Grand Admiral Thrawn has been one of the most popular Star Wars characters to never appear in a movie, right there with Ahsoka Tano and anyone from The Clone Wars. While some fans were slightly miffed with how he was used in Star War Rebels, which chose to be a kid's show first and a Star Wars series second, he was still seen as a highlight in that series, and leaving his fate ambiguous gives fans hope that the villain will appear again.
Timothy Zahn, the creator of Thrawn, is working on a new trilogy of Star Wars books featuring the character and recently talked with IGN about reinventing his origin story for the Disney era. Thrawn Ascendancy, the name of this new trilogy, will detail how this intelligent man came into power and how he'll always be an outsider wherever he goes. The series will also discuss the "sky-walkers," who are recruits in the Chiss Ascendancy that can tap into the force and that's no coincidence.
"A lot of the fun of writing Thrawn is running him up against different people. How they react to him in the first new continuity novel, Star Wars: Thrawn, you got to see them up against him Imperials, how some of them appreciated his ability. Some of them hated him for it. In this new series, we're going to have the same sorts of things with various [members] of the Chiss. And, of course, the very different political and military situation of the Chiss Ascendancy as opposed to Palpatine's Empire. He can be the same person, but how other people react to him, how they see him, adds a lot to the depth and the complexity of the storyline."
With Thrawn's fate still unknown after the ending of Star Wars Rebels, this is probably not what fans were hoping for when a new Thrawn trilogy was announced. Still, Thrawn Ascendency looks like this will be a big treat for Star Wars fans and the fact that he's probably still alive somewhere means we will probably see him in the future, hopefully in animated form.
Star Wars Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising is now available to read. All of Star Wars Rebels is now available on Disney+ and Blu-Ray.