Rumor: A surprise cameo coming to Rebels S3?


Making Star Wars is reporting that a big – and actually surprising – cameo is on the way for Rebels season 3. It’s so big and surprising that I’m actually going to a cut to discuss it.

Jason says this morning that none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn will appear in the upcoming third season. The Chiss Imperial was the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe’s first (and maybe last) serious villain, originating in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991. He didn’t last out that particular trilogy, but he remained one of the EU’s more popular original characters. Heir, like all the pre-2014 Expanded Universe, is currently Legends, basically an alternate timeline.

Notably, early Rebels concept art showed they at one point considered making Agent Kallus a Chiss.

Now, we’ve had Expanded Universe based-rumors for Rebels before, mostly pertaining to Mara Jade, but they originated from far less reliable sources.

Thrawn would be a much easier character to incorporate into the new canon than Mara, but an almost-direct port – assuming he retains his Legends name – will have some interesting implications. Many background items from Legends have been ported over into the new canon, but not any major characters. (Note that Thrawn becoming canon would not automatically mean anything else from the Zahn novels would be, including his own background.)

This also raises a question about the mysterious figure Admiral Sloane reports to in Aftermath. If it is intended to be Thrawn – as many guessed/hoped at the time – we could get a confirmation in the next book, Life Debt, which is out in July.

In any case, Season 3 of Rebels is a long way away for viewers, so we’ll see…

10 Replies to “Rumor: A surprise cameo coming to Rebels S3?”

    1. The presence of Hux makes me think we’ll see very, very few highly ranked ex-Imperials survive the trilogy gap.

  1. It’d be cool, but there’s no way Disney’s going to open a can of worms of ‘which EU character is canon again’ by reintroducing a character like Thrawn or Mara Jade. (Though a smug Chiss Imperial officer is certainly a possibility. It just won’t be any specific character who had a huge impact on the post ROTJ EU.)

    1. Never say never. Thanks to Marvel and other superhero movies the mainstream audience is already familiar with movies taking pieces from but not directly adapting source material, and LFL has been very clear about canon. (Much clearer than the comic books!)

      They know these characters have followings, and Thrawn in particular is a fairly safe bet. Plus, it’s not like Filoni hasn’t done this sort of thing before…

  2. Is this the fleet admiral from Aftermath? May or may not be Thrawn, but either he shows up in Ep VIII or in Rebels.

  3. I would love them forever. I already like Rebels an incalculable amount more than Clone Wars (I just can’t care about prequel-era stuff, sorry not sorry) but I will…I don’t know, hug the writers. Unless they totally screwed him up. I’m not saying I am still a pathological Thrawn fangirl who can’t let go (please ignore the Tom Hodges painting, the Gentle Giants bust, the sideshow figure, the mini fig, the action figure…) I’m just saying I would be extremely pleased. #ThrawnLives

  4. I love the idea of applying the Marvel model to Legends and this would be a nice nod to the most widely read of those books. As a reader when those books came out I was always way more interested in C’baoth, Mara Jade and the loyalties of the Noghri than I was in Thrawn and his oh so amazing military genius, but if it is true that he’s going to appear in Rebels it could pave the way for some of those others to make appearances in future Star Wars projects and that’s a fun thought even if it never happens.

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