Name: Grand Admiral Thrawn (Mitth raw nuruodo)
Born: c. 59 BBY, Rentor
Hair color: Blue-black
Eye color: Red
Skin color: Blue
Brawling Parry: 7D+2
Melee Combat: 8D+1
Melee Parry: 8D
Vehicle Blasters: 5D+2
Alien species: 7D+1
Planetary systems: 7D+2
Scholar (Art): 8D
Capital Ship Piloting: 4D+2
Capital Ship Shields: 4D+1
Capital Ship Weapons: 5D+1
Repulsorlift Operation: 5D+2
Space Transports: 5D
Starship Gunnery: 4D+2
Walker Operation: 5D+1
Capital Ship Repair: 4D
Computer Programming/Repair: 6D
Droid Programming/Repair: 6D
First Aid: 6D+1
Force Points: 5
Dark Side Points: 4
Character Points: 26
Glowing Eyes: The Chiss' eyes glow red, glow brighter in oxygen-rich environments, and are very noticeable in the dark. If a Chiss is trying to use the Sneak skill (or any other skills relating to visual stealth) they must close their eyes or hide them somehow, such as with goggles or a mask. If they do not, then enemies receive a +5 to their Search/Perception rolls to detect the Chiss.
Imperial Grand Admirals Uniform, Blaster Pistol (4D), Commlink, Imperial Code Cylinders
Description: Mitth'raw'nuruodo, born as Kivu'raw'nuru with the core name Vurawn, recognized in his early military career as Mitth'raw'nuru, and better known by his core name Thrawn, was a Chiss male officer of the Chiss Ascendancy and Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy during the age of the Galactic Empire. An alien Imperial officer with striking blue skin, red eyes, and an angular face, Grand Admiral Thrawn was well known as a brilliant and ruthless strategist. He believed that in order to achieve victory in war, one must know their enemy. As such, Thrawn dedicated himself to understanding the philosophy, art, and culture of his opponents, which included the Twi'leks of Ryloth and the warriors of Mandalore.
Before joining the Imperial Military, Thrawn served with the Expansionary Defense Fleet of the Chiss Ascendancy. A native of the planet Rentor, located in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, Thrawn served in the Ascendancy military with both valor and controversy. Patriarchs Mitth'oor'akiord "Thooraki" and Stybla'mi'ovodo "Lamiov," leaders of the Chiss Mitth and Stybla families respectively, worked with General Ba'kif, founder of the Expansionary Fleet, to adopt Thrawn into the Mitth family and guide his career and training in the Fleet. Thooraki, Lamiov, and Ba'kif also worked together to guide Thrawn into a close friendship with Mitth'ras'safis "Thrass," a Chiss man whose political talents complemented Thrawn's analytical and strategic skills in warfare. Thrawn, who did not form friendships easily, grew close to Thrass, and in time the two came to regard each other as brothers. Thrawn went on to lead anti-piracy operations against a group of pirates known as the Vagaari, which saw the tragic death of Thrawn's brother Thrass.
Near the end of the Clone Wars, in around 19 BBY, the warlike Grysk Hegemony began a plot to destroy the Chiss Ascendancy. First, they groomed and trained a Nikardun general named Yiv who ruled the Nikardun Destiny, an expansionist empire in the Unknown Regions. The Grysk agent "Jixtus" sent Yiv to conquer or intimidate the nations neighboring the Ascendancy to encirle the Chiss, who could not launch attacks on anyone who had not directly attacked the Ascendancy. Thrawn left his native Unknown Regions and traveled to known space to search for allies against Yiv. There, he encountered the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars and fought alongside Skywalker during a mission to Mokivj. Shortly thereafter, Thrawn was instrumental in defeating Yiv's fleet, leading to the demise of the Nikardun Destiny.
Following Yiv's defeat, Jixtus dispatched a group of the telepathic Agbui species to manipulate Chiss officials of three of the Ascendancy's Great Families into starting a civil war in the Ascendancy. Thrawn was instrumental in defusing the Agbui plot above the planet Hoxim. After the Agbui's failure to instigate a civil war in the Ascendancy, Jixtus enlisted the service of the Kilji Illumine to undermine the Ascendancy from within and close nations to the Southeast of the Ascendancy from Chiss refugees who would survive the war he hoped to foment. Aware of the Grysk armada's superior firepower to the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet, Thrawn and his friends arranged for several allied nations to unite and defeat Jixtus's fleet in a climactic battle over Sunrise known as Senior Captain Thrawn's last stand.
Following the Galactic Republic's reorganization into the Galactic Empire, Thrawn offered his allegiance to Emperor Palpatine, having deemed an alliance with the new regime beneficial to his people. With the help of Cadet Eli Vanto, Thrawn assimilated into galactic society, becoming fluent in Galactic Basic Standard and ultimately graduating from the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant. His career in the Navy was highly successful; after a series of promotions, he received the rank of Grand Admiral from the Emperor himself.
At the height of his career, Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn served as commanding officer of the 7th Fleet, the flagship of which was the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Chimaera. A few years after the start of the Galactic Civil War, when Governor Arihnda Pryce requested a strong commander capable of defeating the rebels on Lothal, Thrawn accepted the challenge, intending to dismantle the rebellion one piece at a time. Deployed to the Lothal sector, he sought to defeat the rebels led by Captain Hera Syndulla. During his leadership of the 7th Fleet, Thrawn proposed and staunchly advocated for a new starfighter-bomber: the TIE Defender, which was to be initially manufactured on Lothal before being mass-produced throughout the galaxy. Following the Battle of Atollon, Emperor Palpatine summoned Grand Admiral Thrawn to his palace to undertake a mission with the Emperor's Sith apprentice Darth Vader, whom Thrawn once knew as the Jedi Anakin Skywalker. Palpatine considered Thrawn and Vader his two most useful servants and believed his mission would require the unique talents and knowledge of both men.
In the ensuing mission, Thrawn's fleet worked with Vader's First Legion and ultimately rescued several Force-sensitive Chiss girls held captive by the warlike Grysk species. Soon thereafter, Thrawn took on a mission to defend the supply lines of Project Stardust from apparent losses to electronics-eating grallocs. The true culprits of the losses were the treasonous Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit and, separately, a force of Grysks seeking to conquer Imperial space and perhaps control the Death Star. After exposing Savit's treason and defeating that Grysk force, Thrawn resumed his task of eliminating Syndulla's rebel cell on Lothal. Syndulla's rebels confronted Thrawn's forces with the intention of liberating Lothal once and for all. During the battle, a flock of purrgil came to the aid of Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger and inflicted heavy damage on the Seventh Fleet. Thrawn was on the bridge of his command ship when the creatures surrounded the Chimaera and pulled it into hyperspace, taking both Thrawn and Bridger to the extragalactic planet Peridea, where they would remain in exile.
In the years following Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn's disappearance, both the Emperor and Vader were killed at the Battle of Endor, the Empire was decisively beaten at the Battle of Jakku, and the Alliance to Restore the Republic was reorganized into the New Republic. In spite of his vanishing and unconfirmed death at Lothal years prior, former Jedi Ahsoka Tano started hearing whispers of Thrawn's return and began searching for the last missing Grand Admiral in 9 ABY, which led her to face Thrawn's protĂ©gĂ©e Morgan Elsbeth. Eventually with the help of Elsbeth and the Great Mothers, Thrawn would escape Peridea, though unbeknownst to him, so did Ezra Bridger. Free from his exile, Thrawn and the Great Mothers traveled to the Nightsister homeworld of Dathomir. Even in his absence, Thrawn's talents benefited the New Order. His knowledge of the Unknown Regions proved essential to loyalists that retreated from the known galaxy, helping them survive in unexplored space where they eventually formed the First Order, a major part of Emperor Palpatine's Contingency plan.
Personality and traits
Grand Admiral Thrawn was a male member of the near-human Chiss species. He had shimmering blue-black hair, piercing glowing red eyes, and an angular face. Thrawn was not Force-sensitive, although his older sister Kivu'rik'ardok was. He saw in a slightly different spectrum than humans.
The Chiss tactician
Thrawn had a calm and collected demeanor. He was a brilliant military strategist, known for his anticipation of enemy attacks and his own tactical precision. He was known to speak at least six languages: Cheunh, his native tongue; Sy Bisti, Meese Caulf, Minnisiat, and Taarja, which were trade languages used by the Chiss; and Galactic Basic fluently after joining the Empire. Despite swearing loyalty to the Empire, he also remained loyal to the Chiss, believing Emperor Palpatine only commanded the loyalty of his actions. The loyalty of the Grand Admiral's heart and mind remained with the Chiss Ascendancy.
Thrawn worked to perfect the art of war. He had respect for his enemies, believing that in order to defeat a worthy opponent, one must understand them in every aspect, including their history and philosophy. In particular, Thrawn had a strong appreciation for art, and he believed that studying it could allow him to delve into the psyche of the people of the cultures that the artists belonged to, even though his study of art made him the target of many jokes in the Imperial Navy's upper ranks. The critics of the Grand Admiral falsely thought he just enjoyed beautiful pictures, while Thrawn's supporters knew it helped him learn enemy tactics. Other Chiss never understood Thrawn's ability to build detailed tactical knowledge from what was viewed to be insignificant or obscure details, but Thrawn believed anything in a species' art was important. To Thrawn, all threads tied together, every brushstroke spoke to him, and the light curves told the artist's story. While he knew that every artist was an individual, Thrawn knew that they were the product of a culture, so Thrawn could use art to begin to deduce the "fundamental pattern" of a species. He also could find the relationships between a species' art, culture, and military doctrine, which allowed him to anticipate and counter them on the battlefront.
Respect for life
Thrawn had a strong dislike for civilian casualties, although during his service to the Empire he sometimes acquiesced to operations that harmed civilians. Throughout his service to the Chiss Ascendancy and the Galactic Empire, Thrawn sought not only to protect the civilians loyal to the regimes he served, but also civilians of other factions. His regard for the lives of civilians, including aliens, was noted by several individuals including Senior Captain Lakinda, Lothal Governor Arihnda Pryce, and Commander Eli Vanto.
During his service in the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet, Thrawn maneuvered to save the lives of civilians of other species on numerous occasions; even at times bending the Ascendancy's non-intervention protocols. During his service to the Ascendancy, Thrawn's primary loyalty was to his own Chiss people. As such, he typically had motives related to learning about threats to the Chiss when protecting civilians of other factions, but notably did not during the Stivic incident. During Haplif and Jixtus' plot to destroy the Chiss Ascendancy, Senior Captain Lakinda reflected with disdain that Thrawn had "exaggerated concern" for non-Chiss "aliens" for whom the Chiss Ascendancy had no business caring about. She had no doubt that Thrawn would intervene in a civil war in which the Chiss had no stake to try to stop the hostilities, and believed there would be negative repercussions for the Chiss's involvement in that war.
While serving the Empire, Thrawn angered his captain Filia Rossi by saving the people aboard the Dromedar rather than saving all the tibanna gas in the hijacking of that vessel. Later, during the skirmish against the Third Fleet, Thrawn promised the treasonous Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit that he would defeat the Third Fleet with no deaths in either Grand Admiral's command, and--together with Commodore Karyn Faro--succeeded in doing so.
Respect for his enemies
Notable among Imperial officers, Thrawn abhorred civilian casualties and sought to preserve the lives of civilians who would be caught in crossfires and even enemy combatants. Thrawn offered clemency to Nevil Cygni, known as Nightswan, and offered the rebel a position in his native Chiss Ascendancy, believing his adversary's skills would be of great benefit to his people. Thrawn sought in vain to prevent a mass slaughter at Batonn's Creekpath Mining and Refining complex by seeking his foe's surrender, promising Nightswan that he was the man's "only guarantee" that the civilians crowded within the stronghold would not be slaughtered, which other Imperials would be happy to do. Thrawn knew that Cygni would not harm him during the two men's covert meeting on Batonn because of their mutual respect, and because Thrawn pledged to do all in his power to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Against the wishes of Thrawn and Imperial Security Bureau Colonel Wullf Yularen, Governor Pryce ended the Batonn insurgency by detonating a bomb in the Creekpath complex that killed hundreds of insurgents and civilians. She violated her orders in doing so but secured an Imperial victory over the rebel insurgents of that planet. Thrawn and Yularen suspected Pryce's guilt in the matter but could not prove it. However, the Imperial High Command on Coruscant saw the result as a major victory and did not mind the death of civilians. They promoted Thrawn, whom they believed responsible for the attack, to Grand Admiral for leading the major victory on Batonn. Thrawn had strong misgivings about accepting a promotion for an attack he abhorred and which he had not conducted or authorized. However, Pryce persuaded Thrawn into accepting the resulting acclaim by arguing that someone would command the Seventh Fleet, and very few other high Imperial officers would seek to minimize civilian deaths with that Fleet. Nevertheless, Thrawn ordered his ground forces to search and rescue survivors, civilian and combatant, from the ruined complex, hoping in part to find Cygni alive.
The limits of Thrawn's refusal to kill civilians
While Thrawn generally refused to kill civilians needlessly, he became willing to resort to killing non-combatants at the end of the Lothal Campaign in order to achieve victory for the Empire. Thrawn had the goals of rooting out Lothal's rebels and procuring Ezra Bridger for the Emperor, who sought to turn the young Padawan to the dark side of the Force. Thrawn demanded that Bridger surrender himself and come aboard the Chimaera or he would bombard Capital City.
The Lothal rebels did not believe Thrawn at first, but Thrawn had Rukh's forces disable the city's deflector shield generator, at which point the Chimaera began bombing the city. Horrified, Ezra gave in and took a gunship to Thrawn's flagship. At that point, Thrawn stopped the bombardment, but warned he would resume it and destroy the city and Ezra's friends if the Padawan tried any "heroics." He stayed true to his word, ordering his ships to prepare to fire after Bridger began to fight his way to the bridge.
Although he was much less hesitant to kill non-sentient animals, including if they were peaceful, such as the purrgills, whom he had resented after the Battle of Lothal, so he ordered the Nightsister Morgan Elsbeth to kill any type of whale that approaches the planet Peridia to ensure that the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano does not manage to land on the planet's ground.
Throughout his adult life, Thrawn had a deep appreciation for art and culture: art became an invaluable tool for the blooming tactican as he found that everything about a piece of art tied together and spoke to him. While no other Chiss understood it, despite the many times they tried, and despite receiving mockery from the upper ranks of the Imperial Navy for his studies, he had a rare talent of learning societies' and even individual people's histories, tactics, and strategies by studying the art they created. The Chiss officer was able to learn from his adversaries' artwork to design strategies to exploit their cultural and tactical blind spots, leading to wide recognition as a military genius. Even able to find subtle changes in a culture's collective art style as he studied generations of art, Thrawn studied works ranging from paintings to sculptures to any other art form to piece together the truth of their creators: from those deductions, he could find the cultural, historical and philosopical background of the individuals who created the works, granting him an understanding of society or species from which they spawned.
Whether it be finding ways in which a species would react to attack or deducing how a culture would respond to what was before them, artwork was a fundamental key to Thrawn's strategy: the fundamental pattern one's species or culture left on a work meant that, while he knew each artist was their own individual, Thrawn could find the common threads between multiple works, flesh out the culture of those before him, and find how it connected to one's military doctrine. Thrawn even found that what art was highly valued amongst a culture and the type of art a culture made were clues for how they would act in battle. Whereas other Chiss often saw Thrawn as someone who made military miracles because he understood insignificant details, Thrawn maintained that every part of an art piece was important: it was through a complete understanding of a piece of art Thrawn could understand the creator, and then grow that understanding into one of their culture or species. The impact of both the individual and their culture on the art they created could be seen by Thrawn's discerning eye.
During Thrawn's first meeting with Thrass, he noted to his guide the unusual fact that the artist who did the three landscapes in the Ruling Family reception hall also created two of the statuettes. All Mitth family artwork, rotated out through the official collection of family art on Csilla, was unsigned, as the artwork as seen as a family piece, not by individuals. Thrass was stunned by Thrawn's immediate ability to note five works of art that, among a selection of hundreds of thousands of Mitth family works, were all created by the same artist. Thrawn was also able to determine the gender and personal history of the artist, who was the Twelfth Patriarch Mitth'omo'rossodo the Tragic. Thrass found Thrawn's ability to determine that the Patriarch suffered a personal loss after the tidepool landscape piece nothing short of incredible.
Thrawn sought to preserve the cherished Paccosh subclan ring of Uingali foar Marocsaa when Uingali feared the Nikardun invaders of Rapacc would kill every Paccosh. By the time of the Nikardun Campaigns, Thrawn had a reputation among the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet as an expert on alien art and someone who could glean important information from a cursory inspection of an art piece. Thrawn's renown was wide enough that Fleet analyst Lakbulbup recommended Thrawn analyze a suspicious brooch his cousin had sent him, rather than a scientist or metals specialist. Similarly, as an Imperial Grand Admiral, Thrawn stole the Syndulla family's kalikori after subverting resistance on the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth. Thrawn honored the kalikori as a sacred item in Twi'lek culture and sought to both protect and analyze it.
Thrawn's first Imperial protĂ©gĂ© Eli Vanto trusted in the Chiss's ability to read people through art, even wishing Thrawn could teach him to do the same, but came to believe no one could truly understand the officer's skill in that field. Instead, Vanto understood numbers and thus had his own skill to bring to the table: both possessed a skill they understood like no other, which Vanto suspected could be why they were such a good team. Another one of Thrawn's Imperial protĂ©gĂ©s, Karyn Faro, was at first frustrated by Thrawn's ability to make deductions through art because she did not see what he did. Later, however, she let go of that anger: instead, she always took the moment to marvel at nice pictures, trusting that the Grand Admiral knew what he was talking about.
Thrawn's appreciation for art and his determination to defeat the rebellion led him to amass a vast collection of images and objects related to the crew of the rebel ship Ghost, who had outsmarted his predecessors. In addition, Thrawn's scrutiny of Lyste and Kallus' reports following the rebel infiltration of the Lothal Imperial factory led him to realize that the Empire had a spy within their ranks. Thrawn believed that interrogating all Imperial personnel would alert the traitor. Instead, he advocated engineering a trap for the traitor that would turn them into an asset of the Empire.
During his exile in Peridia, he developed a new interest in the dark arts and the occultism, even asking the Great Mothers to lend him a portion of their dark magick. Seemingly learning from his previous experience of unfamiliar opponents using the force. During his eventual escape Morgan Elsbeth gathered a small legion of volunteer troops who would be resurrected into an undead legion upon death. Upon the return to the Galaxy he travelled to the planet of Dathomir as part of the bargain he struck with the Great Mothers, the hold of the Chimaera was full of caskets taken from the ancient Peridian Nightsister Fortress.
View of traps
Throughout his career with the Ascendancy and the Empire, Thrawn held a confident and calm view of traps laid before him. Up to and during the battle over Primea, Thrawn allowed himself to spring General Yiv the Benevolent's trap wherein he would be brought aboard Yiv's flaghship Deathless in an unarmed freighter. Thrawn successfully reversed that trap by bringing the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet to bear on Yiv's Primea fleet, including the Vigilant, the Springhawk, and the Grayshrike. Following Yiv's defeat, the Grysk Hegemony hired a Watith crew led by Captain Fsir to trap and either destroy or distract Thrawn and the crew of the Springhawk. Thrawn understood that they were being led into a trap, but commented to Caregiver Thalias that that made it all the more important to understand their unknown enemies. An opponent bold enough to attack a Chiss war vessel directly was dangerous and well within the prerogative of the Expansionary Defense Fleet to scout out.
When discovered by the crew of the Imperial Venator-Class Star Destroyer Strikefast, Thrawn caused enough damage to the stormtroopers and Imperial Navy troopers to make the Strikefast's officers seek to study him, leading them to transport his hut aboard the Venator. He hid inside his hut, arranging his transport to within the Empire proper, thus securing his own goal by springing what the Imperials believed to be their own trap. As a cadet at Royal Imperial, Thrawn explained to Eli Vanto that most traps could be reversed on their designers, and proceeded to ensnare Rosita Turuy and Spenc Orbar in the trap they sought to catch Thrawn and Vanto in in the metallurgy lab. Later, upon discovering Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit's treachery, Thrawn defeated Savit in part by springing Savit's trap and being held as a captive by the human Grand Admiral on the bridge of Savit's Firedrake.
View of non-Chiss
When Senior Commander Thrawn and Commodore Ar'alani visited the Garwian homeworld of Solitair, their hosts introduced them to Garwian culture. Ar'alani informed Thrawn that she now saw aliens as people for the first time, believing this was how Thrawn had always seen non-Chiss. Thrawn replied that he saw non-Chiss individuals as assets first and people second. When he explained that to Ar'alani, she noticed sadness and thoughtfulness on his face before he explained the "assets" could be possible foes or allies. Following their capture of General Yiv the Benevolent at the battle over Primea, Thrawn explained to Che'ri that Ar'alani enabled the joint Chissâ€”Vak victory because she saw non-Chiss as people, while he saw them as assets.
By the time of the Nikardun campaigns, Thrawn's view of non-Chiss had evolved, believing that the lives of all species were important. Thrawn became notorious in the Expansionary Defense Fleet for his desire to protect people of other species. Senior Captain Lakinda reflected bitterly to herself that Thrawn may meddle in an alien species' civil war to save them from destroying themselves. At some point after the skirmish above Hoxim, Thrawn took the Springhawk to Zyzek, searching for Watith envoys or traders to whom he could turn over custody of his Watith prisoners, so that they might be reunited with their own people. During his time on Cyphar serving the Imperial Navy, Thrawn treated the immigrated humans and native Cyphari even-handedly while collecting information, ultimately finding that some of the humans had mistreated the Cyphari.
View of xenophobia in the Empire
During Thrawn's time with Eli Vanto at the Royal Imperial Academy, he became exposed to the receiving end of xenophobia. Vanto explained that Imperial personnel were supposed to treat nonhumans and people from the Galactic Rim with respect, but often did the opposite. Thrawn's alien status among humans and origins in the Unknown Regions should have made fellow cadets treat him with more respect, but in practice led to discrimination. Thrawn asked Vanto why humans of the Core Worlds disliked nonhumans, to which Vanto replied with the explanation he had heard: many nonhuman species aligned with the Separatists in the Clone Wars, and humans felt like they both suffered and contributed to the Republic's war effort disproportionately compared to their nonhuman allies. Vanto did not know whether this was true, but assured Thrawn that the sentiment existed regardless. Thrawn asked whether it would not be better to only resent nonhumans who fought with the Separatists, to which Vanto conceded, and at which point Vanto realized the xenophobic current among Imperial humans probably originated in that way.
For all of his tactical skill, Thrawn was known to miss the political subtleties of situations. Thus, while he would focus on what outcome would create a victory, the outcomes of his actions had a habit of making politicians unhappy. Though Thrawn considered politics another form of warfare, Ar'alani believed Thrawn's failings in the category were a result of politics having constantly and easily changing goals and alliances. In contrast, military warfare was relatively straightforward, with changing alliances slowed down by the time it took to change battle lines. Though he claimed to be confident in his ability to master the field of politics, Ar'alani doubted his chances.
Thrawn often said things that were politically inexpedient, with no malicious intent. When Senior Captain Lakinda expressed her willingness to sacrifice her life if the skirmish above Hoxim should require it, Lakinda's first officer Mid Captain Apros protested. Lakinda told Apros and Thrawn that she would hear no objections. Thrawn told her he would not have raised any. Similarly, Thrawn made an unintentionally impolite remark to Wullf Yularen after the ISB colonel confronted Thrawn about his parlay with Nightswan. Thrawn complimented Yularen on the colonel's tactical abilities, saying they were equal to his protege Eli Vanto's. The Chiss admiral then added that he did not know whether Yularen also possessed Eli's acumen leadership.
Support for his subordinates and colleagues
Throughout Thrawn's career in service to the Chiss Ascendancy and the Galactic Empire, Thrawn provided a great deal of support, often without request, for the personnel under his command. This support also extended to his superior officers when they were maligned or overlooked. This was observed by individuals including Eli Vanto, Supreme General Ba'kif, Mid Captain Samakro, and Commander Kimmund. In particular, Kimmund noted that all of Thrawn's senior officers were intent on working together to perform their duties to the best of their ability and knew this was because of Thrawn's leadership style. He noted that Thrawn never used his genius to humiliate anyone, and that he demanded results but never perfection. Thrawn cared about those under his command, even to the point of standing up to men like Darth Vader to defend them. Kimmund wished that Thrawn's leadership style would become the standard within the Imperial military, and believed that if that were to happen, the Empire would stand forever.
Thrawn also had a habit of assigning his subordinates into new positions to see how they react, provided he was sure they could be effective within the new role. Thrawn did not want his subordinates and partners to take the flak for his failures but was happy to share credit and acclaim. He often set his subordinates up for professional growth and development, even without their knowledge, as he did with Lieutenant Commander Laknym, Eli Vanto, and Karyn Faro.
Toleration of insubordination in the name of victory
Thrawn cared more about results than etiquette. Thrawn was both willing to perform acts of insubordination to achieve major victories, and to permit such acts from his subordinates when they succeeded. When Caregiver Thalias went out of line during the Chiss Ascendancy's mission to Rapacc, Thrawn was pleased that Thalias succeeded in postponing the Magys from ordering the mass suicide of her people. Thereafter, he ordered all the staff of his Springhawk to act as though Thalias was a commanding officer on the vessel whenever the Magys and her companion were present, in order to maintain the illusion.
Thrawn also usurped command to achieve victory on at least two occasions during his rise through the Imperial Navy. First, Thrawn acted insubordinate toward Admiral Wiskovis in the aftermath of the Dromedar hijacking, which helped the Empire track the pirates and insurgents responsible. Later, Thrawn defied the orders of the incompetent Admiral Carlou Gendling during the battle over Umbara. There, Thrawn managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at the battle over Umbara using his brilliance and his tactical skills. Thrawn hoped that his Commander Alfren Cheno would be given credit for the victory, allowing him to retire with one final glorious victory. Instead, Admiral Gendling lashed out at Cheno, believing the insubordination to have originated with the Commander. Thrawn was about to object and take the blame himself when Cheno told the Chiss that he saw great potential in him, and he would take the fall to protect Thrawn and allow Thrawn to grow in the Imperial Navy.
During the skirmish against the Third Fleet, Thrawn instructed Commodore Faro to declare that Grand Admiral Savit's TIE pilots had staged a mutiny against Savit over his treasonous actions and encouraged the remainder of the Third Fleet to join them. In reality, the "mutineers" piloting the Firedrake's TIEs at that point were Thrawn's own death trooper guard, who had commandeered Savit's TIE fighters to appear mutinous. Central to Thrawn and Faro's victory over Savit was convincing Savit's forces, including Captain Gilad Pellaeon, to commit insubordination against their treacherous Grand Admiral. This demonstrated both Thrawn and Faro's brilliance, and their refinement of insubordination into a tactical weapon against their treasonous enemy.
Calm and respectful demeanor
Thrawn's calm demeanor and suave sophisticated mannerisms masked his ruthlessness. Thrawn rarely wavered in his generally cool temperament, though at one point, he furiously grabbed Slavin by his uniform for regarding his collectible Kalikori as Twi'lek trash. He quickly regained his composure, however, and apologized to him for his emotional outburst. This display may not have been an emotional outburst, however, but rather a calculated tactic on Thrawn's part. In a similar incident years earlier, Thrawn had apparently shouted in anger at a stormtrooper refusing to listen, but as he explained to his aide Eli Vanto, he had in fact not been angry but had only broken his usual pattern of behavior, which he believed was an effective tool in dealing with people who would not listen to reason or change their normal pattern of behavior.
Thrawn was also polite and respectful, even towards his enemies, whom he generally tended to admire. Even when interrogating Hera Syndulla, he showed mannerly behavior despite their antagonistic relationship. Thrawn did not have a high opinion of Konstantine and once sent him on a mission to deal with the Iron Squadron in the Mykapo system. Thrawn set a test for Konstantine by ordering the Admiral to depart with only a light cruiser in order to test his mettle. Konstantine underestimated the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the rebels there. Thrawn was astute enough to discern that Konstantine was lying when the latter tried to save face by claiming to have driven the rebels from the system. In fact, Thrawn was aware that the rebels had already evacuated their sympathizers from the system. During his exile on the extragalactic planet Peridia, he also let the Mandalorian Sabine Wren leave to find the former Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger.
Thrawn's respect for General Syndulla led him to visit her while she was being interrogated by Governor Pryce. While Thrawn regarded looking after her Kalikori as a sign of respect, Syndulla was insulted that her enemy would hold a valuable family heirloom. Thrawn believed that his TIE Defender project was a better investment than Orson Krennic's Death Star project and traveled to Coruscant to lobby the Emperor.
Thrawn's efforts to mass-produce TIE Defenders on Lothal came to naught when Governor Pryce destroyed the Lothal City fuel depot. Pryce, who sought to destroy the Spectres, damaged the TIE Defender factory and destroyed the fuel depot in the process. While Pryce managed to kill Kanan Jarrus, Thrawn believed that the loss of the TIE Defender factory outweighed the Jedi Knight's death. Frustrated with Pryce's incompetence, Thrawn resolved to deal with her when he returned to Lothal.
When Ezra Bridger's purrgil allies attacked Thrawn's Fleet and latched onto the Chimaera, the Grand Admiral displayed fear, anger, and frustration. The Lothal Rebels' purrgil reinforcements marked a rare instance of Thrawn's strategy and tactics being bested. In the past, Thrawn could almost always anticipate his adversaries' tactics and counter them, making that battle stand out in his record. Before the arrival of the purrgil, Thrawn stated the rebels had only created "a momentary setback," implying that the defeat may have been turned into an Imperial victory. However, the unexpected arrival of the purrgil halted any possible Imperial retaliation.
After briefly losing his composure in the purrgil attack, and even amid purrgil tentacles, Thrawn accepted his fate and regained a steely resolve, telling Ezra that the same fate awaited him.
During his long exile in the far off galaxy it seemed that Thrawn retained his calm and cool composure, reacting with a small hint of relief and surprise at the arrival of both the forces of Morgan Elsbeth as well as that of Sabine Wren. He later dealt with the arrival of Ahsoka Tano to the world and proved himself to be the superior tactician with minimal losses, only demonstrating a hint of fear when the Jedi successfully infiltrated the fortress where the Chimaera and the Eye of Sion were prepared to depart.
View of morality and power
View of necessary evils
Admiral Thrawn accepted that the Empire he served was corrupt and tyrannical. He viewed those traits as negative, but believed a strong, ruthless galactic government would be necessary to protect the galaxy from threats he called "far more evil than the Empire, and far more dangerous to all living beings." During their meeting on Batonn, Insurgent leader Nevil Cygni asked Thrawn why he willingly served a tyrannical regime, to which Thrawn replied, the strength of such a regime would be a necessary bulwark against evil threats to the galaxy. Cygni implored the Chiss Admiral, asking how long Thrawn would accept tyranny as a necessary part of Imperial rule. Thrawn replied that Emperor Palpatine would not live forever, and he believed his position as a senior officer would allow him to influence the choice of a successor who would be less tyrannical while maintaining defensive strength.
During the two men's conversation, Thrawn revealed to Cygni the true purpose that led to his service to the Empire. Thrawn's native Chiss Ascendancy knew of dangerous threats in the Unknown Regions including the Grysk Hegemony and sought relations with other galactic powers as allies, bait, or both. The Ascendancy had deemed that the Republic which Thrawn had encountered during the Clone Wars would not be a suitable ally against those threats as they deemed it too weak, mired in bureaucratic processes, corrupt, and of disparate and clashing interests. Thrawn told Cygni that the Ascendancy needed to know whether the Empire that was "rising from the ashes" of the Clone War could be a better ally or bait. He explained that he had been sent on a simple reconnaissance mission, never expecting to be taken before the Emperor and made an officer in the Imperial Navy. However, Thrawn considered his new circumstances to be an opportunity to be of even more use to his native Chiss than his original assignment, and thought he could best serve the peoples of both the Ascendancy and the Empire in his Imperial Navy role.
Philosophy regarding peace
Thrawn sought to protect his native Chiss Ascendancy and the Galactic Empire from insidious threats, and believed that steadfast military strength and swift action were necessary to achieve that end. During his meeting with Nevil Cygni on Batonn, Thrawn explained his belief that a tyrannical but ironclad Galactic Empire was better equipped than a galaxy at war to protect life and liberties from such threats. Thrawn reasoned that if some of the threats "far more evil" than the Galactic Empire were to conquer the Galaxy, liberty and hope would be permanently extinguished. As such, he saw maintaining order in the Empire as serving the greater good of the peoples of the galaxy, even when the actions to maintain order meant tyranny. Nevertheless, Thrawn sought to minimize civilian and combatant deaths, which was a rare trait among Imperial officers.
While leading the Chiss Ascendancy's Springhawk against the Nikardun conquests as a Senior Captain, Thrawn's bridge officers discussed a desire for peace. Thrawn appeared, asking how peace should be achieved. The Senior Captain presented scenarios that would count as peace but be unacceptable to the Chiss, including being destroyed or enthralled to a hostile conquering power. Thrawn noted that peace could be achieved in a number of ways, which could range from an alien conquest of the Ascendancy to Chiss conquest of others. He and his first officer Samakro eventually settled on the best method of ensuring peace, at least for their present situation, was to prove beyond any doubt that the Ascendancy could and would respond to attacks with overwhelming force.
Who deserved what
Thrawn looked down on the Jedi, viewing them as idealists who were willing to sacrifice strategically sound choices for perceived "just and moral" reasons. However, he respected Anakin Skywalker, noting the Jedi Knight's skills as a warrior, and honored the man's legacy. Thrawn regarded the Force as a weapon and believed that the Jedi did not know how to use it. Intending to destroy Lothal, Thrawn collected Sabine's art, since he regarded her as a talented artist and believed that he was safeguarding her legacy. Similarly, he believed that all that ultimately mattered was not who had moral justification, but who had power. Thrawn believed that the Jedi had made a mistake doing what they believed to be morally correct at the cost of strategic soundness, ultimately leading to their near-extinction and the reduction of their ranks to "poorly-trained children" in hiding, such as Ezra Bridger.
Throughout Thrawn's life since a cadet in the Chiss Ascendancy, he had a close relationship with Admiral Ar'alani. The two Chiss trusted each other strongly, and Ar'alani viewed Thrawn as a brilliant and reliable subordinate officer to have at her side. As a cadet, Thrawn impressed Irizi'ar'alani, a Senior Cadet three years his senior, through his tactical insight by analyzing her art. He caused her to blush by correctly inferring that she was too honorable to play dirty tricks on him. After the rescue of the luxury liner by the Boco and Parala, Senior Captain Ziara entrusted Thrawn with the truth of Csilla's faĂ§ade of habitation, a secret classified and off-limits to an officer as low rank as Thrawn; who was a Senior Commander at the time. Furthermore, she invited him to stay at her Irizi family homestead despite his membership in the Irizi's rival Mitth family. Thrawn initially resisted her offer, but she told him that her grandfather had been an avid art collector and he could examine his repertoire; to which Thrawn replied that she knows how to exploit her enemies' weaknesses.
Following her promotion to Commodore, Ar'alani and Thrawn continued to hold each-other in confidence and seek each-other's advice, including as to whether Thrawn should accept a rematching offer as a Trial-born of her former Irizi family. Once the celebration following her promotion was clear, the newly minted commodore invited her junior officer to buy her a drink and discuss their goals somewhere more private, touching him on the arm.
Thrawn and Ar'alani maintained some degree of contact during Thrawn's time serving the Galactic Empire. The Grand Admiral sent his friend and protĂ©gĂ© Eli Vanto to join the Chiss Ascendancy by rendezvousing with Ar'alani just after the Batonn insurgency. Although Grand Admiral Thrawn told Darth Vader that he would eventually return to the Chiss Ascendancy once he had eliminated threats to the Empire, Ar'alani felt bitter during the Gryskâ€“Imperial conflict that Thrawn had remained with the Empire for so long. She wished for Thrawn to return to the Ascendancy and help prevent a civil war that felt imminent, appealing to the Ascendancy's need for his unique talents and addressing him by his full name, Mitth'raw'nuruodo.
The unenlightened Chiss engaged in a confrontation with Kilji General Crofyp, who he mocked and angered, while attempting to deliver the Magys to Rapacc. When the general demanded to know who Thrawn was to give orders to the Illumine's warships, the senior captain angered him by asking if he needed to repeat his name. Soon after, the Illumine officer launched an attack on the Springhawk in fury in an attempt to end Thrawn's name; however, the attack failed, and the Kilji exploded with his flagship.
Despite the Chiss Ascendancy's strong separation of powers between the Chiss Defense Force and the Syndicure, Thrawn was known to have a close relationship with Syndic Mitth'ras'safis "Thrass," who held the rank of Cousin within the Mitth family.
Thrass was presumed dead in the wake of Thrawn's leadership of the Vagaari pirate operations, and many Mitth family members still mourned the Syndic's loss during the Nikardun campaigns. Irizi Syndic Zistalmu noted that Thrawn had been close with Thrass, even though Thrawn's Vagaari pirate operations had led to Thrass' death. Syndic Prime Thurfian viewed Thrawn with great ire, in part because he believed the Senior Captain's actions had led to Thrass' untimely death. Mitth family Speaker Mitth'ykl'omi "Thyklo" did not believe Thrawn was responsible for Thrass' death, but rather his death had been a consequence of circumstance.
Thrawn had a complex and nuanced relationship with Supreme General Ba'kif. The General had long acted as a mentor, benefactor, supporter, and occasional detractor and critic to the younger officer. Well aware of Thrawn's controversial reputation among the Fleet by the attack on Csilla, Ba'kif nevertheless only trusted Senior Captain Thrawn to identify the threat to the Ascendancy who had massacred the unknown alien refugees at the edge of the Dioya system. Ba'kif knew Thrawn to be both brilliant and cocky, believing the Senior Captain's positive attributes outweighed his downsides, but nevertheless sought to mitigate the negative effects that Thrawn's adventurism, audacity, or political miscalculations could cause.
When General Yiv sought to hunt and capture Thrawn and Thalias following the Primea diplomatic reception and Thrawn fell out of communication, Supreme General Ba'kif proposed safely extracting Thrawn from Primea before Syndics Zistalmu and Thurfian could berate the Senior Captain with accusations of negligence and interference in Garwian politics. The Irizi Syndic thought that Thrawn should be able to get himself out of that mess as he had gotten himself into it, but Ba'kif questioned whether that was truly what Zistalmu wanted. Mitth Syndic Thurfian, also present at the meeting, inferred Ba'kif's implicit warning: allowing Thrawn to find his own way out of trouble might lead to even worse political and diplomatic consequences for the Ascendancy than merely sending an official ship to retrieve him. Ba'kif advocated the direct approach of sending the Vigilant to pick Thrawn up at Primea, reasoning that there would be no problem as the Vak Combine had no quarrel with the Chiss Ascendancy.
Mid Captain Ufsa'mak'ro "Samakro" did not like his commander but respected him as a brilliant strategist and commanding officer. Samakro was steadfastly loyal to the Ascendancy, the Defense Force, and by extension Thrawn; even though he held many of Thrawn's facets in disdain.
When Samakro first met Thrawn shortly before the attack on the Paataatus, he had been furious at the Senior Captain. Mid Captain Samakro had only recently been given command of the Springhawk as a result of the Defense Hierarchy Council's disapproval of Thrawn's actions during the Vagaari pirate operations, and was furious that the fleet saw fit to reverse his fortune by reinstating Thrawn as the ship's commander. However, Samakro highly valued the chain of command and the orderly operation of his warship, so despite sharing Senior Commander Kharill's rage at what had happened; Samakro ordered the Springhawk's second officer to stand down and obey all of Thrawn's orders. Samakro knew Kharill wished to complain to their respective Ufsa and Plikh families and the Syndicure, but believed such a course of action would erode the efficacy and function of the Springhawk's crew and officer corps.
Upon meeting Thrawn, Samakro came to respect the man, at first begrudgingly, but gradually wholeheartedly. Thrawn informally mentored Samakro on tactical analysis over the course of the Nikardun conquests, the Nikardun campaigns, and the Agbui plot to destroy the Chiss Ascendancy. Samakro's respect for Thrawn grew as he experienced Thrawn's talents at tactics and leadership, even though his personal dislike for his commanding officer remained.
Thrawn was a role model to Mitth'ali'astov "Thalias" throughout her life. She met Cadet Mitth'raw'nuru en route to the Taharim Academy when she was the 13-year-old sky-walker Al'iastov, and he calmed her existential dread and despair by convincing her that her life would not end merely because her powers of Third Sight would soon fade. Thrawn had been the first person she had ever met who treated her as a person worth more than her Force-sensitivity and powers of precognition. The cadet did not know of the existence of the Sky-walker Corps at the time, but nevertheless gave young Al'iastov hope for her future that she had previously lacked. Years later, Mitth'ali'astov "Thalias" sought to join the Springhawk merely to see Senior Captain Thrawn, her inspiration, again.
Thrawn mentored sky-walker Che'ri in piloting, recognizing the girl's yearning to fly from her artwork. He taught her to let go of her fear and helplessness, leading her to embrace her proficiency as a pilot and feel confident in herself. Che'ri had long struggled with self-esteem issues, but under Thrawn's tutelage, she began to have a more positive view of herself.
Mitth family Patriarch Mitth'oor'akiord "Thooraki" had long sought to cultivate Thrawn to bring greatness to the Mitth family and the Ascendancy on the whole. Patriarch Thooraki was the individual who originally and covertly pointed Ba'kif, then known as Labaki, to direct Aristocra Thurfian to recruit Kivu'raw'nuru into the Mitth family while Vurawn was still a student on Rentor. Speaker Thistrian believed Thooraki personally intervened to protect Thrawn from the fallout of the then-Senior Commander's debacle at Solitair, and without Thooraki's political capital, Thrawn would not have been given command of the Springhawk and may have even been removed from the Fleet entirely. During Thrawn's mission to Batuu and Mokivj, Thooraki covertly watched over Thalias' Trials. At the top of a mountain amongst the Mitth family's memorial staffs, he tasked Caregiver Thalias with looking out for Thrawn and helping the politically-challenged tactician assemble his friends and allies when the time was right. The elderly Patriarch told Thalias that Thrawn's greatness, skill, and loyalty would lead the Senior Captain to be his "crowning," and that if Thrawn should survive his political enemies within the Ascendancy, that Thrawn's memorial staff would someday stand beside the Patriarch's own.
Despite both being of the Mitth family, Mitth'urf'ianico "Thurfian" had a strongly negative view of Thrawn, manifesting in machinations and vendettas to try to remove the officer from the family. Thurfian believed he was protecting Mitth interests by isolating Thrawn, who he reasoned would bring shame on the family through his political obliviousness. Syndic Thurfian pursued greater power within the Mitth family to accomplish his crusade against Thrawn, which ultimately led to his promotion to Patriarch of the Mitth. Even though Thurfian had been the Aristocra that first interviewed Vurawn for rematching to the Mitth, the future Patriarch harbored strong resentment against the younger man for years.
Xodlak'in'daro "Lakinda" was a female Chiss Senior Captain of equal rank to Thrawn, serving under Admiral Ar'alani's Picket Force Six at the Battle over Primea and in the Nikardun campaigns. Ar'alani considered Lakinda the most dedicated and hardest-working Senior Captain who commanded one of the Chiss heavy cruisers in the Admiral's task force. Lakinda was jealous of Thrawn's acclaim, wishing to grant herself and her Xodlak family the glory that Thrawn often received. Lakinda felt slighted when her cruiser Grayshrike took damage, rendering it less able to defeat enemies and thus receiving a lower share of the glory of battle than if it had fully participated. At times, Lakinda mentally Chided Thrawn for interfering in other species' conflicts, which she believed the Chiss had no business doing. At other times, she suspected that Thrawn may have been receiving credit and glory for tactical genius that had truly belonged to Admiral Ar'alani.
During the Agbui plot to destroy the Chiss Ascendancy, Lakinda overcame her suspicion and jealousy towards Thrawn to aid in preventing the skirmish above Hoxim from devolving into a Chiss civil war. Ultimately, her loyalty to the Ascendancy outweighed her desire to bring glory to the Xodlak family at all costs, which led to her censure by the Xodlak Patriarch but also an offer of rematching as an Irizi Trial-born by Syndic Zistalmu. The officer known as Lakinda accepted Zistalmu's offer, becoming known as Irizi'in'daro and "Ziinda."
Over time, the human Eli Vanto became a close friend of Thrawn. Vanto was originally assigned to translate for and tutor the Chiss in Galactic Basic. Upon hearing Vanto's awareness of the myths of the Chiss and observing the cadet's analytical potential, Thrawn requested Vanto be assigned with him permanently. Although Eli Vanto initially resented being stuck with, and often in the shadow of, an alien from the Unknown Regions, Thrawn mentored Vanto in tactical analysis and made sure his subordinate received credit and acclaim. Over the course of their time together, Eli Vanto came to view Thrawn as a mentor and a friend, overcoming his initial xenophobia and indignation. Thrawn recognized untapped potential within Vanto, leading him to send his friend to serve the Chiss Ascendancy, where Vanto's talents could flourish.
After the Seventh Fleet's skirmish against the Third Fleet, Admiral Ar'alani revealed to Vanto what his true purpose analyzing numerical data had been. Eli'van'to's numerical genius had been applied to identifying the patterns in Chiss sky-walkers, and the human Lieutenant Commander might be able to discover ways to inculcate more or prolong their Third Sight. Upon learning that the very future of the Ascendancy's ability to navigate the Unknown Regions lie in his hands, Vanto felt ever more appreciative of both Thrawn and Ar'alani for entrusting him with such an important role in the Chiss Defense Force.
After encountering the crew of the Strikefast, Thrawn was taken to the throne room of Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine, to whom he pledged his loyalty as an officer of the Imperial Navy. Over the course of his service to the Empire, Thrawn was often summoned to the Imperial Palace on Coruscant to discuss matters of the Unknown Regions with the Emperor directly.
The Emperor found both Thrawn's knowledge of the Unknown Regions and his tactical genius extremely useful to his plans for Imperial expansion and pacification of insurgencies. After the Batonn insurgency was put down, the Emperor promoted Thrawn to the rank of Grand Admiral. Palpatine, who was secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious and Sith Master to Lord Vader, sensed Thrawn's fear that he may betray the Chiss and turn the nascent Death Star against the Chiss Ascendancy. Sidious, aware that Thrawn had been keeping the locations of Chiss Ascendancy planets secret from him, allayed Thrawn's fears by promising the new Grand Admiral that he had no designs against the Chiss. By shortly after the Battle of Atollon, Emperor Palpatine considered Thrawn one of his two most useful servants along with Darth Vader. When he sensed a disturbance in the Force emanating from the anguish of young Chiss ozyly-esehembo girls captured and enslaved by the Grysks at Batuu, he sent the men on as partners on a mission to investigate the disturbance. In doing so, Palpatine would also test Thrawn's loyalty to the Empire versus his own Chiss people and his Sith apprentice's ability to separate his present as Lord of the Sith from his past as the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker.
By the time of Thrawn's skirmish against the Third Fleet, Darth Sidious had begun to question the Chiss Grand Admiral's ultimate loyalty. Indeed, Grand Admiral Thrawn had promised Admiral Ar'alani of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet that the ultimate loyalty of his heart and mind was to the Chiss, whereas Palpatine and his Empire only commanded the loyalty of his actions. Following the arrest of the treasonous Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit, Palpatine dispatched Thrawn to Lothal but ordered the Chiss to return to Coruscant for a long, private discussion immediately after putting down the Lothal rebels. By that point, the Emperor had begun to conceive of himself as ruling both the Galactic Empire and the Chiss Ascendancy, in spite of the promise he had made to Thrawn in the aftermath of the battle of Batonn.
Thrawn's disappearance was considered a major setback to Emperor Palpatine, who believed Thrawn would have been perfect for the task of hunting down the rebel fleet following the Battle of Hoth. Because Grand Admiral Thrawn was gone, the Emperor tasked Darth Vader with the job, although Vader ultimately delegated it to Grand Moff Tarkin's protĂ©gĂ©e Ellian Zahra. In spite of Thrawn's disappearance at the Liberation of Lothal, his knowledge continued to serve Emperor Palpatine's machinations; heavily informing the computers of the Observatory on the desert planet Jakku how to safely navigate the Unknown Regions and prepare for the Contingency and eventual formation of the First Order.
Commodore Karyn Faro served under Thrawn since prior to the Batonn Insurgency. She had been the first officer of the Chimaera when Thrawn was given command of that Star Destroyer, having the rank of commander at the time. According to Eli Vanto, prior to the Batonn insurgency, Commander Faro toed the line between overt insubordination and permissible behavior to her superior officer. Vanto further reflected that Faro was willing to publicly question Thrawn's comments in a manner he believed was unacceptable in the Imperial Navy.
During the skirmish against the treacherous Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit's Third Fleet, Thrawn gave Faro command of the Chimaera, believing she was an experienced enough commander to defeat Savit by studying him. Thrawn's intuition proved correct when Faro defeated Savit, basing her battle plan on Thrawn's instructions but improvising improvements based on her tactical assessment of the skirmish in real-time. Thrawn believed Faro was too talented to command Task Force 231, instead recommending her to take charge of the Eleventh Fleet. Despite Faro only being ranked a commodore, Thrawn believed his human protĂ©gĂ©e's talents would be wasted on anything less than command of a full Imperial Navy fleet.
Grand Admiral Thrawn understood that Captain Gilad Pellaeon's loyalties lied with the Empire, rather than any particular commanding officer. Upon receiving evidence of treason on the part of his commander Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit, Pellaeon chose Empire over his Admiral and demanded Savit surrender. Captain Pellaeon subsequently joined Thrawn's Seventh Fleet, as part of which he participated in the blockade of Lothal. Paelleon's loyalties remained strong years after the fall of the Galactic Empire and by the time of 9 ABY it was he who pushed for Thrawn's leadership of the Shadow Council. Believing his return to herald in the re-emergence of the Imperial Military. By this point he had started wearing a patch of a stylised chimaera in honour of his old commander.
Thrawn held Nevil Cygni, the rebel insurgent known by the code name "Nightswan," in high esteem. Even though they were frequently at odds, Thrawn recognized that his human adversary had a strong sense of justice, duty, and service, as well as skills and knowledge that would be useful to his native Chiss Ascendancy. Thrawn surprised Cygni by offering to meet him covertly for an honest discussion on Batonn, where he offered the Rebel a position fighting threats to the galaxy he described as "far more evil" than the Galactic Empire. Cygni, who had made it his goal to understand and subvert the Death Star project, considered Thrawn's offer before ultimately deciding his duty was to the combatants and civilians of the Creekpath Mining and Refining complex.
When Cygni was confirmed dead by Thrawn's search and rescue troops in the aftermath of the battle of Batonn, Thrawn considered the galaxy to be a darker place without his adversary.
Despite serving on opposing sides in the Galactic Civil War, Thrawn maintained a cordial and professional respect for Twi'lek Hera Syndulla. Thrawn admired Syndulla's leadership and piloting skills, believing her to be a shrewd and intelligent leader. The Chiss Grand Admiral took leadership of the Imperial occupation of the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth, further occupying the Syndulla family residence in Tann Province as the Imperial base of operations for the planet. In the process, he stole and revered the Syndulla family's kalikori, a revered Twi'lek heirloom passed from parent to child detailing and honoring the history of the family. Hera infiltrated her family's home under the guise of a local servant, stealing back her family's kalikori from Thrawn. Thrawn was able to determine that she was indeed Hera Syndulla based on her reverence for the totem, retaking the heirloom and promising the Twi'lek woman that he would honor it among his art collection. After Hera destroyed her own family's home during a prisoner exchange on Ryloth, Thrawn accepted that the Imperials had been outmanoeuvred and insisted that they should allow the rebels their victory, despite the protests of Captain Slavin.
At some point prior to the Battle of Lothal the Grand Admiral came across Morgan Elsbeth, a cunning and ruthless survivor of the Massacre of the Nightsisters. Her rage fuelled the engine that helped create the Imperial Starfleet and that made her useful to him. Outwardly she expressed much loyalty towards him, their relationship once described as that of a master and his pupil. Elsbeth's dedication however seemed to have an ulterior motivation. The Great Mothers of Peridia made contact with her through dreams and she was entrusted with the knowledge of his location, later hiring mercenaries and building the vessel that would return him to the known galaxy. Upon their reunion she expressed her loyalty yet again, claiming to be at his service and commenting on the nature of the task ahead of him. Thrawn tutored her on their pyrrhic victory over Ahsoka Tano by reminding her that they have deprived them of their most valuable resource: time. While Elsbeth only saw defeat in the reunification of their enemies. When the time came to leave Peridia he told her that somebody would have to stay behind in order to allow them to escape. While reluctant at first this ultimately proved that the relationship between the two was ultimately expendable in the grand scheme of events. As he left she allowed her vengeance for Dathomir to consume her as she ultimately succumbed to her second duel with Ahsoka Tano
During his long exile he came into contact with a mysterious warrior, a hardened survivor of Peridia wearing customised stormtrooper armour with a golden faceplate. The figure later rising to become the Captain of Thrawn's Night Trooper company and his own right hand. Enoch is completely loyal to Thrawn and shows little else but dedication to serving him and his interests. Thrawn seems to value his insight and often used the information he provided in his own tactical analysis such as the arrival of Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano. Trusting him to also grant the imprisoned Sabine Wren both provisions and a mount to aid her in her search for Ezra Bridger. Later it was Enoch who accompanied the Grand Admiral back to the main galaxy.
The Great Mothers
Thrawn came into contact with three ancient Nightsisters known as the Great Mothers, known as Klothow, Aktropaw and Lakesis. There the two groups struck a bargain in which they would all escape Peridia together in exchange for transporting items from the catacombs to the planet Dathomir. He held a certain amount of reverence for their magic as it had proven useful to him, especially when dealing with the Jedi. Following his own defeats at the hands of the Bendu and the Purgill, Thrawn has come to accept the aid and usefulness of dark magic and other esoteric abilities in order to further his own aims. Simply standing and watching as the three sisters perform a ritual to induct the witch, Morgan Elsbeth, into their ranks. Ultimately however powerful they were Thrawn had little regard for their former home. Seizing the opportunity to orbitally bombard the Fortress in order to kill Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren, which the Great Mothers seemed averse to. Never the less he was honorable to his word and once arriving back in the main galaxy he traveled with his cargo in tow to the former home world of the Nightsisters, Dathomir, where the Mothers intended to go.
Skills and abilities
A great military mind
Thrawn was a seasoned military commander and accomplished tactician who was known to be thorough and respected by his subordinates, and was considered to be one of the fiercest military leaders the Empire had ever produced. Thrawn wielded a RK-3 blaster pistol on some occasions, for instance when he stunned the rebel fighter Ezra Bridger, who had disguised himself as a scout trooper, and tried to execute Bendu with it before Bendu disappeared. Thrawn also had considerable skill with hand-to-hand combat, often practicing with a pair of sentry droids. Thrawn used his combat skills to survive at least one assassination attempt by Kallus, who had reprogrammed his sentry droids. During a mission on Batuu with Darth Vader, they both were attacked by Darshi, and Thrawn used a combat baton to "disable" them for integration. During the Clone Wars, Thrawn utilized a lightning gun to take out B2-series super battle droids that had their armor covered in cortosis. The Marg Sabl, a tactic Thrawn learned about during his time with Anakin Skywalker and PadmĂ© Amidala during the Clone Wars, was one of his best-known maneuvers by his time as a Grand Admiral.
Thrawn was physically fit and agile. He was adept at unarmed combat and was familiar with the limitations of Imperial Academy martial arts. Thrawn managed to defeat Kallus in unarmed combat. As a Grand Admiral, Thrawn was familiar with the various rebel tactics including the Danaan formation. To prevent the rebels from escaping, he reinforced the center of the Seventh Fleet with Konstantine's interdictor cruiser. While this tactic prevented the rebels from escaping, it came undone when Konstantine ignored Thrawn's orders and decided to engage Sato's flagship.
As a military commander, Thrawn devised a strategy to intercept and trap General Syndulla's X-wings. While Thrawn's fleet succeeded in wiping out much of the rebel assault force, his plan was undermined when Commander Skerris defied his orders to cease pursuing Syndulla and created an accident, which allowed Hera and some rebels to escape to the planet's surface. However, Thrawn had prepared a contingency force of TIE fighters which shot down these fighters, leading to Hera's capture.
While Thrawn was an effective communicator, his plan to encourage the Emperor to support his TIE/D Defender project was fatally undermined when Governor Pryce destroyed Lothal's fuel supply in order to kill the Jedi Kanan Jarrus.
Though the rebels managed to capture the Dome and lure the Imperial garrison aboard, Thrawn devised a counter-strategy which involved Rukh and his Imperial forces sabotaging the Dome's shield generators. This enabled Thrawn to bombard Lothal's Capital City in a successful effort to force Ezra to meet him to discuss his unconditional surrender. As a commander, Thrawn maintained an iron resolve when confronting the rebels and preferred to set the conditions of the battlefield.
Despite his skills as a commander, Thrawn's strategy during the Liberation of Lothal was challenged by the rebel resolve to restart the Dome's shield generators and Ezra's ingenious contingency plan of summoning a pod of space-faring purrgil to attack and carry his fleet away into uncharted space, which was a plan Thrawn had no way of predicting.
A great tactician
Throughout his life, Thrawn possessed an extraordinary degree of tactical insight. This led to him being considered a prodigy by General Ba'kif and Mitth family Patriarch Thooraki, among others at the Taharim Academy and the Chiss Defense Force. Thrawn demonstrated his abilities to invent tactics as early as his charge of cheating as a cadet at the Taharim Academy, where he invented a stealth maneuver he would later employ while investigating the dead Paccosh refugees in the Rapacc system. Thrawn was able to learn, predict, counter, and best his enemies' tactics after brief observationâ€”either of the opponents in combat itself or even of their art, history, philosophy, and culture. From besting Senior Cadet Ziara at combat with soft-coat sticks after inferring her tactics from her sculptures of groundlions, to understanding how to distract, feignt, and make vulnerable the Paataatus to turn the tide of Picket Force Six's attack on Nettehi, to recognizing that the Lioaoin Regime had allied with the Nikardun Destiny simply because of their unusual starfighter tactics and behavior upon hearing his name; Thrawn demonstrated supreme tactical capabilities as a Chiss officer.
During his service to the Empire, Thrawn continued to uncover and exploit his adversaries' cultural biases and blindspots, including through their art, word choice, and actions. He traced the Culoss pirates to the Uba system by recognizing their slang in Sy Bisti, detected Botajef Governor Quesl's faĂ§ade of resolve against the abuses of the Empire, and uncovered the human colonists' conspiracy to grow scarn on Cyphar because Nevil Cygni had left him clues in the form of shellfish. Shortly before the end of the Lothal campaign, Thrawn was able to discern his fellow Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit's preferred battle tactics and orders for his Third Fleet by studying recordings of Savit conducting his orchestral compositions. The Chiss Grand Admiral saw so deeply into the human's personality and biases that he managed to instruct his Seventh Fleet on how to defeat Savit's Third Fleet, remotely, with no deaths and minimal damage to Imperial vessels.
As a tactician, Thrawn sponsored a new initiative to develop starfighters that were equipped with deflector shields. He believed that this feature would give the Empire an edge over their rebel opponents, as he stated that even the smallest features can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Thrawn disliked incompetence and shoddy craftsmanship, personally engineering the death of rebel agent Morad Sumar, whom Thrawn was at first not sure was a rebel agent, by forcing him to ride a faulty speeder bike. After Sumar's death, Thrawn informed the workers present at the scene that they would be personally testing each machine they built.
Thrawn was willing to take high risks, as shown when he dispatched E-XD infiltrator droids to hunt for the Phoenix Squadron's Chopper Base. Despite the loss of a Star Destroyer, Thrawn succeeded in narrowing the search for the rebel base from possibly thousands to 94 worlds. Agent Kallus later tried to elude Thrawn's hunt for Fulcrum by planting clues that incriminated Lieutenant Lyste. However, Thrawn discovered Kallus' deception and decided to manipulate the traitorous ISB agent into helping him find the rebel base. While other Imperial commanders overlooked the threat posed by rebel droids such as Chopper, Thrawn kept a catalog on these droids, which he circulated to his intelligence operatives. This information enabled LT-319 to embark on an ambitious plot to hijack the Ghost and find the location of Chopper Base.
In an effort to find the location of Chopper Base, Thrawn set a trap for Kallus by revealing that his spies were aware that the rebels were planning to attack Lothal. Cross-referencing his knowledge of ancient art with the trajectories of Dodonna's Massassi Group and Kallus' Fulcrum transmissions, Thrawn deduced that Chopper Base was in the Atollon system. As a career officer, Thrawn was not interested in personal glory but was only concerned with yielding results for his Emperor. His interest in the bigger game irked Konstantine, who was only interested in personal glory. Thrawn was angered by Konstantine's incompetence, as his folly ruined Thrawn's chance of crushing the rebellion once and for all.
When General Syndulla attacked Lothal with a strike force of X-wings, Thrawn unleashed the power of his Seventh Fleet on them. Despite using his ships to form a blockade, Thrawn's plan was undermined when Commander Skerris defied his orders to cease pursuing Hera's X-wing. Due to Skerris' insubordination, Hera was able to destroy his TIE Defender Elite, causing it to crash into an Imperial light cruiser, which collided with a Star Destroyer. This created a gap which allowed Hera and a few rebel pilots to land in Capital City. Thrawn was not worried that a few ships escaped his blockade, because many of the ships were destroyed, and Thrawn personally had a second wave which consisted of TIE fighters and turbolaser cannons.
As a tactician, Thrawn detected a flaw in Ezra's plan to trap the Imperial garrison in the "Dome," a mobile Imperial Planetary Occupation Facility. With his army in a safe position, Thrawn used the Chimaera to bombard Capital City. Knowing Ezra's Jedi training made him put others first, Thrawn was willing to kill civilians and destroy buildings in order to force Ezra to meet him aboard the Chimaera to discuss his surrender.
Gaining tactical insight from art
Throughout his service to the Chiss Ascendancy and the Galactic Empire, Thrawn was gifted at uncovering insights about societies, cultures, and individuals from the art, clothing, and architecture they produced, admired, and collected. Once Thrawn had come to understand someone's cultural history and military doctrine, he knew he could counter them. These insights applied to understanding his adversaries' tactics in combat as well as tracing connections between groups that others could not. As a Mid Commander of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet, Thrawn studied Senior Captain Irizi'ar'alani's sculptures and correctly discerned her baton combat style, thus besting her. Years later, Thrawn confirmed that the Rapacc system was the origin of the Paccosh refugees found dead in the Ascendancy's Dioya system because a mining station there had architectural similarities to the refugees' clothing. This was confirmed when he met living Paccosh aboard the station.
Thrawn studied the art of the Umbaran people before the battle over Umbara early in his Imperial career and analyzed Hera Syndulla's mental state using her family Kalikori. Thrawn studied the way Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit constructed orchestral music performances. From that study, he was able to discern Savit's tactics in combat well enough for his Seventh Fleet to defeat Savit's Third Fleetâ€”with no deaths, and without even being present to command his forces. Thrawn provided his correct predictions and instructions to his protĂ©gĂ©e Commodore Karyn Faro, who led the Seventh to victory in the skirmish against the Third Fleet.
During his service in the Chiss Ascendancy and the Galactic Empire, Thrawn demonstrated a great degree of combat prowess. Thrawn was skilled at unarmed combat, melee dueling, and the operation of charrics, blasters, and lightning guns.
Effective ground commander
Thrawn was an excellent ground commander. To test the mettle of the rebels, he orbitally bombarded Chopper Base. When it remained standing due to a shield generator, Thrawn decided to test their strength by sacrificing several AT-DPs to besiege it. Thrawn was skilled at coordinating his ground and starfighter forces, and preferred to lead his men from the front. As a scientifically minded man, Thrawn was unperturbed by mystical threats like Bendu, as seen when he used the combined firepower of his troops and walkers to bring down the Force entity. Thrawn was not intimidated by Bendu and tried to destroy the Force-wielding being by shooting him with his blaster, only to be surprised and unnerved by his sudden disappearance and mocking laughter.
As a seasoned military commander, Thrawn advised Governor Tiber Saxon to capture Sabine Wren in order to utilize the Arc Pulse Generator's full potential. While impressed by the weapon's ability to incinerate Mandalorian warriors by reacting with the beskar alloy in their armor, he believed that Saxon did not know how to utilize the weapon's full potential.
Due to his combat experience, Thrawn was unfazed when Ezra and Sabine flew their stolen TIE Defender Elite inches above him. Maintaining a steely resolve, Thrawn instead fired back. Thrawn was not upset by the loss of the TIE/D Defender Elite prototype and instead used the rebels' theft as an opportunity to test the fighter's flight capabilities and weapons systems against TIE/IN Interceptors. Thrawn's growing frustration with Governor Pryce's inability to capture the Spectres and Ryder Azadi's cell and stop the theft of the TIE/D Defender Elite led him to dispatch the Noghri assassin Rukh to hunt down and eliminate the insurgents.
During the Clone Wars, Thrawn wore a black Chiss uniform capable of absorbing energy from blaster fire, minimizing damage in combat, which proved useful during the raid on Duke Solha's droid factory on Mokivj. His uniform bore a burgundy shoulder patch emblazoned with the Mitth family symbol, a rising sun, and silver insignia pins denoting his rank of Senior Captain. Thrawn carried a charric, a Chiss weapon similar to a blaster but more powerful than most blasters found in Republic or Separatist space. He was also proficient with a lightning gun, which he utilized to destroy cortosis-armored B2 super battle droids during his mission to Mokivj with Anakin Skywalker and PadmĂ© Amidala. Also on Mokivj, Thrawn demonstrated proficiency with PadmĂ©'s grappling gun as well as Anakin's lightsaber.
Thrawn believed it was always worth "taking precautions" when facing uncertain situations; a belief which extended to his equipment. Prior to his mission to Primea, Thrawn knew he would have to steal a ship from the Vak spaceport to escape. He thus brought an aerosol of the "sleepwalking drug" tava mist to temporarily disable the pilot without causing permanent damage, as well as nostril filters for himself and Thalias to prevent the drug from affecting them. Years later during his service to the Empire, Thrawn brought the buzz droids he collected, repaired, and upgraded with a beckon call aboard the Dromedar, which he used to rescue himself and others from pirate captivity.
As a Grand Admiral of the Galactic Empire, Thrawn was closely associated with his flagship Chimaera, a modified Imperial I-class Star Destroyer bearing a depiction of a chimaera, his adopted personal symbol. During that time he owned a personal Lambda-class T-4a shuttle.