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Grand Admiral Thrawn (full name: Mitth'raw'nuruodo) is a fictional character and major antagonist from the Star Wars galaxy. He first appeared in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy, published between 1992 and 1994. In these books, set five years after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Thrawn has assumed command of the remaining Imperial forces and is planning to invade the New Republic because he believes the Galactic Empire was more suited to defend the galaxy from the Yuuzhan Vong. He has subsequently appeared in numerous other Expanded Universe works, including five more novels by Zahn. Thrawn was his "core" name, reminiscent of the English word "thrawn", meaning "twisted or crooked", an apt description of his intricate schemes; his full name was only known to a few select individuals of the Empire and the New Republic. Among the Chiss race however, using the core name would imply a certain familiarity while using his full name would show the proper respect. Although Thrawn is portrayed as a villain in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn series, he is actually against the unnecessary loss of life and loves art.
Thrawn was a Chiss, a species of aliens from the Unknown Regions. He was a brilliant military strategist and commanded the remnants of the Imperial Fleet in a series of stunning victories against the New Republic. His study of his enemies' art gave him insight into their thought processes and cultures, allowing him to create highly effective tailor-made strategies.
Grand Admiral Thrawn is described as a tall, solidly built humanoid with blue skin and glowing red eyes. Because of the Empire's prejudice against non-humans, he was the only non-human to reach the Imperial Navy's highest rank – that of Grand Admiral. Not surprisingly, Thrawn's promotion was long kept secret by Emperor Palpatine, and as late as five years after the Battle of Endor the New Republic appeared to be entirely unaware of his identity, or even his existence. He was also the last Grand Admiral promoted by the Emperor; he earned the rank because of his instrumental role in stopping Grand Admiral Zaarin's attempted coup, receiving the late Zaarin's rank and position as a reward. As a Grand Admiral, he wore the white uniform befitting his rank. This is distinguished from the standard charcoal grey or olive colored uniforms that Imperial officers wore, as shown in the classic Star Wars trilogy.
Thrawn rose to the rank of Commander in the Chiss Expansionary Fleet. He became convinced that the Chiss were facing a threat from an unknown but powerful foe and also from a nomadic race of slavers, known as the Vagaari. Aware of the risk posed by fighting a war on two fronts he decided that it was necessary to launch a pre-emptive strike to destroy the Vagaari. Thrawn largely went against the Chiss rule of non-aggression, repeatedly baiting his enemies to commit an act of aggression against the forces under his command, but colluded with Admiral Ar'alani (who had commanded the task force that fought off an initial incursion from the Far Outsiders) to eliminate the Vagaari to prevent a two front war. Thrawn also ended up capturing a trio of smugglers, among them Jorj Car'das. His curiosity piqued, Thrawn kept them around in order to learn more about them, their culture and their language.
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