Star Wars: Squadrons looks like a very exciting game that promises epic space dogfights, familiar faces, and an intense campaign that will explore both the Rebels and The Empire. But could there be more to it?
It’s very rare that I do strongly opinionated pieces. Actually I’d be more inclined to call it theorizing. However, as I watched the trailer for the upcoming game an idea sprung to my mind. An idea that could change the game completely. So, I wanted to share my thoughts with my fellow Star Wars fans. Bare with me… and promise not to laugh, okay?
Right… what if Grand Admiral Thrawn is the central villain of this game? It is highly unlikely. However, after giving it some thought… it could actually work really well. To fully appreciate this crazy idea, we need to go way back. Way way back to the books written by Timothy Zahn. The wonderfully written Thrawn trilogy consists of:
- Heir to the Empire– 1991
- Dark Force Rising– 1992
- The Last Command– 1993
For this, we need to focus on the last two installments- Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. The brilliant and cunning Grand Admiral Thrawn is on a quest to find the long lost Katana Fleet. The epic fleet consisted of 200 Dreadnaught-class heavy cruisers which were constructed years before the Clone Wars. A hive virus infected one of the crew members and it soon consumed everyone on those Dreadnaughts. This particular virus drove the host mad before killing them. Descending into madness, the crew blindly jumped into hyperspace and the entire fleet was lost. Thrawn was able to escape with roughly 180 of those ships before the Republic arrived.
So why is this important? Well both Thrawn’s story and Squadrons take place after the fall of the Empire- post Battle of Endor. After Palpatine’s death, the Empire didn’t just fall in one fell swoop. The Empire consumed much of the galaxy and the game and trilogy deal with facing what is left of the Empire.
Imagine having to face Thrawn and his Katana Fleet as the Empire make one last push for dominance. The Katana Fleet could act as the final mission and we could finally see Thrawn in a brand new light.
Now, here are the problems with this dream. Thrawn’s trilogy takes place outside what is considered canon. Thrawn has of course been included in the new canon thanks to Star Wars: Rebels and various books and comics. But the Katana Fleet has been left out, I believe, and Thrawn’s fate is currently unknown. If you have watched Rebels, you’ll know that Thrawn and Ezra disappeared before the destruction of the first Death Star. Coincidentally, they both vanished after going into hyperspace. Since then, we haven’t heard anything about Thrawn or Ezra.
Wait… didn’t Hera Syndulla appear in the Squadrons trailer? Interesting.
Thinking about the ending of Rebels, they could still adapt the story of the Katana Fleet, it would just need to be handled with care. Thrawn has vanished into hyperspace and has reemerged with a brand new fleet. That could work and it could work very well. However, there are some potential issues with this. First, it could potentially derail any plans they have for Thrawn in the future. It raises many questions about Thrawn’s disappearance. But more importantly, it raises questions about Ezra’s fate. As well as that, would they implement a very big story twist that could have drastic ramifications elsewhere into a video game.
My thoughts are no. However, having said that, the campaign for Battlefront 2 did something very similar. Luke Skywalker picks up a compass from the Emperor’s observatory and that same compass appears in The Last Jedi. Could it be that the compass led him to Ahch-To? It’s not a massive revelation like Thrawn’s survival, but it proves that games can still impact the canon to some degree.
So, lets recap. How could Thrawn appear in Star Wars: Squadrons? Thrawn could be pulling the strings of the Empire as they try to recover from losing the Emperor. After being lost in hyperspace for some time he returns with the Katana Fleet and finds the Empire in ruins. He launches a massive assault on the Republic and that’s the game. Since Thrawn is a character that resides mostly in a Star Destroyer (The Chimaera) his presence in the game would make absolute sense.
What about the canon? That’s the great thing about Star Wars, there are multiple channels that can be explored. Thrawn could escape at the end of the game and his fate is once again left unknown. However, it could tease what is next. Then at that stage, Star Wars are free to explore Thrawn and Ezra’s disappearance and the outcome of their reappearance- hopefully in a new animated series.
It’s that easy. Well, it’s not but you know what I mean. Do I think this will happen? I really doubt it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it could actually work. The other thing to note is that I am a massive Thrawn fan. If you are unsure of who he is then I really suggest reading Zahn’s work on Mitth’raw’nuruodo. He is a brilliant character that deserves another moment in the spotlight and it saddens me that nothing has been done with him, except prequel stories, since his disappearance. To me, this game is a perfect opportunity to explore Thrawn. He was a strategist that specialized in aerial warfare. Star Wars: Squadrons is Thrawn’s game.
In addition to being the perfect opportunity to bring Thrawn back, fans have been dying to see what has become of both Thrawn and Ezra. It has been over 2 years since they vanished into hyperspace and we’ve had nothing. Many fans refuse to believe that they have simply been abandoned. They both has a story to tell and they certainly have a future in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars: Squadrons could be a step in the correct direction.
This is just a theory and a fool’s hope (which is also the name of a Star Wars: Rebels episode). I have no proof to support my idea, I just think that it would be great. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. You can read more about Star Wars: Squadrons here.