Star Wars: Thrawn Author Weighs in on The Mandalorian Reference

In the decades since his debut in a series of novels, Star Wars fans have been hoping to see Grand Admiral Thrawn join the live-action universe, with the most recent episode of The Mandalorian, "Chapter 13: The Jedi," seeing the character referenced by name, though frequent Thrawn writer Timothy Zahn recently confirmed that he's in the dark about what that could mean for the character's future. Having explored the adventures of Thrawn in nearly a dozen novels, there's arguably no one more familiar with the character, but even if Zahn were to take part in The Mandalorian as a consultant on the character, it doesn't sound like it will be happening anytime soon.

"No, I was not holding back on you (or anyone else). I was (and am) completely out of the loop on all things Mandalorian," Zahn shared on Facebook about playing coy regarding Thrawn in the series. "The first I heard about Ahsoka's name-dropping question was when people began peppering this page with comments, questions, and verbal high-fives. So what will happen next? Your guesses are as good as mine. One thing I do know: Good writers/producers/directors don't drop a bombshell like that without some kind of follow-up somewhere down the line. I'll be sitting right there with all the rest of you, eagerly waiting to see how the saga unfolds."

He added, "Hopefully, it will be artistically done."

Audiences first met Thrawn in Zahn's Heir to the Empire in 1991, with the character continuing to be explored in two subsequent installments of a trilogy. At the time, these novels were regarded as installments in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as were many of Zahn's other books featuring Thrawn, as well as those featuring the fan-favorite Mara Jade.

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, these Expanded Universe books were relegated to the Legends corner of the franchise, confirming they weren't officially part of canon. However, through both Star Wars Rebels and all-new Thrawn novels written by Zahn, the imposing figure was recruited into the official canon, to the delight of many fans. Between the character's reference in The Mandalorian and Zahn's upcoming Thrawn books, we clearly haven't heard the last of him.

As if Thrawn's gaining popularity isn't exciting enough for fans, this has inspired some to speculate if we could also see Mara Jade at some point in the official canon.


Stay tuned for details on Thrawn's future.

Are you looking forward to more Thrawn? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!