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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...

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