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Grand Admiral Thrawn officially joins the Star Wars canon in Star Wars Rebels season three

In the years following Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi, the Star Wars expanded universe was born, sprawling numerous novels and charting the next 30 years after the defeat of the Emperor. But when Disney bought Lucasfilm all that disappeared from the Star Wars canon. While this fresh slate led to the critically well received Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it also meant that some iconic characters disappeared from the Star Wars universe.

Of all the characters fans mourned, two of the most popular appeared in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy which kickstarted the expanded universe; Mara Jade, the Emperor's apprentice turned Jedi Knight and wife to Luke Skywalker and the blue-skinned, ruthless Grand Admiral Thrawn who attempted to take control of the remnants of the Empire five years after Palpatine's death. Now Disney have confirmed that Thrawn will be appearing in the third season of Star Wars Rebels, making him officially part of the new Star Wars canon.

The voice behind Grand Admiral Thrawn is Lars Mikkelson, no stranger to playing TV villains after his roles as Charles Magnussen in the third series of Sherlock and recurring Russian President Viktor Petrov in House Of Cards. You can get a first glimpse of Thrawn in the exciting new trailer for Star Wars Rebels below...

Not only that, but Timothy Zahn will be returning to reintroduce his iconic Star Wars villain in a new novel Thrawn in 2017...

Star Wars

Star Wars is a science fiction film series created by George Lucas. It debuted in 1977 and the first film was quickly retitled to Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. It was followed by two sequels - The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. A trilogy of prequel films were launched in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In 2015 Star Wars returned to the screens for a new trilogy under the control of Disney with The Force Awakens directed by J J Abrams. This was follows in the main Star Wars saga by Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi with the final film of the sequel trilogy, Episode IX, due in cinemas in December 2019 with J J Abrams back at the helm,A series of spin-offs were launched in 2016 with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One, which was followed in 2018 by Ron Howard's Solo and a fourth trilogy of films has been announced for release after 2020 which will be overseen by Rian Johnson which will feature entirely new characters and an entirely separate story.In addition, there are the animated TV series The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels along with Star Wars Resistance which starts in late 2018 and finally a new live action series currently being developed by Jon Favreau set some time after the events of Return of the Jedi.

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