New Star Wars Comic Could Fix a Huge Ahsoka Plot Hole
Why are you playing dumb, Thrawn?
Every mention of Grand Admiral Thrawn in the modern Star Wars canon has been shrouded in mystique and reverence. From the first mention of him in The Mandalorian to his debut in Ahsoka, his return has been lauded and analyzed in tremendous detail. However, there’s much more to his character than his time in Ahsoka. There are his Rebels appearances and Timothy Zahn’s now non-canonical Heir to the Empire novel trilogy, but another Thrawn adventure often gets overlooked: the recent trilogy of canon novels written by Zahn between 2017 and 2019.
The second of these novels is now getting a comic book adaptation, and it could include some exciting additions to the story that would solve a glaring Ahsoka plot hole.
At New York Comic-Con 2023, it was announced that the first Thrawn comic adaptation, simply called Thrawn, would be followed by an adaptation of the second book, Thrawn: Alliances. The writer of the first comic, Jody Houser, will continue the series, but this chapter will be co-written by Zahn, who created Thrawn.
Zahn assisting in writing his own character suggests we may see some new material that wasn’t included in the novel. If so, the comic book could resolve one of the biggest continuity issues between Thrawn: Alliances and Ahsoka. Alliances follows Thrawn between Seasons 3 and 4 of Rebels as he works with the enigmatic and powerful Darth Vader. There’s also a parallel storyline following Thrawn as he meets Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars, and over the course of the book he puts two and two together and realizes who Vader actually is.
In Ahsoka, Thrawn is somewhat confounded by the new threat of Ahsoka Tano. They’ve never actually met, as their Rebels appearances were completely separate from each other. In Ahsoka Episode 7, Thrawn asks Morgan Elsbeth for a dossier on the former Jedi, and specifically asks if she’s the padawan of Anakin Skywalker, noting, “If she’s anything like her Master, she will be unpredictable and quite dangerous.”
But while this line references the fact that Thrawn and Anakin have a history, it also suggests Thrawn was completely unaware of Ahsoka, which wouldn’t make sense. How could Thrawn know Anakin during the Clone Wars without learning at least a little bit about his famous apprentice? With a comic book adaptation offering Zahn another crack at the same story, he may be able to iron out this discrepancy. Maybe there’s a good reason Ahskoa was never mentioned by Anakin, or maybe Thrawn had cause to play dumb with Morgan. The books were written well before Ashoka’s release, but the comics could make the connection between Star Wars' literary and television sides a bit smoother.