New Star Wars Rebels Clip Features Grand Admiral Thrawn

Grand Admiral Thrawn is a fan-favorite character that was first introduced in Timothy Zahn’s series of Star Wars Expanded Universe novels back in the ’90s. When George Lucas shelved the EP and declared it “non-canon,” fans figured that’d be the last they saw of the blue-skinned baddie. So, you can imagine how overjoyed they were when it was announced that Thrawn would be reintroduced via the third season of Disney XD’s excellent Star Wars Rebels animated series.

We’ve already gotten a look at Thrawn in the first trailer for the new season, but this sneak peek from the third episode, “Hera’s Heroes,” offers a glimpse of his sinister machinations at work, and allows us to sample the voice talent of Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen, brother of Mads, who also will play Jyn Erso’s father in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The show’s executive producer, Dave Filoni weighs in on why he believes Thrawn’s popularity has endured, and what makes him such a compelling villain.

He really stuck out because he was through and through an Imperial officer. He was not facing doubt, he didn’t have these abilities that make all the big arch villains up to that point arch. He wasn’t inept so much like Piett, he wasn’t playing politics like the rest of the Imperial officers, he was purely a military strategist.

His love of art, his study of that was something that really stuck with me. That’s really smart because he is getting to the root and tendencies of people, and I never heard of anybody attacking it that way. He stars to remind you of people like Patton, very into history and poetry.

Star Wars Rebels returns to our screens at 8:30 p.m.(ET) on Saturday, September 24th.