As the Season 1 finale of Ahsoka wrapped up, Grand Admiral Thrawn found his way back from his exile. Thrawn’s return from Peridea to the familiar confines of the galaxy far, far away comes at a time when the Imperial Remnant’s Shadow Council’s plans are coalescing and Thrawn’s long-awaited homecoming will likely provide them enough confidence to emerge from the shadows. Of course, when they do there will be a group of heroes ready to oppose their efforts which means a war is coming to the Star Wars universe.
Lucasfilm’s Disney + Star Wars streaming series The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka have nicely set up the coming war under the watchful eye of the studio’s newly named Chief Creative Officer Dave Filoni. That war is expected to unfold on screen in Filoni’s “Heir to the Empire” film but there’s still plenty of work to do before then with the live-action series Skeleton Crew (streaming sometime in 2024) and a fourth season of The Mandalorian (likely streaming in 2025) likely to continue to set the stage for Thrawn’s strategic strike. In an interview with Empire, Filoni teased what’s ahead for Thrawn and who will likely take the lead in opposing him.
“We set up Captain Pellaeon in The Mandalorian, and that’s a character that goes with Thrawn, so I’d love to see the two of them together,” said Filoni, referring to a character from Star Wars Legends that was introduced into canon in 2018 in Star Wars Rebels and made his live-action debut, played by Xander Berkeley, in Chapter 23 of The Mandalorian. Pellaeon was Thrawn’s right-hand man, remained loyal to him for years after he disappeared aboard the Chimaera and will certainly be by his side as the Heir to the Empire attempts to reestablish Imperial rule across the galaxy. But as teased in the closing moments of Ahsoka, one of Thrawn’s craftiest opponents will be ready to stand in his way.
While Ahsoka and Sabine were trapped on Peridea in the Ahsoka finale, Ezra Bridger was able to escape and reunite with the members of the Rebels crew now working with the New Republic, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s Hera Syndulla who has proven to be a thrown in Grand Admiral Thrawn’s side. From what Filoni says, it sounds like that’s something that’s going to continue in the New Republic era stories yet to unfold. “His foil throughout Rebels was Hera“, said Filoni. “Pitting the two generals against one another is something that I find interesting.” And something Thrawn will no doubt enjoy.