Although Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano and Natasha Liu Bordizzo's Sabine Wren went toe-to-toe with multiple villains (Ray Stevenson's Baylan Skoll and Ivanna Sakhno's Shin Hati, for example) in Season 1 of Ahsoka, Lars Mikkelsen's Grand Admiral Thrawn turned out to be the main antagonist.
Some reports and rumors stated that Disney and Lucasfilm could be looking ahead at developing a Season 2 of Ahsoka, which would undoubtedly flesh out characters such as Thrawn. This is all while fans wait for Dave Filoni's culminating MandoVerse movie that could feature the Grand Admiral as the main villain.
Timothy Zahn on What's Next for Grand Admiral Thrawn
Grand Admiral Thrawn creator and Star Wars author Timothy Zahn was in attendance at Twin Cities Con 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to talk about the canon live-action adaptation of the cunning mastermind.
As shared on X (formerly Twitter) by Star Wars News Net's Nate Manning, Zahn specifically stated that Thrawn will hit "his stride" during "the second series of Ahsoka." However, seeing as how Season 2 hasn't been confirmed yet, Zahn quickly added that he "assumes" a Season 2 will be on the way:
"[Thrawn] is going to [hit] his stride in the second series of 'Ahsoka.' We assume there's going to be a second series."
The Star Wars author then revealed that Lucasfilm keeps him in the dark regarding upcoming projects and that he wasn't even allowed to see the official script for Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels, which was the specific project that first introduced Thrawn into the canon.
Since Thrawn had only been in the Expanded Universe (now Star Wars Legends) for so long, Zahn admitted that finally seeing him in Rebels and knowing that the character was canon was a lot like "watching your kid get on the bus on the first [day] of school:"
"I will admit there's a certain amount of watching your kid get on the bus on the first of school."
However, Zahn also revealed what Thrawn's likely overall goal will be during Ahsoka Season 2 and the New Republic era, which is to figure out what will benefit the Chiss the most.
The author stated that Thrawn likely feels as though the New Republic can't offer the Chiss any help, so his ultimate goal is to resurrect the Empire in hopes that he can help his people.
Where Will Thrawn Appear Next?
Now that Grand Admiral Thrawn is back in the Star Wars galaxy, the most likely place for him to show up next is either Ahsoka Season 2, The Mandalorian Season 4, or some other sort of new spin-off show that would revolve around Hera, Ezra, and the New Republic.
Thrawn has been teased as the main villain for Dave Filoni's upcoming MandoVerse movie, but there still seems to be a lot of ground to cover in-universe before a culminating event like that movie can take place.
Ahsoka and Sabine are still trapped on Peridea, so if there is a second season of that show in the works, it will likely have to feature those two characters getting back to the Star Wars galaxy just as Thrawn did at the end of Season 1.
The Mandalorian is still the flagship Star Wars series at Disney+, so any major upcoming moments that could affect the entire MandoVerse will probably happen in Season 4, which could directly set up Filoni's movie.
That being said, if Thrawn is going to make his presence known in the galaxy, it seems as though it would make the most sense to happen in The Mandalorian Season 4.
Season 2 of Ahsoka has yet to be announced.