Who is Grand Admiral Thrawn?
The introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn was one of many highlights of ‘Steps Into Shadow ‘ Season 3 premiere of Star Wars: Rebels. The character’s first appearance was on ‘Heir To The Empire,’ a novel by Timothy Zahn, published 1991. His role as a villain on this particular season will be significant, according to various sources.
An article at Heavy indicated even though he was not a canon character (all of his appearances have been set in the Expanded Universe) he is popular amongst fans of the franchise, and Disney and LucasFilms want to exploit it.
The show premiered on Friday, and it will be followed by ‘The Holocrons of Fate’ and ‘The Antilles Extraction.’
Premiere Recap (Spoiler alert)
After infiltrating an Imperial base, we learn that the three most important characters, Ezra, Zeb, and Sabine, are trying to free Hondo from the Empire. Hondo possesses information which is apparently vital for the Rebellion.
Their escape is not swift, as they have to face stormtroopers, but they successfully retrieve the pirate and his Ugnaught friend, who is later killed by an AT-DP. Following this predicament, Ezra decides to control the pilot of the AT-DP via the Force and makes him kill the other Stormtroopers still chasing them.
Ezra’s actions scare both Zeb and Sabine, which seemingly disapprove Ezra’s reaction. Ezra’s short meddling with the Dark Side, made evident by this scene, might be further explained by his relationship with the Sith Holocron which he still keeps close.
Bendu, the one in the middle
Another exciting scene shows Kanan meeting with a mysterious creature known as Bendu, which apparently exists somewhere between the Light and the Dark Side of the Force.
Bendu will teach the now-blind Kanan to ‘see through the Force,’ ability that will come in handy in the future. Kanan gives Bendu the Sith Holocron, which he has taken away from Ezra after learning of the relationship he had maintained with it.
The final conflict begins when Ezra gets trapped into Reclaim Station after a failed mission. Kanan saves him, in a moment hugely reminiscent of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ where Leia senses and saves a defeated Luke after his meeting with Darth Vader.
We then enter a Star Destroyer which had appeared just when the team was about to escape from the station to finally meet Thrawn, who lets the rebels escape. When everyone is safe, Hera removes Ezra’s command as punishment. The latter eventually apologizes to Kanan and thanks him for saving him.