Star Wars: Here’s What Makes Thrawn So Powerful & Feared


When it comes to the Star Wars world, most of the many different antagonists that the heroes faced were powerful beings who could kill anyone at will. Of course, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader tend to stand out among the many different antagonists because they possess the power of the Force. But Grand Admiral Thrawn is different because he doesn’t have the seemingly omnipotent powers that Palpatine and Vader had. So, what makes Thrawn so powerful and feared?

Grand Admiral Thrawn is feared throughout the entire galaxy because of his ability to command. There has never been a mind greater than Thrawn’s when it comes to cooking up strategies and tactics and when it comes to reading what the enemy is going to do next. That is why he is the only one capable of uniting the Imperial remnants.

Ever since he was with the Chiss Ascendency, Thrawn was always built to command and conquer. He was built to have a unique and unique mind compared to other Imperial officers and warlords. That is exactly why he was one of the few people whom Palpatine included in his small circle of trust. Now, with that said, let’s look at what makes Thrawn so powerful and feared.

Thrawn’s mind is his most dangerous asset

The world of Star Wars has allowed us to see powerful antagonists that rely on the power of the Force, which is still the strongest entity in the entire galaxy. As such, evil beings that can use the dark side of the Force have terrorized the galaxy for thousands of years. Emperor Palpatine is one such person out of all the different threatening Force wielders who have caused destruction and chaos in the Star Wars galaxy.

But while that may be true, we have seen someone who could threaten the galaxy and the people of the New Republic with his presence. He doesn’t have to be powerful in the Force or ultra-gifted regarding his combat skills. Instead, all he has to do is to rely on his mind. We are talking about Grand Admiral Thrawn.

thrawn 3

Ever since he was introduced as a canon character in Star Wars, Thrawn became one of the most dangerous individuals. The thing is that he isn’t dangerous because of his power or his combat abilities. He is a trained individual who can defeat most fighters in single combat. But his mind always allowed him to excel as a military leader.

Obtaining the rank of Grand Admiral within the Imperial Navy rather quickly, Thrawn impressed Emperor Palpatine with his knowledge of the Unknown Regions of the galaxy and his ability to come up with quick solutions to different problems requiring tactical and strategic intelligence. 

In ‘Star Wars: Rebels,’ Thrawn outsmarted almost everyone he encountered. He did so by looking at all of the facts available to him and drawing conclusions related to whatever information was available. He used every single setback as a learning experience so that he could get closer and closer to finding out where the Rebels were hiding. He was even able to deduce that Agent Kallus was actually the spy of the Rebels even though Kallus tried his best to cover his tracks by pinning the blame on another Imperial officer.


‘Ahsoka’: Why & How Is There a Map That Leads to Thrawn?

Of course, his best asset as a strategist was his ability to put himself in the shoes of his enemies. Thrawn studied his enemies by trying to learn as much about them as possible. He doesn’t just study the personalities and habits of his enemies but also their cultural and family backgrounds to truly place himself in their shoes whenever he tries to predict what his enemies want to do next. 

That was how he was able to deduce that Hera, who was pretending to be a house servant, was actually a member of the Syndulla family as he saw her holding on to the Syndulla Kalikori, which is useless to other people but is priceless to the family that it belongs to.

Thrawn also appreciates the arts because he understands that a person’s art says a lot about them. He studies the art of the different cultures he encountered to learn more about how these people think and act. That was why he could also deduce that certain works of art belonged to Sabine Wren, who had her own specific style as an artist.

thrawn 2

In short, Thrawn’s way of doing things relies on deduction and logic. He can deduce and predict actions just by learning more about the situation and the people involved. And once he already has everything he needs to predict a certain action, he can easily come up with a counter-maneuver.

Is Thrawn more powerful than Vader?

While Darth Vader was undoubtedly the most feared man throughout the entire Imperial era, the thing about him was that he was feared because he was powerful and ruthless. He didn’t think twice about killing people, including his own men, as long as he needed or wanted to do so. And while Vader was also a good commander, he relied more on his ability to use the Force to come up with strategies.


Here’s Why Thrawn Was Exiled: Grand Admiral’s Rise Explained!

Ever since he was still Anakin Skywalker, Vader was known to be a good military commander who used unorthodox and risky tactics to win battles. He rarely lost battles because he was bold enough to risk it all. But the fact that he had the Force on his side allowed him to act in a risky manner. Ahsoka once told him that Anakin could survive despite using risky strategies, but that doesn’t mean that his men could also survive his own strategies.

When he became Vader, he had no qualms about being bold and risky because he no longer cared about the welfare of his men. This only made him even more dangerous as a military commander, as he could now act and command without even thinking twice about whether or not his men could come out unscathed.

On top of that, Vader relied more on the intuitive abilities provided by the Force. He could sense disturbances in the Force and use that feeling to determine his opponents’ next moves. This gave him an advantage as a military commander as he could easily develop strategies based on the disturbances he felt in the Force.

thrawn alliances

Meanwhile, Thrawn operates purely on logic and deduction. This is why Vader saw him as a valuable ally when they were forced to become reluctant partners in the events of ‘Thrawn: Alliances.’ Vader learned to respect Thrawn’s mind and could see why Palpatine trusted the Grand Admiral so much. 

How does Thrawn compare to other commanders?

We’ve seen our fair share of intelligent military commanders in the events of Star Wars. Some worked for the Republic or the Separatists during the Clone Wars, while others were more active during the Rebellion. But the thing about Thrawn is that he has always been a cut above all of the other commanders in Star Wars.

For instance, Grand Moff Tarkin was an intelligent and influential man who was able to get into Palpatine’s inner circle. But Tarkin’s reliability could be seen in how great he was at navigating through the political waters of the Empire to come out on top. He was just as ruthless as any other Imperial commander but was even more skilled at understanding how to use people as pieces that he could manipulate and use to his advantage. That was exactly how he was able to take command of the Death Star over Director Krennic, who was the man who oversaw its construction.


15 Best Quotes by Star Wars’ Grand Admiral Thrawn

Conversely, Thrawn is more of a true military leader than just a political leader. He doesn’t concern himself with the politics of the situation but is more concerned with the actions that he needs to take to ensure that he gets the results that he wants. He doesn’t dwell on trivial matters such as rivalries between him and the other upstart commanders in the Empire. Instead, he would rather focus his energy on getting the job done.

This is why Hera recognized Thrawn as someone who is not your ordinary Imperial warlord. There is something special about him that the other Imperial commanders don’t have. And that is why he is the biggest threat that the New Republic is set to face in the events of the ‘Ahsoka’ series.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments