There is no doubt that Ezra Bridger’s plan of defeating the Imperials worked when he banished Grand Admiral Thrawn from the known galaxy so that he could save his friends from his wrath. But we also know that Morgan Elsbeth and her faction successfully got to Peridea, where they found Thrawn in exile. Thrawn, of course, was eager to return to the known galaxy so that he could lead the Imperial remnants against the New Republic years after the fall of the Empire. So, how long was Thrawn in exile?
Grand Admiral Thrawn was likely in exile for at least ten years. He and Ezra were banished from the known galaxy by the Purrgil in 1 BBY. The events of ‘Ahsoka’ likely occur in 9 ABY, meaning that ten years have passed since the disappearance of Thrawn and Ezra.
The disappearance of Thrawn was one of the biggest blows to the Empire during the Rebellion because he was arguably the best Grand Admiral in the entire galaxy due to his astute and calculating mind. In that regard, ten years without his leadership and strategic brilliance affected the chances of the Empire against the Rebels. But now he is looking to take his place as heir to the Empire. So, let’s look at how long he was away from the known galaxy.
How many years have passed since Thrawn’s exile?
Back in the events of ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ and even in the storyline of the Thrawn Trilogy books during the time of the Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn was the biggest threat that the Rebels saw from the Empire other than Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. His amazingly astute mind and next-level deduction skills made him the most dangerous military commander. Of course, he was a thorn in the side of the Spectres and the other Rebels during the earlier part of the Rebellion.
While Thrawn was successful at cornering the Rebels many times during the Rebellion, Ezra Bridger and the Spectres already had enough. They decided to liberate Lothal while Thrawn was still away on a different mission. While they were able to establish the groundwork for the liberation of Lothal, the Rebels nearly failed when Thrawn returned and threatened to bombard the entire planet with the Chimaera.
Both Thrawn and Ezra were absent during the meat of the Rebellion period, especially after the events of the Battle of Yavin, which is largely seen as the most important victory that the Rebels had against the Empire.
Both the Empire and the Rebels likely spent years scouring the entire galaxy searching for Thrawn and Ezra, only for them to fail. And it was after Morgan Elsbeth made contact with the Great Mothers of Peridea, she concluded that the Purrgil had banished Thrawn to another galaxy.
Thrawn, of course, has been in Peridea since Ezra, and the Purrgil exiled him from the known galaxy. The final events of the ‘Rebels’ series happened on 1 BBY, which is only around a year before the Battle of Yavin. Since the events of the Battle of Yavin, four years went by until the Rebels finally defeated the Empire on 4 ABY. That means that five years have passed since Thrawn’s disappearance and the fall of the Empire.
The problem, however, is that it is yet to mention specifically what year the ‘Ahsoka’ series takes place. Some sources say it happens concurrently with ‘The Mandalorian’ season 3, while others claim it happens afterward. Whatever the case may be, we know that season 1 of ‘The Mandalorian’ takes place on 9 ABY, and it is possible that only a few months have passed between the series’ first season and the events of season 3.
So, if that’s the case, there’s a good chance that the ‘Ahsoka’ series takes place during the latter portion of 9 ABY or maybe even a year or two later. That means there’s a good chance that Thrawn was in exile for at least ten years, given that he disappeared on 1 BBY and reappeared once more on 9 ABY. An entire decade went by since he was banished to the wasteland world of Peridea, meaning that it has been a long time since he was exiled there.
How old is Thrawn in canon?
Grand Admiral Thrawn was born on 59 BBY in his homeworld of Rentor, which is located in the Unknown Regions as part of the Chis Ascendency’s system of worlds. That means he was already around 58 when he disappeared on 1 BBY. This means that he is already at least 68 in the ‘Ahsoka’ events when Morgan Elsbeth’s faction found him on Peridea.
That means that Thrawn is already an old man as he is nearly 70 years old. Of course, while we’ve seen a lot of characters who were still spry at the age of 70, especially if they are Force wielders, Thrawn doesn’t have the power of the Force on his side. We also know that the average life expectancy of the Chiss is around 80 years old, which is the same as the lifespan of humans.
So, at the age of 68, Thrawn isn’t getting any younger. That is the reason why he looks quite old in ‘Ahsoka’ compared to when we saw his animated version in ‘Rebels.’
While Thrawn is known to value the importance of physical fitness and health, there is only so much he can do with his limited resources while exiled on a barren and harsh wasteland for ten years. That’s why he probably isn’t as spry as he was back in ‘Rebels,’ where he could take on Imperial DT-sentry droids all on his own.
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