters[1]

Hair color


Eye color


Chronological and political information
"This one is constantly thinking, analyzing, strategizing. He showed no fear, but was curious, studying me in turn."
Emperor Palpatine

Mitth'raw'nuruodo, better known by his core name Thrawn, was a male Chiss who served in the Imperial Navy and became the only non-Human Grand Admiral. He was regarded as the best military strategist in the navy, and despite the Empire's strict non-Human policies, rose to a position of power.

Thrawn served as an officer in the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force for many years, where he demonstrated his brilliance. However, many of Thrawn's ways were contrary to that of Chiss society at large, and so he was exiled. Thrawn was discovered by Imperial Navy officer Voss Parck, who brought him to Palpatine. Palpatine had already learned of Thrawn in 27 BBY, and knew his command skills.

Over time, Thrawn climbed the Imperial ladder, and in 2 ABY became the 13th Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy. Shortly after, Thrawn left on a secret mission to pacify the Unknown Regions. He remained there for several years after the Battle of Endor, which saw the death of Palpatine. The Empire was on the verge of collapse by 9 ABY, when Thrawn returned. He had a plan to crush the New Republic. Though the Grand Admiral was able to deal the New Republic several mighty blows, he was unable to destroy the fledgling government. Thrawn perished in the Battle of Bilbringi at the hand of Rukh, his Noghri bodyguard, who had recently learned that the Empire had betrayed his people. Though Thrawn was dead, he would be remembered as the genius tactician, consummate strategist, and Imperial leader who nearly brought down the New Republic.



Early life

"I do not need permission to fight on their behalf."
Thrawn as an officer in the CEDF.

Reports current during the last years of the Galactic Republic claimed that Thrawn was a high-born son of the Nuruodo bloodline, one of the Ruling Families of the Chiss Ascendancy. However, it appears that the truth was rather different. Thrawn was born a commoner, and gained status by pursuing a military career; on earning his commission in the Expeditionary Fleet, he became a merit adoptive of the Eighth Ruling Family—the Mitth Family, not the Nuruodo.

In broad terms, this was a standard part of a military career path; but whereas most Chiss officers lost their Family affinity on leaving the military, Thrawn was designated as a trial-born of the Eighth Family. This additional status, apparently awarded in recognition of his personal ability, offered him a chance of permanent adoption into the family—a course already taken by his older brother, Syndic Thrass.

By 27 BBY, Thrawn was the youngest ever Force Commander in the Expansionary Fleet[4], commanding Picket Force Two based at Crustai on the Ascendancy's frontier; while here, he became convinced that the long-term threat from the piratical Vagaari required more aggressive action than was countenanced under the rules of engagement laid down by the Defense Hierarchy.

During this time, Thrawn intervened in a skirmish between Progga the Hutt and the Corellian smuggling ship Bargain Hunter. Destroying the Hutt ship, he impounded Bargain Hunter and her crew: Captain Dubrak Qennto, his partner and co-pilot Maris Ferasi, and navigator Jorj Car'das. Over the next few months, the three Corellians remained largely with Thrawn aboard his command ship Springhawk, their status somewhere between that of prisoners of war, strategic pawns, and an unofficial cultural exchange. In this time, Car'das and Thrawn formed what seems to have been a lasting friendship, while there were some hints of romantic feelings between Thrawn and Ferasi. Car'das and Farasi taught Thrawn Basic, and in turn, Thrawn taught Car'das and Ferasi the Chiss language, Cheunh and the trade language of Minnisiat.

"And please call me by my core name, Thrawn."
Thrawn as he was when Voss Parck discovered him.

Thrawn's provocative actions fell under scrutiny from the Defense Hierarchy, the Mitth Family, and also the Chaf Family; however, Thrawn willingly went against Chiss protocol as he seized a gravity-well generator from the Vagaari fleet besieging the Geroon homeworld. He was injured in the battle, his life saved by Maris and Car'das.[4]

Destruction of Outbound Flight

"You are very clever, Commander. Someday that cleverness will turn against you."
Siv Kav

When he had recovered, Thrawn took his full picket force (consisting of only twelve small ships) to investigate the arrival of an unknown task force within the patrol area: these turned out to be a powerful Trade Federation battle squadron, sent by Darth Sidious to intercept and destroy Outbound Flight. Thrawn destroyed the fleet with his superior tactics, leaving only the flagship Darkvenge intact, at which point the expedition's leader, Kinman Doriana, sued Thrawn for parlay. Doriana told Thrawn of his mission, giving a negative account of the Jedi, one of whom was Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth, and also warning Thrawn of Sidious's concern that the expedition could fall into the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong, then known only as Far-Outsiders. This caught Thrawn's attention, as the Chiss had already turned back an incursion by the invaders.[4]

Negotiations between Thrawn and Outbound Flight leader Jorus C'baoth failed, as the Jedi Master refused to return home or take another route out of the galaxy, while the Chiss Commander maintained that he could not risk letting the Jedi come into contact with the Far Outsiders. Thrawn lured Outbound Flight into conflict with the Vagaari, which resulted in all but fifty-seven of the 50,000 personnel aboard Outbound Flight being killed, while only a remnant of the Vagaari was able to escape. Near the close of the battle, C'baoth fell to the dark side and Force-choked Thrawn, nearly killing him, but the timely intervention of Doriana finished off the insane Jedi Master.

A standoff then developed among the Chiss, with Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano of the Chaf Family, Syndic Thrass, and Admiral Ar'alani of the Hierarchy, which was resolved when Thrass and Jedi Knight Lorana Jinzler took Outbound Flight to lightspeed. In spite of protestations from Chaf'orm'bintrano, Ar'alani ensured that Thrawn escaped with only informal censure, and also that the Hierarchy acquired the Vagaari interdictor technology. Thrawn was perhaps most well known amongst the Chiss for his destruction of Outbound Flight.[4]

However, if the Ascendancy's disapproval was expected to discourage Thrawn, they were sorely disappointed. Doriana had reported back to Sidious, who made several overtures to the capable commander. Thrawn could not honorably leave his post, so he decided to engineer his own downfall, continuing to press for preemptive strikes.[5] After attacking an enemy ground installation that was manufacturing weapons, Thrawn was sentenced to the traditional Chiss punishment of exile on an uninhabited world.[6]

Imperial command

Jerec: "Palpatine is not the only man in the galaxy who can command the Force."
Thrawn: "But he is the only one who commands those who command it. For instance, he commands you, Lord Jerec."
Jerec: "Mind your place you blue-skinned fool. With the Force I could crush you where you –" *chuckle* "Well done, Captain. Well done. It's not an easy task to make me lose my composure. You are indeed a formidable tactician."
Thrawn: "Yes, sir."
Jerec and Captain Thrawn Listen 
Thrawn during the Dark Times.

In 19 BBY, Captain Voss Parck of the Victory-class Star Destroyer Strikefast discovered Thrawn on a remote planetoid at the edge of the Outer Rim Territories near the Unknown Regions. By disabling Colonel Barris's force with primitive tools and traps, Thrawn impressed Parck. Thrawn insisted he return to his people to protect them, but was convinced by Parck that by offering his service to the Empire, he may be better equipped to do so. He even hinted that Palpatine may one day send Thrawn back to the Unknown Regions with the advanced technology and capabilities of the Empire. Convinced, Thrawn joined him and was brought to Coruscant.[6] Upon arrival, Parck presented Thrawn to Emperor Palpatine, who was most pleased to have the commander responsible for Outbound Flight's destruction before him.[7]

Parck began training Thrawn, but the student quickly surpassed the master, and Thrawn engaged in a long period of private tutoring with the Empire's greatest minds. Thrawn climbed through the ranks of the Imperial Navy, much to the chagrin and in spite of the xenophobia exhibited by many of its Human officers.[8]

Thrawn rapidly attained command rank, appearing in public with Palpatine and other high-ranking dignitaries at significant events such as the commissioning of Executor,[9] and serving as captain of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Vengeance.[10] Palpatine stationed Thrawn there in order to "babysit" the ambitious Force-user High Inquisitor Jerec, who often used the Vengeance, and who Palpatine suspected might be trying to attain the position of Emperor.[11] Thrawn also found time to pursue his own interests, and was on S'krrr to study the artistic merits of the Sikadian Gardens when an outbreak of Drog beetles killed Vengeance officers Wolver and Tier. Thrawn investigated the killings, and as the outbreak spread, was later forced to work with the S'korr warrior-poet Sh'shak, a Shi'ido anthropologist named Mammon Hoole, and Hoole's two Alderaanian wards, Zak and Tash Arranda, in order to survive.[12]

Thrawn in command of his fleet

By 1.5 ABY, Captain Thrawn had been assigned to the Emperor's Retreat on the planet Naboo where he assigned an experienced spacer (who had previously worked with Kaja Or'Zee, Inquisitor Loam Redge, and even Hethrir) with several tasks. The first was a simple escort job; the spacer was to escort Captain Dolman from his crashed spaceship back to the safety of the Emperor's Retreat. After this, he sent the individual to retrieve the black box. However, the individual soon discovered that it had already been taken by a thug. After killing the thug, the individual retrieved the box.[13]

Because of the information retrieved from this box, it was discovered that there was in fact a Rebel base nearby which had a weapon capable of shooting down shuttles. The spacer was tasked with delivering the holodiscs recovered from the black box to a stormtrooper by the name of Geg Winthasen. Perhaps to test the spacer's skills, Thrawn's next task was to kill an adult Fambaa and retrieve a vial of blood for him (a hard task for a solo operative), followed by asking the individual to retrieve a paintbrush, for reasons unknown, from a lady on Naboo. Soon after this, however, he hired the individual to finally get some payback for Captain Dolman's shuttle crash, and sent the individual to infiltrate and eradicate a Rebel cell on the planet. Thrawn eventually left the Emperor's Retreat to continue his ascent in the Navy.[13]

Few in the Empire guessed at Thrawn's true importance. Palpatine was using his most able commander to explore the Unknown Regions and nullify or exploit any potential threats he encountered. Moreover, at some stage before 3 ABY, he received a secret promotion to the rank of Grand Admiral, although this was known only to his direct subordinates and a few of Palpatine's most trusted agents, most notably Mara Jade, who served as the sole witness to the ceremony.[14]

High command

3 ABY was a busy year for Thrawn. Thrawn subsequently stayed on Coruscant and engaged in the politics that accompanied his new rank as vigorously as any battle. He took quickly to appearing in the Emperor's Court and standing alongside the Emperor and Darth Vader at publicized events. This inevitably brought Thrawn into conflict with Rufaan Tigellinus, a power hungry fellow Grand Admiral. Vader's departure to accompany Death Squadron to the Outer Rim removed Tigellinus's primary concern, allowing him to focus on Thrawn. Despite Tigellinus's efforts, Thrawn continued to climb the ranks of Coruscant society without the aid of strong political factions.

The apex of his ascent came on 1:13 of 3 ABY, when Thrawn was inducted into the elite Order of the Canted Circle by the Emperor's personal invitation and support. Thrawn became a trusted commander in Palpatine's fold, even going so far as to refuse orders to engage in battles he deemed impossible to win on several occasions. The first time Thrawn did this Palpatine stripped him of his rank and sent another officer in his stead, but saw his loyal commander reinstated when the Imperial force was destroyed as Thrawn had predicted. After this, Palpatine gave Thrawn's opinion considerably more weight.

Unknown Regions

"Rumors later placed him in the Unknown Regions. An embarrassment, clearly, that the Emperor wanted hidden far away from Imperial Center."
Soontir Fel
Darth Vader presents Emperor Palpatine, Miltin Takel, and Thrawn plans for the second Death Star.

Thrawn's time on Coruscant was short lived. As Tigellinus and other Imperial courtiers closed in on Thrawn, the Chiss and Palpatine hatched a plot to satisfy both their long desire to bring the Imperial Starfleet to the Unknown Regions. Thrawn feigned defeat in the political battles and was sent away by Palpatine. He was given Captain Niriz's Admonitor alongside the formally downgraded Parck and set out on his mission.

The exact extent of Thrawn's activities in the Unknown Regions is unknown, but it would appear that he mapped out large swathes of the region and defeated local threats like the Ebruchi, founding a command-post at the ancient fortress known as the High Tower on Nirauan, and forging a network of alliances and colonies which would develop into the neo-Imperial hegemony known as the Empire of the Hand. The Empire of the Hand was based in a vast information complex known as the Hand of Thrawn, which had been established by Thrawn even before his promotion to Vice Admiral.

Some of the members of this Empire were Baron Fel, and Thrawn's old comrade, Voss Parck, who was an Admiral at the time. Many Chiss flocked to the Empire of the Hand in order to receive protection from many of the threats in the Unknown Regions. As well as standard tools of Imperial power, such as Star Destroyers and stormtroopers, Thrawn rallied local forces to his cause, most notably the Chiss warriors of his personal guard, the Household Phalanx. This new faction crushed the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium and prepared for many more dire threats, which possibly included the Yuuzhan Vong.

During his time in the Unknown Regions, Thrawn and the Admonitor also waged a war with a mostly-primitive local species. He discovered that a military commander of that species had crafted three wooden statues with gem incrustations that had been acquired by Yarkora antiques dealer Saell-Terae. Thrawn, wanting to understand his enemy by studying their art, offered to buy the artworks from Saell-Terae, but the Yarkora refused. Saell-Terae eventually had to escape from Thrawn's forces and abandoned his ship, the Lost Reef, with the statues still hidden inside.[15]

Return to Known Galaxy

He returned from the Unknown Regions with his flagship Admonitor, to assist Darth Vader in his campaign against Prince Xizor and Black Sun. Demonstrating his range of capabilities, he first undertook a secret mission on Corellia disguised as Jodo Kast, a bounty hunter in Mandalorian armor.

After Xizor's death, Thrawn was sent to retrieve a Sith Holocron from an old student and friend, Tyber Zann. However, Zann expected a trap and brought a fleet with him. This led to the Battle over Carida. This battle ended with Bossk stealing the holocron and bringing it to Thrawn. Thrawn then fled the system with the valuable artifact, and left his fleet behind to finish Zann and his forces off. Tyber and his fleet destroyed Thrawn's forces and escaped, Tyber knowing that his lieutenant Urai Fen had placed a homing device on the holocron which he later used to lead him to one of the Emperor's storehouses on Coruscant.

Thrawn worked with Vader in planning the Battle of Derra IV. While Vader presented the briefing, the strategy had been developed by Thrawn, as pilot Soontir Fel recognized that it did not have the trademark of the Dark Lord. Though the battle resulted in the destruction of the Rebel convoy and the Renegade Flight X-wing squadron for little loss, Thrawn received no official recognition for this success, and was instead quietly reassigned to less publicized campaigns as the Empire wanted such a potential "embarrassment" kept away from Imperial Center. Thrawn, however, did not ultimately go unrewarded, as Vader gave him control of the Noghri. Years later, Thrawn successfully convinced Fel to switch his allegiance back to the Empire, which was facilitated by the Imperial ace's view that the Admiral was an unprejudiced, non-oppressive leader, in contrast to the corrupt Empire of Palpatine or Isard.

Grand Admiral Thrawn.

After a further brief sojourn in the Unknown Regions, Thrawn returned once again shortly after the Battle of Hoth, this time with the ostensible rank of Vice Admiral, and a fleet including three Imperial-class Star Destroyers and the flagship Grey Wolf. He was tasked by Navy command with the duty of pacifying the Pakuuni system, an area plagued with Rebel Alliance and pirate activity. Conducting the campaign from Stalwart, he decisively crushed the insurgents and established the outpost NL-1 to bring order to the system. While inspecting the station, Thrawn's craft came under attack from Rebels and pirates but they were driven off by Maarek Stele.[16]

Campaign against rogue Admiral Zaarin

Before long, Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin attempted a coup d'état against the Emperor in the Ottega system, using the TIE Defender starfighters he had developed for the Navy against loyalist forces. Responding in a timely manner with Vanguard, Thrawn managed to rescue Palpatine from capture, with the assistance of Darth Vader and Maarek Stele.[16]

The Emperor assigned Thrawn to deal with the traitor Admiral who wasted no time in striking out against loyalist Imperial facilities after his failed coup. Thrawn oversaw the evacuation of the TIE Avenger factories in the Omar system as they came under attack. During the same campaign, shortly after his forces captured Rebel Magnetic pulse technology, his flagship Sceltor was trapped by Zaarin's Interdictor Grappler, but Thrawn employed mag pulse warheads against it to make good his escape. After recovering the prototypes from Zaarin's TIE Defender research facility in the Parmel system, Thrawn developed the Missile Boat to counter the Defender. Leading his forces into the Eva-T system with Grey Wolf to battle the Rneekii and Nami pirates as well as Rebels and Zaarin's forces, Thrawn ended the potential proliferation of TIE Defender technology by destroying Ali Tarrak's factory. For his successes, Thrawn was appointed to Grand Admiral by the Emperor, taking the place vacated by Zaarin[16]

After his promotion, Thrawn continued his efforts to pursue Zaarin. The two had skirmished for months, with the traitor's forces being slowly whittled down by the loyalists, but Zaarin was able to keep his flagship, Imperial-class Star Destroyer Glory, and therefore himself, unscathed. However, Thrawn knew that former Admiral's core weakness was his desire to possess new military technology, so he had an unstable cloaking device developed for the corvette Vorknkx. As predicted, Zaarin did put Glory in harm's way to seize the corvette, and thanks to a tracking device, loyalist forces were able to follow and surround the traitor's flagship. Zaarin fled the destruction of Glory in Vorknkx but the corvette exploded when it attempted a hyperspace jump, putting an end to the traitor once and for all.[16]

Thrawn returned to the Unknown Regions afterwards.

Final campaign

Main article: Thrawn campaign
"But… it was so artistically done."
―Thrawn's last words
Thrawn in his private command room aboard the Chimaera.

The death of the Emperor saw the New Order spiral into chaos—but Thrawn appeared to have remained in the Unknown Regions, although he must have been kept apprised of the ongoing situation, as Ysanne Isard transferred officers such as Baron Soontir Fel and Major Wortin to his command. There was also a slim possibility that Thrawn had actually taken command of the Imperial military before the Empire ceded Coruscant to the New Republic in 6 ABY, almost three years before his return from the Unknown Regions became widely known.

Sometime in the same year, after the fall of Coruscant, Thrawn traveled in person with his Noghri bodyguard Ovruk to the shipyard system of Sluis Van, then cautiously neutral in the ongoing Galactic Civil War. Although he arrived at the same time as a senatorial delegation from the New Republic, led by Baron Jonas Stern and the Bothan Borsk Fey'lya, Thrawn seems to have already regarded Sluis Van as lost to the Empire in diplomatic terms: his modest intention was to acquire a Star Destroyer under construction in the docks, and to gather intelligence in anticipation of a future military reconquest of the system.

Four years after the Battle of Endor in 8 ABY, following Isard's defeat in the Bacta War, Thrawn finally returned from the Unknown Regions to the Empire proper. He transferred his flag to the venerable Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Chimaera, named Captain Gilad Pellaeon as his second in command and gathered a small but skilled command armada. After a number of successful early raids, the Imperial Ruling Council gave official control of the Imperial Military to Thrawn. One of his first actions was an attempt to acquire the presumed-lost Alderaanian painting Killik Twilight at auction on Tatooine. Despite the escape of a New Republic party led by Leia Organa Solo and the destruction of a Shadowcast code key, the moss painting ended up in Thrawn's personal collection.[17]

Thrawn is received by Noghri on Honoghr.

In the early stages of his campaign, he traveled to Wayland, where he acquired three items from Mount Tantiss, an Imperial storehouse. These items were a cloaking device, a mad Jedi clone named Joruus C'baoth, and a "trivial piece of technology"—a full suite of Spaarti cloning cylinders.[18]

Joruus C'baoth was the clone of the Jedi Jorus C'baoth, who perished in Thrawn's destruction of Outbound Flight. In exchange for fighting for Thrawn, this mad Jedi demanded that Thrawn capture the unborn Solo twins so that he could raise them as his apprentices.[18]

Thrawn used the Spaarti cylinders to clone elite warriors by the tens of thousands, bolstering the conscripts on which the Empire was now forced to depend for much of its manpower. At the same time, he worked to replace the losses in matériel that the military had suffered in the years since Endor. Although he was thwarted in his attempt to capture a large number of New Republic ships from Sluis Van, Thrawn's leadership saw the Empire's own shipyards increase production once again, and he was able to recover 178 of the 200 Dreadnaught-class cruisers of the Katana fleet.[14]

Thrawn's death.

Thrawn used his tactical skills to effectively employ his forces in a series of decisive victories, causing a deep wound to the New Republic. The successes of Thrawn's campaign bolstered waning Imperial morale and temporarily ceased the squabbling of Imperial warlords, a problem that had plagued the Empire since the death of Palpatine. Using his cloaking device to good effect, Thrawn blockaded Coruscant with cloaked asteroids and scored victory after victory.[2]

Acknowledging the potential for his defeat, he also sent a single Spaarti cloning cylinder to his facility on Nirauan to produce a single, unaccelerated clone of himself.

Thrawn died during the climactic Battle of Bilbringi at the hands of his Noghri bodyguard, Rukh, who had discovered the duplicitous oppression of Honoghr for which Thrawn was responsible. Rukh crept up behind Thrawn as he was sitting in his command chair and stabbed him through the chest from behind the chair.[2]

Thrawn's final death

"The ability to manipulate his enemies was one of Thrawn's greatest talents."
Borsk Fey'lya
A clone of Thrawn.

The single clone of Thrawn, which was being grown at the Hand of Thrawn complex, remained undisturbed for almost ten years. In the event of his death, Thrawn had prophesied that he would return ten years after his death to rule the Empire once again.

Ten years after his death, a pretender named Flim was hired by Moff Disra to help rally the Imperial forces and bolster morale. The imposter was later revealed to Admiral Pellaeon by Talon Karrde and Shada D'ukal, with information they had received from Jorj Car'das, about Flim, Disra and the third member of their triumvirate, Major Grodin Tierce.

Mara Jade was lured to the Hand of Thrawn complex on Nirauan, with Luke Skywalker coming to help her after Karrde's people lost contact with her. Admiral Parck, Baron Fel, and many Chiss soldiers had spent the previous decade continuing Thrawn's fight against threats from the Unknown Regions, and mindful of Thrawn's prophecy wanted to persuade Mara to join them and work for Thrawn.

In the course of their investigation of the Nirauan fortress, Luke and Mara discovered a cloning chamber and found a fully mature clone of Thrawn still in the cloning cylinder. Luke and Mara destroyed the complex walls and flooded the cloning facility, destroying everything inside, including the incubating clone of Thrawn.

Ten years after his actual death, the career of Mitth'raw'nuruodo finally came to a close, although Mara Jade's observation of Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano's plan at the Battle of the Redoubt led her to believe that Thrawn may have somehow survived or that another clone of him existed.


Command style

"I have no qualms about accepting a useful idea merely because it wasn't my own."
Thrawn's Human subordinates often found his red eyes intimidating.

Appalled by the "Vader style" of command that so many of his contemporaries supported, Thrawn preferred to promote creativity in his crew, rather than merely punish their failures, and did not often kill off personnel for minor failures, as that could easily strain the resources of the Empire, which was unaffordable at the time. This was perhaps best exemplified in a pair of incidents surrounding the tractor beam control pit. During his campaign against the New Republic, a tractor beam operator, Cris Pieterson, aboard Chimaera was responsible for allowing Luke Skywalker to escape capture. Thrawn investigated the incident and found a defiant Pieterson disrespectfully refusing to claim responsibility for the incident, referring Thrawn to his commanding ensign. Thrawn summarily had the man executed at his post in a rather brutal fashion by Rukh, and informed the ensign that he was free to train the next replacement.[18] On the other hand, when Skywalker escaped a similar trap again, he rewarded the new tractor beam operator, Rejlii Mithel, with a promotion to Lieutenant because the man had employed creative thinking in his attempt to capture Skywalker.[2] In addition, Thrawn encouraged his senior officers to express their own ideas and gave them reasoned consideration rather than ignore any outside ideas, as many an Imperial commander had done during the height of the Empire. The sharp contrast between Thrawn's style and that of megalomaniac and sadistic Imperial leaders heightened Thrawn's ability to lead.[2]

Thrawn's command boosted the morale of his crew through victories, but also through his clear dedication to the Empire. Officers and crewmen serving under Thrawn admired his lack of concern for personal glory, wanting only the defeat of the Empire's enemies and the establishment of order.[2] 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 Unknown Regions of the galaxy.

Finally, Thrawn was willing to admit defeat. Rather than stand proud and fight a losing battle, Thrawn knew when it was time to retreat, although those instances were few and far between. One such time was after the Battle of Sluis Van, when his attempt to capture a number of capital ships docked at the shipyards failed. Rather than cover his failure and waste lives and equipment in a vain attack, Thrawn decided to withdraw instead, and in those instances would adjust his plans in later attempts.[18]


"Learn about art, Captain. When you understand a species' art, you understand that species."
―Thrawn to Pellaeon
Thrawn with an ysalamir on his shoulder.

While a master of military tactics, Thrawn was more than an adept commander. His use of knowledge and intelligence in conjunction with stunning tactics proved Thrawn to be one of the galaxy's most remarkable military commanders.

The precise application of intelligence allowed Thrawn to win countless victories over numerically superior forces. Thrawn believed that one could understand the psychological and tactical limitations of one's adversaries through the examination of their art, and thus exploit their weaknesses. This conviction was often proven correct since his vast knowledge and obsession with the analytical study of art resulted in almost infallible strategic victories over nearly every opponent Thrawn engaged. Thrawn had a large holographic collection of art, although he also possessed few real artifacts, including Killik Twilight, a set of Mandalorian armor which he wore on his mission to Corellia, and, according to rumor, General Grievous's mask. He also had a statue made by a certain species, which were totally wiped out by his forces—it was the only case when Thrawn had knowledge of a particular species' art and was not able to create a proper tactic to defeat them without total annihilation.

An attention to small details also played a major role in Thrawn's technique. By scouring large collections of data and intelligence, Thrawn was able to piece together small details that alone were merely trivial, but together formed a powerful variable. Additionally, his collection of information and near-encyclopedic knowledge of topics gave Thrawn an eerie aura of omniscience.[2] At least once, however, he made mistakes as a result of over-predicting his enemies, assuming they knew information that they did not.

Finally, Thrawn laid out complex campaigns in advance of his attacks. By following a carefully planned campaign, Thrawn was able to keep his enemies guessing. In the time it took his enemies to understand one phase of his plan, Thrawn had already moved on to the next. In this, Thrawn was always a step ahead of his foes.[2]

Behind the scenes

Grand Admiral Thrawn first appeared in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, the first book of the Thrawn Trilogy that was named for the Grand Admiral. The trilogy marked the dawn of a new era in the Expanded Universe, and Thrawn's character is considered a contributing factor.

Author Timothy Zahn has stated that Thrawn's character is a composite of various historical and fictional personalities, including Erwin Rommel, Robert E. Lee, Hannibal Barca, Alexander the Great, and Sherlock Holmes, to name a few.[19]

Artistic renditions of Thrawn during his final campaign often picture him with an ysalamir.

In a recent interview, Timothy Zahn explained that he could bring another clone of Thrawn to life if the Grand Admiral's ability is an absolute necessity to solve future galactic crisis. However, to escape the traditional archetypes of clones, Zahn stated that that clone would be aware that he was not Thrawn, and would be aware of immense pressure to live up to the original. To prepare for Thrawn's possible return, Zahn aroused Mara Jade Skywalker's suspicion that another clone of Thrawn existed and was behind the events in the novel Survivor's Quest.

Thrawn was voiced by Tris King in Star Wars: TIE Fighter. Cutscenes of him in the bridge of the Star Destroyer show him wearing the Grand Admiral's white uniform before he publicly attained that rank. A mustached man to his left resembles Gilad Pellaeon, likely as a tribute to Zahn's novels, as Thrawn did not meet him until after the Battle of Endor.

In the audio drama of Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire, Captain Thrawn is voiced by Tim Russell.

Occasionally, Thrawn's Grand Admiral uniform is depicted without the gold epaulets, such as in Star Wars: The Essential Guide To Characters and the The Last Command comic series.

An action figure of Thrawn was made in 1998 as part of the Expanded Universe assortment of the Power of the Force 2 line. The figure came with a blaster pistol and an ysalamir. He is being released yet again as a part of the 2008 Comic Two-Pack series. He again comes with an ysalamir and he is packaged alongside Talon Karrde and a reprint of Heir to the Empire 1.

A Star Wars miniature was made of Thrawn, from the "Universe" Set produced by Wizards of the Coast, depicting him with an ysalamir draped over his shoulder.

A CGI-based Thrawn was made using Timothy Zahn's likeness for Thrawn's depiction in the Reflections II: Expanding the Galaxy expansion for the CCG.

In Scots, the word "thrawn" means a combination of obstinacy, assertiveness, and more than a hint of willful perversity. It is not known, however, whether Timothy Zahn was aware of this meaning when coming up with the name for his character.

In Empire at War: Forces of Corruption, Thrawn appears as a playable space hero for the Empire as commander of Admonitor when the Empire reaches its penultimate tech level. Admonitor itself doesn't differ much from other Star Destroyers featured in the game apart from a blueish color theme and a few additional abilities. Thrawn boosts morale of ally units present and can also remove Tyber Zann's corruption from a planet.

Admiral Thrawn appears in the Galactic Conquest mode of Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron as a hireable Imperial Commander, alongside Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin.



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Notes and references

Grand Admiral Thrawn

See also

External links

Grand Admirals of the Galactic Empire
Martio Batch · Nial Declann · Octavian Grant · Josef Grunger · Ishin-Il-Raz
Afsheen Makati · Mitth'raw'nuruodo · Danetta Pitta · Peccati Syn
Miltin Takel · Osvald Teshik · Rufaan Tigellinus · Demetrius Zaarin
Supreme Commanders of the Galactic Empire
Darth Vader · Thrawn · Luke Skywalker
Sedriss QL · Xecr Nist · Redd Wessel · Immodet

This article uses material from the "Mitth'raw'nuruodo" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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