Everybody knows Imperial Grand Admiral Thrawn loves collecting art, but the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels also establishes that he is a huge fan of the fallen Clone Trooper who got his head cut off by Yoda’s lightsaber.
The latest episode of Rebels, “Through Imperial Eyes,” provides a first for Star Wars: a story almost entirely from the Imperial perspective. Because Agent Kallus is a spy for the Rebellion, the actions Grand Admiral Thrawn will take to deal with Kallus’s treachery takes center stage in this episode. And along the way, the quarters of Grand Admiral Thrawn are glimpsed in greater detail than ever before. It’s here where Thrawn’s interest in a victim of Yoda-murder comes up. Among Thrawn’s various possessions is a helmet belonging to the Clone Trooper named Commander Gree, a Clone Trooper who tried to kill Yoda during Order 66 and got decapitated by a lightsaber.
Though the helmet was originally going to be blank, the artist on Rebels decided to do something more exciting. “Why don’t we something that will make some people obsess on it,” said art director Kilian Plunkett on the behind-the-scenes YouTube series Rebels Recon. “So we turned it into Gree’s helmet … we’re not saying 100% it’s definitely Gree’s helmet, but I’ve only ever seen that paint scheme on one helmet.”
It’s a weird shout-out to the Star Wars prequels to be sure. Interestingly, it’s also one of the more recent references to Yoda in the Star Wars cartoons. The last time Yoda appeared in canon was in flashbacks in Obi-Wan’s diary in the Marvel comics. Before that, Yoda was basically the star of the last season of The Clone Wars. Does Gree’s helmet signal a glimpse of Yoda in Rebels? It seems unlikely at this point, but then again, nobody really went into Season 3 expecting Obi-Wan to actually appear either.
Star Wars Rebels has four episodes left in its third season. It airs on Saturdays on Disney XD.