- Both Thrawn and Ezra missed out on the Galactic Civil War between the Rebellion and Empire, setting the stage for the conflict rather than participating in it themselves.
- Ezra missed the rise of Luke Skywalker as a Jedi hero. He could have become a powerful ally and friend to Luke as he trained to become a Jedi.
- Thrawn’s absence during the fall of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader potentially prevented him from keeping the Empire together, maintaining a continuity of leadership in the face of the Rebellion’s growing strength as it became the New Republic.
Ahsoka’s Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger missed quite a lot during their shared exile from the Star Wars galaxy. As seen in the new live-action show, Thrawn and Ezra both escaped the extragalactic world of Peridea, finally making it back to the known galaxy far, far away. However, it’s likely both the hero and villain will need to get back up to speed on everything that happened while they were gone.
As seen in the finale of the Star Wars Rebels animated series, Jedi Knight Ezra Bridger sent both himself and Grand Admiral Thrawn into exile aboard the Star Destroyer known as The Chimaera, using a pod of star whales he’d bonded with to blindly jump through hyperspace which helped save Ezra’s homeworld of Lothal. Now, the new Ahsoka show not only confirms they were exiled to a completely different galaxy, but it also sees them finally returning home. To that end, here are some of the biggest events Thrawn and Ezra missed during their decade-long absence in the Star Wars timeline.
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The Galactic Civil War
Rebellion vs Empire
Both Ezra and Thrawn were exiled just before the Battle of Scarif, the official beginning of the Galactic Civil War between the Rebellion and Empire. Likewise, the Galactic Civil War officially ended with the Battle of Jakku in 5 BBY, about four to five years before Thrawn and Ezra’s return. Although Ezra was part of the emerging Rebel Alliance and Thrawn was tasked with hunting down Rebel cells for the Empire, each of them only served to set the stage for the Galactic Civil Wars, rather than participating in it themselves.
The Rise of Luke Skywalker
A New Hope
A critical hero during the Galactic Civil War, Ezra in particular missed out on the rise of Luke Skywalker who trained with both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda to become a Jedi, following in the footsteps of his father Anakin Skywalker whom Luke redeemed during Return of the Jedi. Had he been present during the original trilogy, Ezra and Luke would have likely become powerful allies and friends, allowing Luke to learn from another Jedi, especially during the interim between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when Luke was struggling to continue his Jedi path on his own.
Fall Of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader
A Fractured Empire
Return of the Jedi saw Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine’s demise aboard the second Death Star, which also met its end. This effectively fractured the Empire, giving the Rebellion the advantage to become the New Republic, eventually leading to the Battle of Jakku and the Empire’s surrender. Had Thrawn been there and in command of the Seventh Fleet, it follows that he perhaps could have kept the Empire united, maintaining a continuity of leadership in the face of the New Republic’s growing strength.
Palpatine’s Great Contingency
Thrawn might have been able to keep the Empire united in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor had he not been in exile. However, it’s hard to know if he would have followed through on Operation: Cinder, Palpatine’s final orders sent posthumously via messenger droids bearing his face. Carrying orders for a bombardment campaign across the galaxy, Palpatine wanted both his enemies and rivals within the Empire itself to suffer and face his final revenge. This resulted in worlds loyal to the Empire being targeted. As such, it’s unknown how Thrawn would have reacted to this dark campaign had he been present to receive orders from beyond the grave.
The Purge Of Mandalore
A Brutal Near-Genocide
The Purge of Mandalore was part of Operation: Cinder, resulting in the deaths of countless Mandalorians thanks to the Empire firebombing the world as revenge for their resistance to Palaptine’s rule. Also known as the Night of Thousand Tears, the few surviving Mandalorians were forced to flee their homeworld, scattering across the galaxy. Considering Ezra’s relationship with Sabine Wren and his history supporting Mandalore during Star Wars Rebels, it follows that he would have tried to help in some fashion.
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The Battle Of Jakku
Final Conflict Of The Galactic Civil War
The Battle of Jakku was the final confrontation of the Galactic Civil War. Not only did Ezra’s fellow Spectre Hera Syndulla play a major role in getting ground forces to the planet’s surface, but the Empire’s Grand Admiral Sloane saved both the New Republic and Imperial fleets from total annihilation, preventing Palpatine’s final contingency before fleeing to the Unknown Regions where she would become one of the First Order’s first leaders. As such, one can imagine that both Ezra and Thrawn would have been present during the key battle as well.
The Shaky Rise Of The New Republic
Challenges With the New Government
Despite the shattered Empire’s “surrender” after Jakku, the New Republic has been struggling to establish its new government across the galaxy while maintaining both security and freedom. Holdouts now known as the Imperial Remnant have been operating in secret in the Outer Rim and Unknown Regions, and The Mandalorian season 3 revealed that multiple warlords have created an Imperial Shadow Council, one that has been waiting for Thrawn’s return. As such, it’s expected that Thrawn will finally join this council which formed during his absence.
Liberation Of Mandalore
Bo-Katan Is Restarting Mandalorian Society
The Mandalorian season 3 also featured the Liberation of Mandalore. Having united Mandalorians across the galaxy while wielding the legendary Darksaber once more, Bo-Katan Kryze and Din Djarin led the charge against Moff Gideon and his Imperial Remnant forces who’d been using Mandalore as a secret base of operations. Now, the Mandalorian people have finally taken back their homeworld and begun rebuilding just ahead of Thrawn and Ezra’s return to the known Star Wars galaxy as seen in Ahsoka’s finale.
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