The first official teaser trailer for Ahsoka coming to Disney+ offered a first look at Thrawn in live-action.
Anticipation has been high for the live-action reveal of the Star Wars Rebels antagonist ever since Rosario Dawson made her debut as Ahsoka Tano in Season 2 of The Mandalorian.
Now, more than two years after Ahsoka first inquired about the fan-favorite villain, Star Wars finally gave fans a preview of the Grand Admiral.
Ahsoka's Live-Action Thrawn Revealed
At Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm released a teaser for Ahsoka which featured the first live-action look at Grand Admiral Thrawn.
In the trailer, Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka mentions the Star Wars Rebels villain by name, saying, "I started hearing whispers... about Thrawn's return... as heir to the Empire."
Actor Lars Mikkelsen, who voiced the character in Rebels, has been rumored to play the blue-skinned, red-eyed Imperial Chiss in the upcoming series.
But since the footage only showed the antagonist from behind, it seems Lucasfilm is intent on keeping any official confirmation of its Thrawn star under wraps.
The Grand Admiral was seen at the conclusion of Star Wars Rebels where Purrgil took himself and young Jedi Ezra Bridger into hyperspace. But at the time of Ahsoka, he's rumored to be in the Unknown Regions.
Is Dave Filoni Adapting Thrawn's Original Story for Ahsoka?
Even though Thrawn remains a mystery heading into Ahsoka, there's still plenty to unpack about this anticipated antagonist.
First of all, Ahsoka's quote about his return as "heir to the Empire" echoes the title of the 1991 Timothy Zahn novel, Heir to the Empire, where Thrawn was first introduced.
While Zahn's novels are considered Star Wars Legends material and non-canon, it's worth noting that Heir to the Empire takes place five years after Return of the Jedi, which is the same time period as The Mandalorian.
The novel explored how Thrawn took over the defeated Imperial fleet and is now set on taking down the New Republic.
Since Ahsoka's trailer shows Thrawn in uniform and on a ship's bridge, it's possible that a similar trajectory is exactly what showrunner Dave Filoni has in store.
Another villain highlighted in the new trailer is Morgan Elsbeth, the same female antagonist Ahsoka battled in The Mandalorian and who she questioned about Thrawn's whereabouts.
Given Elsbeth's presence in the series, it looks like she too will be key in Ahsoka and the Rebels crew locating Thrawn and live-action Ezra Bridger.
Fans should expect to learn more about Thrawn's role in Ahsoka leading up to the series debut.
Ahsoka debuts on Disney+ in August 2023.