A Thrawn RetCon to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

What is RetConning?

From Merriam-Webster:

Retcon is a shortened form of retroactive continuity, and refers to a literary device in which the form or content of a previously established narrative is changed. Retcons are often encountered in serial formats such as comic books or television series, where they serve as a means of allowing the work’s creators to create a parallel universe, reintroduce a character, or explore plot lines that would otherwise be in conflict with the work.

What we have to take as truths?

  1. Thrawn is alive for a lot, or all, of this
  2. The Emperor (and his clone) is full of shit, but a master manipulator

Who is Thrawn?

Thrawn is a character originally in Legends books (non-canon) that was a Grand Admiral in the Empire. He’s from the Chiss Ascendency in the Unknown Regions. In Legends, he becomes the military leader of the Empire after Emperor Palpatine dies and with nearly no soldiers and resources almost takes down the New Republic.

He was brought into canon through a series of books, comics, and appearances in Star Wars Rebels. He’s a blue skinned, red eyed alien (different species than Cad Bane) which is extremely unusual in the higher ups of the Empire. But it’s with good reason. He’s one of the most strategic thinkers in the Star Wars universe and his foresight challenges that of the force sensitive beings throughout the stories/shows/movies.

He was recently name dropped in the Mandalorian, but did not appear. He’s rumored to be coming to live action and if true, will be played by Lars Mikkelsen who also voiced him in Rebels.

Give some depth to the cloning

In the Legends books, the planet of Wayland is where Thrawn goes to get a cache of weapons, including a cloaking device, and restarts the Empire’s cloning of troops. He also finds an insane Jedi clone there. In canon, we’ve briefly seen this planet in the Bad Batch, though I believe it is now Weyland. But considering they took Nala Se there to lead their cloning operations, I’d guess it is the same Mount Tantiss.

So Mount Tantiss seems to be canon now and Grand Admiral Thrawn is seemingly still around after the fall of the Empire. This would make a visit there almost inevitable. And if he goes there, will he find the Jedi clone he once did?

Snoke remains a clone, but a bit more interesting

Joruus C’baoth was originally the clone he found. He had gone quite insane and he was obsessed with getting Leia’s twins from her so he could train them. Some have speculated that Christopher Lloyd may be playing this character, which would be fun. However, I think we have already seen this character. I think it’s Snoke. The obsession is the same, only Snoke succeeds where Joruus failed. And perhaps this is the rift that removes Thrawn from the Force Awakens, but makes Snoke more than a puppet of Palpatine. I would assume Thrawn is uninvolved in the First Order as he probably would not go for a weapon like Starkiller Base.

You could even make Snoke the clone of Darth Plagueis. This would be a bit of a stretch, but Palpatine feels like the kind of guy that would clone the master he killed and leave him as a servant guarding a stash of weapons. They could build this idea of transferring consciousness from one body to another in the Acolyte. Additionally, it would make him saying that he saw both the rise and fall of the Empire. He would have even seen the High Republic.

It also makes Kylo Ren’s kill a bit more impressive.

Somehow Palps returns

While I assume Thrawn is not part of the First Order, it is plausible that he was part of the beginnings of the First Order. In Legends material, Thrawn has his own small Empire that is an extension of the Galactic Empire, but very much controlled by Thrawn. Since it is in the Unknown Regions, there is no reason to think it was ever controlled by the New Republic. You can also assume that it was a reasonable place for Thrawn to regroup there and try to rebuild the Galactic Empire. Assuming Starkiller Base was actually Illum, it would make a lot of sense, since that is very close to Chiss Space. It’s also where nobody else would be as most of the stories we’ve seen are on the other side of the galaxy.

From Wookieepedia

And if there was, in fact, a rift between Thrawn and the First Order, their sudden dominance would threaten his Empire. And much like in the original Legends books, he may know where there were a ton of ships to enhance an army. He would additionally know of the Emperor’s clone. Being the tactician he is, he could see the Emperor as his best way to control the First Order or destroy it, either result keeping his Empire safe. Making him the “somehow” in how Palpatine returns.

Palpatine’s clone being as manipulative as old Sheev himself, spins a tale of utter lies to try to pin Kylo Ren and Rey against one another while pulling Rey to the dark side. None of this has to be true at all since Palps is the greatest liar in all of Star Wars. With Thrawn figuratively and kind of literally pulling his strings.

Rey is nobody, but also a Skywalker

Now, if you’ve come this far, maybe you’ll come a bit further. The Chiss navigate the Chaos in the Unknown Regions using force sensitive Chiss children called Skywalkers. You saw the path to Exegol and the need for a wayfinder. But if Thrawn was there prior, how did he get there? And overall, how were they all getting around the Unknown Regions? Could they have been using force sensitive children? Would they have been using the same Chiss training that caused memory loss to keep you from missing your family? If so, there could not be enough Chiss children to serve both the Ascendency and the Empire of the Hand. So would it be other children? The story of Finn and Jannah feeling the force and having no idea where they’re from would make a little more sense. Rey being an escaped skywalker would return her to being nobody instead of Palp’s long lost grandchild and explain why her rescuers may have been killed. And it would even keep the title of the last film in tact.


Sure this is probably nuts and they’ll probably make some mentions of the Final Order in Kenobi to try to make it seem more reasonable. But hey, why not get a little crazy with this? Thrawn is a tremendous character. The Disney+ shows can insert the seeds for these stories into their plots and build out new reasons that these things happened, without changing the movies significantly. Mainly, you’ll only need to believe the Emperor’s clone was manipulating Rey and Ben.

And if you say, wouldn’t Thrawn be crazy old? Well, maybe that’s why they were getting samples of Grogu. Not because he’s force sensitive, but because he can live for like 900 years.


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