5'10" (1.78 m)
- "I will do whatever necessary to protect those who depend on me. No more. But no less."
Mitth'raw'nuruodo, better known by his core name Thrawn, was a male Chiss who served in the Imperial Navy and became the only non-Human Grand Admiral. He was regarded as the best military strategist in the navy.
Thrawn served as an officer in the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force for many years, where he demonstrated his brilliance. However, many of Thrawn's ways were contrary to that of Chiss society at large, and so he was exiled. Thrawn was discovered by Imperial Navy officer Voss Parck, who brought him to Cosimo Palpatine I.
Reports current during the last years of the Old Republic claimed that Thrawn was a high-born son of the Nuruodo bloodline, one of the Ruling Families of the Chiss Ascendancy. However, it later appeared that the truth was rather different. Thrawn was born a commoner, and gained status by pursuing a military career; on earning his commission in the Expeditionary Fleet, he became a merit adoptive of the Eighth Ruling Family—the Mitth Family, not the Nuruodo.
In broad terms, this was a standard part of a military career path; but whereas most Chiss officers lost their Family affinity on leaving the military, Thrawn was designated as a trial-born of the Eighth Family. This additional status, apparently awarded in recognition of his personal ability, offered him a chance of permanent adoption into the family, a course already taken by his older brother, Syndic Thrass.
By 11 BBY, Thrawn was the youngest ever Force Commander in the Expansionary Fleet, commanding Picket Force Two based at Crustai on the Ascendancy's frontier; while here, he became convinced that the long-term threat from the piratical Vagaari required more aggressive action than was countenanced under the rules of engagement laid down by the Defense Hierarchy.
During this time, Thrawn intervened in a skirmish between Progga the Hutt and the Corellian smuggling ship Bargain Hunter. Destroying the Hutt ship, he impounded Bargain Hunter and her crew: Captain Dubrak Qennto, his partner and co-pilot Maris Ferasi, and navigator Jorge Cardas. Over the next few months, the three Corellians remained largely with Thrawn aboard his command ship Springhawk, their status somewhere between that of prisoners of war, strategic pawns, and an unofficial cultural exchange. In this time, Car'das and Thrawn formed what seems to have been a lasting friendship, while there were some hints of romantic feelings between Thrawn and Ferasi. Car'das and Ferasi taught Thrawn Basic, and in turn, Thrawn taught Car'das and Ferasi the Chiss language, Cheunhandthe trade language of Minnisiat.
Thrawn's provocative actions fell under scrutiny from the Defense Hierarchy, the Mitth Family, and also the Chaf family; however, Thrawn willingly went against Chiss protocol as he seized a gravity-well projector from the Vagaari fleet besieging the Geroon homeworld. He was injured in the battle, his life saved by Maris and Cardas.
- "I do not need permission to fight on their behalf."
Thrawn continued making preemptive strikes against the Chiss enemies, and his career in the CEDF eventually ended circa 6 BBY. After attacking an enemy ground installation that was manufacturing weapons, his actions pushed the Ruling Families too far. Thrawn was found guilty and sentenced to the traditional Chiss punishment of exile on an uninhabited jungle world, far in the outer fringes of known Chiss space. Many people among the Chiss, including some of Thrawn's relatives such as Kres'ten'tarthi, thought he had decided to engineer his own downfall in order to leave the Chiss and join the Empire.
Thrawn's new home had a breathable atmosphere and was located close enough to the system's star to provide adequate warmth. However, life on the remote planet would be difficult. In a clearing in the planet's equatorial forest, Thrawn constructed a small dwelling out of local materials. He was forced to improvise often, making clothes out of the skins and furs of the planet's indigenous animals. Among Thrawn's few possessions from offworld were two small-base power generators, though over time one started to run empty and Thrawn began stripping it for parts to keep the second functioning. Throughout his time in exile, Thrawn sought a way to return to his people and defend them from the many dangers he perceived in the galaxy, not least of which was the burgeoning threat of the Far Outsiders.
Early Imperial serviceEdit
- "And please call me by my core name, Thrawn."
Thrawn's opportunity to escape came in 5 BBY. The Victory-class Star Destroyer Strikefast, in pursuit of the smuggler Booster Terrik, followed his ship on a desperate attempt to flee into uncharted space. Emerging from hyperspace to find the Star Destroyer still in pursuit, Terrik decided to try and hide on a nearby planet—the same world to which Thrawn was exiled. Captain Voss Parck, in command of the Strikefast, ordered TIE fighters to follow the smuggler and, while Terrik was able to land safely after the ensuing dogfight, one of the Imperial starfighters crashed in the forest near Thrawn's encampment.
Parck dispatched Colonel Mosh Barris to lead the Imperial forces in a search for the smuggler vessel. Landing at Thrawn's encampment and finding it deserted, the Imperials followed their Unknown Alien Encounters Orders by remaining to examine the settlement, and potentially make first contact. Thrawn, meanwhile, realized that the alien visitors presented his chance to escape and initiated a scheme to leave the planet. Arriving at the crashed TIE fighter, Thrawn had sufficient time to examine it before the Imperial troops arrived. After removing the pilot's body from his flight suit, Thrawn hid the body and stole the comlink from the helmet in order to eavesdrop on the visitors. Knowing that the Imperials would notice the missing comlink, Thrawn filled the suit with grass and fermented pyussh berries. This, he believed, would have the effect of convincing the Imperials that primitive natives had removed the body, distracting them from the missing comlink. More importantly, his plan relied on the Imperial troops being intrigued enough to take the flight suit back to their base. Before leaving the crash site, Thrawn also took the blaster, power packs and concussion grenades from the pilot's survival pack.
As expected, the Imperials returned the flight suit to their camp and, believing that they were dealing with savages, established a security perimeter for the night. Thrawn, however, had allowed for this. The pyussh berries attracted some of the planet's nocturnal creatures, to which Thrawn strapped the stolen power packs, after first removing the overload sturm dowels. The creatures were able to penetrate the Imperial perimeter before their charges exploded. Though the damage caused was minor, it had the desired effect of causing Parck to send TIE fighters to conduct a flyover of the surrounding area, looking for the Imperials' assailant. A monofilament, strung between two tall trees, caused one of the fighters to crash and Thrawn was again the first to the crash site. Ignoring the ruined fighter, Thrawn again removed the pilot's comlink, replacing it with the one from the first crash to make the pilot look untouched, before again ransacking the pilot's survival pack. Shortly after retrieving the body of the second pilot, the Imperials noticed the missing comlink which had allowed Thrawn to listen to their communications since their arrival. Parck quickly ordered the first comlink's circuit shut down, unaware that Thrawn had the second, still functional comlink. Even so, the nature of events so far began to make the Imperials discount primitives, though they now assumed their smuggler quarry to be the cause.
Thrawn did not rest during the night. In order to infiltrate the Imperial camp, Thrawn would need a disguise that hid his non-Human features. The Imperials currently on the planet did not have their faces obscured, so Thrawn needed to draw out more heavily armored troops. He, therefore, began attacking the sentry guards, using a sling to throw pyussh berries onto their armor and draw in charged animals for the kill. Five Imperial troops died during the night, three as the result of concussion grenade explosions, and two due to friendly fire from their nervous comrades. By the morning, Barris wanted to withdraw commence orbital bombardment, but Parck wanted the smugglers alive and ordered the search to continue, dispatching stormtroopers to assist. When the heavily armored troops began their search of the forest, Thrawn struck once more. Using his stolen comlink to initiate communications jamming to mask the sound of his attack, Thrawn used explosives to kill a stormtrooper in order to study his armor. After finding a way to kill the soldier within, without noticeable damage to the armor, Thrawn struck again and donned the armor of the dead trooper. The communications jamming, meanwhile, had convinced Barris that it was time to leave and the Imperials were preparing to depart as Thrawn entered their camp. Thrawn removed the armor and left it propped up by branches outside, while he entered the Imperial transport. An explosive charge within the armor soon ensured that the Imperials would not notice the missing trooper. With their orders to examine Thrawn's encampment still standing, the Imperials had loaded the structure into their ship for further study and the nearly empty power generator casing made an ideal hiding place for Thrawn on the journey to the Strikefast.
Thrawn remained hidden in the power generator casing for almost two hours after arriving at the Star Destroyer. When he was certain that the Imperial troops had all disembarked, Thrawn emerged into the darkened hangar and moved towards a group of three Kappa-class shuttles, entering the middle shuttle in a bid to make his escape and return home. It was not to be, however, as Parck had suspected that somebody may have infiltrated the Imperial transport and had kept the hangar under surveillance. As a squad of stormtroopers entered the hangar, Thrawn surrendered without resistance. Parck realized that the intruder was responsible for the events on the planet and, together with Barris, went to confront the alien. Thrawn explained that he was attempting to get home to protect his people but Parck, impressed by Thrawn's obvious abilities, suggested that by offering his service to the Empire, he may be better equipped to do so. He even hinted that Emperor Cosimo Palpatine II may one day send Thrawn back to the Unknown Regions with the advanced technology and capabilities of the Empire, since any threat to Thrawn's people may also threaten the Empire itself. Convinced, Thrawn agreed to join them and, in order to better integrate himself, suggested that they call him by his core name. Parck was certain that Thrawn would make up for the inability to capture Terrik and decided to abandon the search and return to the Empire. During the journey, he would begin Thrawn's Imperial orientation.
- "There are a hundred different threats out there that would freeze your blood if you knew about them. The ruling families can’t stop them; neither can any other power in the region. If our people are to be protected, it’s up to us."
After returning to Coruscant, Parck presented Thrawn to the Emperor. Though many in the Imperial Court thought Parck should have been disciplined for bringing Thrawn back, Palpatine II was most pleased. In their initial meeting, the Emperor attempted to provoke a reaction from Thrawn by demonstrating his distaste at the alien's presence. Thrawn's lack of reaction to Palpatine's behavior, together with his intelligence, intrigued the Emperor, who agreed to Parck's request to train him though the Empire's political situation led him to hide his enthusiasm. With Parck initially acting as his mentor, Thrawn was given private training at the Imperial Academy of Carida and rose quickly through the ranks, though, as one of the few non-Human officers in the Imperial Navy, he was forced to constantly prove his abilities to other officers. Even after reaching the rank of colonel, Thrawn was assigned to command other undesirable officers including Uwlla Iillor. However, Thrawn soon suspected Zann of stealing weapons and expelled him from the Academy, since there was no concrete evidence to connect him to the crime and indict him.
Thrawn did not spend all his time around the Core Worlds and made substantial efforts to explore the Unknown Regions. On the planet Nirauan in the Gradilis sector, on the boundary between Wild Space and the Unknown Regions, Thrawn located an abandoned fortress constructed of a resilient stone, similar to that used in the fortress on Hijarna. Due to the fortress's ability to resist attack, Thrawn selected it to serve as his personal base and, as a result of its five towers which resembled a hand, the base came to be known as the Hand of Thrawn. Though Imperial forces did not occupy the facility until later in the Galactic Civil War, the native Qom Jha later recalled that a species of sluglike predators residing in the caves beneath the fortress were not seen before, and it was possible that they were installed as a natural defense against the indigenous creatures, suggesting that Thrawn's mission may have been planned for some time. As well as a hologram of the galaxy, which allowed him to monitor the sectors falling under his control, Thrawn also had one of the galaxy's most extensive databases installed in the fortress.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "I have no qualms about accepting a useful idea merely because it wasn't my own."