Star Wars Theory Reveals How an Iconic Sith Frenemy Could Return Again
Ahsoka is pulling inspiration from old canon. Why not bring back an old friend?
Of all the big name drops in the Ahsoka trailer, the biggest wasn’t the name of a character, but of a book. Ahsoka is set to face off against her old foe, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and in the trailer she calls him the “Heir to the Empire,” the title of Timothy Zahn’s iconic Star Wars novel.
This has led fans to wonder just how closely Ahsoka will follow Thrawn’s original introduction. The now non-canonical book’s plot has some eerie similarities to the current canon, and that could mean the reintroduction of one of the most notorious baddies in Star Wars.
Redditor Impossible_Storage suggests that Ahsoka will revive Heir to the Empire’s cloning storyline. The book introduced a mad cloned Jedi named Joruus C’baoth, who serves as a henchman for Thrawn throughout the story.
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Their theory suggests that instead of cloning a Jedi, Thrawn will instead clone a Sith: Darth Maul. Yes, Maul is dead, but in a recent canon comic, Palpatine captured him and could ostensibly use his DNA for cloning, much like Dr. Pershing was attempting to do with Grogu. This Maul would be completely separate from the Maul we saw throughout Clone Wars and Rebels. He wouldn’t be redeemed at all, just a lunatic.
This theory makes sense given the current canon. First, cloning is all the rage now. Though it was seemingly perfected in the prequels, cloning someone Force-sensitive like Palpatine is canonically very difficult. The Rise of Skywalker novelization told us that any Force-sensitive clones ended up defective, whether in their Force powers, like Rey’s dad, or with physical deformities, like the Palpatine clone we saw in the movie. This theory suggests mental deformities and outright insanity would be a possibility too.
It also makes sense when we consider Ahsoka’s place in the timeline. Earlier this week, Star Wars bigshot Dave Filoni was asked by Entertainment Weekly if Ahsoka would serve as Season 5 of Rebels, prompting him to respond, “I suppose that’s one way of looking at it, because of the epilogue that I did in Rebels. Definitely all signs are indicating that there’s a continuation.” Rebels famously went out of its way to redeem Maul, so introducing a new version of him would be a creative way to continue that story despite Maul being long dead.
This theory would accomplish exactly what Filoni is attempting to do with Ahsoka: tie together his love for Heir to the Empire, the story of Rebels, and the elements of the “Mando-verse” he’s set to conclude in an upcoming movie. Maul may have “died” twice now, but he could come back one last time to smooth out the transition between three very different eras of Star Wars canon.
Ahsoka premieres on Disney+ in August 2023.