Grand Admiral Thrawn's Ahsoka Debut Explained: Which Episode Will He Show Up In?

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Thrawn Ahsoka Star Wars

Now that three episodes of Ahsoka were officially released on Disney+, many fans are wondering when Grand Admiral Thrawn will make his first appearance.

So far, Ahsoka got fans up to speed on certain characters' relationships between the ending of Star Wars Rebels and this point in the timeline.

Episodes 1-3 showcased how Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano and Natasha Liu Bordizzo's Sabine Wren were master and apprentice at some point in the past while also setting up how Morgan Elsbeth, Baylan Skoll, and Shin Hati will locate Thrawn in another galaxy.

However, the cunning villain still has yet to be shown on-screen, and it seems as though he may not be seen until later in the series.

Will Thrawn Appear in Episode 4 of Ahsoka?

Thrawn Rebels

There has been no indication as to when Thrawn will make his live-action debut.

At the end of Episode 3, Ahsoka and Sabine landed on the planet Seatos, and Morgan Elsbeth's hyperspace ring is still currently in construction, so she is not quite ready to blast off to another galaxy just yet.

Based on trailers that were released prior to Ahsoka's debut on Disney+, it looks as if Episode 4 will still be set in the Star Wars galaxy as well, as Ahsoka and Sabine still have some fighting to do before the second half of the show comes around.

For example, one teaser featured footage of a lightsaber duel between Ahsoka and Marrok in the forest of Seatos. At the same time, it also teased that Ahsoka and Baylan will cross blades on that same planet within the structure that Morgan used to activate the star map.

It is also important to note that Ahsoka actress Rosario Dawson let slip a minor spoiler that the battle will take place in Episode 4 and will also include Sabine in a rematch with Ivanna Sakhno's Shin Hati.

Since Dawson stated that these sequences will take place in Episode 4, it is highly unlikely (maybe even impossible) that Thrawn will make an appearance in the episode.

Morgan will also likely be finishing her hyperspace ring in that episode, so she wouldn't be ready to travel yet anyway.

When Will Thrawn Actually Make His Debut?

While it is extremely unlikely that Grand Admiral Thrawn will be featured in Episode 4 of Ahsoka, Episode 5 does seem more promising.

Most of the remaining unseen footage from the trailers seems as though it will make up those fights in Episode 4, leaving the rest of the series a mystery.

By the time Episode 5 rolls around, Ahsoka, Baylan, Shin, Sabine, and Marrok will likely have finished their duels on Seatos, and Morgan's hyperspace ring will probably be fully operational.

It is entirely possible that Morgan will finally be on her way to the location of Peridea (the extragalactic location of Thrawn) near the beginning of Episode 5, meaning that Thrawn may finally make his grand entrance at the end of the episode.

A shot from one of the teasers did feature Thrawn on the hyperspace ring, so fans can definitely expect him to be aboard the vessel at some point; it may be as soon as Episode 5.

Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn in Ahsoka

Another shot even showcased the Grand Admiral once again in a location with a dark background (it is possible, though, that that shot could also be on the hyperspace ring).

Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn in Ahsoka

It is also important to note that Dave Filoni will be directing Episode 5, and seeing as how he played such a large role in bringing Thrawn to TV screens for the first time in Star Wars Rebels, it would make sense for him to be the director behind the character's first appearance in live-action.

Could Thrawn Show Up Later in Ahsoka?

Thrawn will most likely be featured for the first time at the end of Episode 5 of Ahsoka, but it is possible that his debut could be delayed.

Traveling to another galaxy is something that has never happened in Star Wars canon, so Morgan could very well face some troubles on her journey that will ultimately delay her reunion with Thrawn.

Also, Thrawn is such an important and mysterious villain that Filoni may want to save him for the end of the season, especially if he will make a huge impact on the story as a whole.

If Disney and Lucasfilm are planning a second season of Ahsoka, it may serve the overall narrative better to reveal him in either Episode 7 or even Episode 8, setting him up as the true main antagonist for Season 2 and beyond.

Since there are already so many villains in Season 1 (Baylan, Shin, Morgan, and Marrok), Thrawn's introduction might feel a little overwhelming if all of those characters are there alongside him.

What Will Thrawn's Role in Ahsoka Be?

When Thrawn does inevitably show up, his presence will be felt in a major way. 

It seemed like Ahsoka was deeming him the heir to the Empire in trailer footage, so that is a big title in and of itself.

If Thrawn does come into the fold by the end of Episode 5, he will pose a threat to all of the antagonists in Ahsoka.

Since Ahsoka, Sabine, and Hera are trying to find Ezra, and Ezra is more than likely on the same planet as Thrawn, there could definitely be a Star Wars Rebels-style showdown between the heroes and the villains in Episode 8.

However, due to Thrawn's intelligence and the likelihood that he will be the main antagonist for the rest of the MandoVerse, he may even be successful in stopping them at the end of the season, leaving them stranded in the other galaxy while he and Morgan return to the Star Wars galaxy.

The first three episodes of Ahsoka are available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes released every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET.

- In This Article: Ahsoka
Release Date
August 22, 2023
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Natasha Liu Bordizzo
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.