But even though the Grand Admiral won this round with his trademark calculating brilliance, he also exposed a weakness that Ahsoka isn't likely to forget.
Ahsoka Teased Thrawn's Major Weakness
Toward the end of Ahsoka's finale and on the verge of Thrawn leaving Peridea, the Grand Admiral seemingly can't help but provoke Ahsoka, showcasing a surprisingly petty side of the formidable Chiss.
Before jumping to hyperspace, Thrawn tells Ahsoka he correctly predicted her plan because she's just like her master, Anakin Skywalker, and questions exactly what she's feared throughout the season, saying, "One wonders just how similar you might become:"
"I know you because I knew your master. I concluded your strategies would be similar. One wonders just how similar you might become. Perhaps this is where a ronin such as you belongs. Today victory is mine. Long live the Empire."
After flaunting his victory and the Empire's revival, Thrawn can't help but give a smug smile before leaving Ahsoka and Sabine in his ship's wake.
From a story perspective, Thrawn teasing Ahsoka about her darkest fear - which is becoming like Anakin - showcases her arc and that she's come to terms with the past throughout the season.
But in highlighting her former weakness, Thrawn also showed his own: pettiness.
Thrawn had already won before giving his speech; and to his thinking, Ahsoka was no longer a threat.
His decision to deliver a personal dig along with the obvious "Today victory is mine" suggests the Thrawn who's been living with his defeat since Star Wars Rebels was left smaller and more insecure for it.
Still, Episode 8 of Ahsoka wasn't the first time Thrawn's new petty attitude, particularly towards Jedi, was on display.
For one, at that time, Ezra posed no threat as Thrawn didn't know if he was alive or dead. Plus, Thrawn and the Nightsisters were going to leave him on Peridea anyway.
Secondly, in the past, Thrawn knew an asset when he saw it and kept the enemies of his enemies close. He probably would've been interested in discovering Baylan's own interest in Peridea as well.
While sending Baylan on an unnecessary errand works to Thrawn's benefit when Ahsoka arrives, it still suggests that his bitterness and revenge, not strategy, is why he's so quick to discard the Jedi-turned-mercenary and kill exiled Ezra.
A Different Thrawn for the MandoVerse?
Even though Ahsoka's Thrawn appears more spiteful than he was in Star Wars Rebels, that's not to say he isn't still a formidable villain or a brilliant tactician.
Rest assured, the MandoVerse has a major problem on their hands, but it wouldn't make sense for Thrawn to be the same after suffering defeat and spending a decade in exile.
He needs to be different, and he needs to be angry; and in some ways, Thrawn having a Jedi vendetta makes him all the more formidable.
Still, while it's terrifying, it is a weakness and could be a Dave Filoni hint at how the MandoVerse characters could defeat Thrawn.
In fact, in a way, it already has.
While Thrawn taunts Ahsoka, Ezra is stowed aboard his ship unbeknownst to him. And, even his insult of "Perhaps this is where a ronin such as you belongs" turns out to be true but for completely different reasons.
Whether Thrawn becomes more like his old self in light of his finale victory - or more insecure and vengeful - will be interesting to see as Lucasfilm's MandoVerse story continues to unfold.
All episodes of Ahsoka are streaming now on Disney+.