Warning: This article contains spoilers for Ahsoka Episode 6.
Six episodes in, Ahsoka finally given Heir to the Empire Enthusiasts will find out what they’ve been waiting for with the unveiling of the live-action debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn, with Lars Mikkelsen reprising his role Star Wars Rebels. As heavily teased throughout the season, Thrawn is trapped in the other galaxy and is now ready to return home to wage war against the New Republic and revive the Empire.
But first he must overcome the remnants of the rebels who defeated him last time, including Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren and Ahsoka Tano. It is revealed that Thrawn fears Ahsoka above all else and instructs his loyal Nightsister ally Morgan Elsbeth to find out everything she can about the former Jedi. “I want to know their background, their history, their homeworld, their master, everything,” he orders.
Yes, there is something in that sentence that is guaranteed to make a difference war of stars The fans’ ears prick up like Yoda’s. Wait, Thrawn doesn’t know that Ahsoka was trained by Anakin Skywalker? Does this mean he doesn’t know that his old Imperial buddy Darth Vader was actually the Jedi’s one-time Chosen One? Let’s see what Canon has to say about this…
Grand Admiral Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker have a surprising history
Long story short: Thrawn absolutely knows that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are one and the same. The novel reveals the beginnings of their unusual friendship Thrawn: Alliancesby the character’s original creator, author Timothy Zahn. Alliances explains that Thrawn first met Anakin long before he became a member of the Empire, in the later days of the Clone Wars.
When Thrawn was sent by his people, the Chiss Ascendancy, to search for allies who could help him fight an impending war with his enemies, the Grysk, Anakin searched for his missing wife, Padme Amidala. This historic encounter marked the first meeting in space near the planet Batuu and the very first time anyone from the Republic encountered a Chiss, or vice versa. While Anakin taught Thrawn about the Republic and the Clone Wars, Thrawn helped him rescue Padme. When the mission was completed, the two went their separate ways, but it was this fateful alliance that planted the seed in Thrawn’s mind that one day led him to leave the Chiss and join the Empire.
When he defected to the Empire, Thrawn was initially saddened to hear of the destruction of the Jedi, as his old friend Anakin was believed to have fallen among them. However, when Emperor Palpatine brings him together with Vader for a mission that takes them back to Batuu, Thrawn quickly discovers who is really behind the Sith Lord’s mask. His respect and partnership for Vader helped Thrawn impress Palpatine and contributed greatly to his rise in the Imperial ranks.
But if Thrawn knows that Anakin is Vader, why doesn’t he know that Ahsoka is Anakin’s apprentice? Simply put, because the two have never met. Yes, as surprising as it may be, the paths of these two extremely important figures in the fight between good and evil in the galaxy have not yet crossed, at least until the later episodes of Ahsoka. While Thrawn isn’t typically one to overlook important vital information like a connection between his newfound enemy and his old ally, in this case he can be forgiven for being slow to learn.