With Ahsoka heralding the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), the Star Wars galaxy is about to encounter its biggest threat since Palpatine. Given that the Disney+ series is sandwiched between the original Star Wars trilogy and its sequels, it’s safe to say Thrawn will be defeated within the next few years. But that doesn’t mean he can’t inflict some damage in the interim.
Thrawn’s well-known as a masterful tactician, but his skills aren’t limited to traditional warfare. He’s also great at getting in his opponent’s head, as we saw in his cat-and-mouse game with Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). Because Thrawn knew Ahsoka’s Jedi Master, he could deduce her strategy and defeat her. His experiences with Anakin Skywalker will come in handy as he works to reconquer the galaxy in the Empire’s name, and according to a new fan theory, he could also pose an immediate threat to two of the New Republic’s biggest heroes.
As Redditor darkness0910 pointed out, Thrawn’s biggest obstacle is a galaxy united in its hatred of the Empire. It’s true that Imperial sympathizers are still running around at high levels of the new regime, while the Imperial remnant works to reestablish its influence in the Outer Rim. But most galactic citizens know that Emperor Palpatine was a bad guy. So was his enforcer, Darth Vader. While both are long gone (for now), Vader’s children, Luke and Leia, are still active figures in the galaxy. It shouldn’t take long for Thrawn to complete the Skywalker family tree. Once he does, he could reveal the truth of Luke and Leia’s lineage, thus undermining the trust and peace they’ve worked hard to establish.
As intriguing as this theory is, there are a few obstacles to seeing it made real. It would retcon the events of Bloodline, a canon novel set a few years before The Force Awakens. In it, Leia is still an active member of the New Republic Senate, and her relationship to Vader is a well-kept secret. When a political rival reveals the truth of her ancestry, she’s forced to resign, but that freedom allows her to gather forces for the Resistance just in time to face off against the First Order.
Bloodline is one of the best Star Wars novels still in canon, and it would be a shame to see its significance diminished. That said, it wouldn’t be the first time that a Star Wars novel had been undermined by a new series. Tales of the Jedi recently tweaked the events of E.K. Johnston’s Ahsoka novel, while The Bad Batch made a big change to Kanan Jarrus’ experience with the Jedi Purge. But a retcon of Bloodline would be the biggest the franchise has ever attempted, and even if the Lucasfilm team did want to go that route, they’d still have to walk back one of their most controversial decisions.
If Thrawn does eventually choose to target Luke and Leia, they’d need to be way more prominent in Star Wars’ developing Mandoverse. Thanks to a few deepfaked cameos and some tedious namedrops, we know Luke and Leia are still around. But Lucasfilm’s fear of recasting their roles has kept them on the sidelines, and the studio’s stance doesn’t seem set to change any time soon. That means the Skywalkers will likely be safe from Thrawn’s reach for now. But even if this theory is flawed, it has the right idea: the Skywalkers should get the chance to face off with the Grand Admiral. His return poses a massive threat to the galaxy, and it would be bizarre for Luke and Leia not to be involved in efforts to thwart him. Let the past go and recast. Luke would be proud.