During today’s Star Wars Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration, the show’s creator, Dave Filoni announced that the will be coming to an end at the end of its fourth season, but dropped an interesting tidbit: there will be another character transplanted from the expanded universe, one who will be voiced by veteran Star Wars actor Warwick Davis.
During last year’s Star Wars Celebration in London, Filoni announced to great fanfare that Grand Admiral Thrawn would be joining the show. The character was one of the biggest characters to be brought back into the main story from the non-canon expanded universe, and was recently featured in a standalone novel set before the show. Before Rebels ends, it will introduce another character from the EU: Rukh.
First introduced alongside Thrawn in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, Rukh was a Noghri warrior that served the Empire after his home planet of Honoghr was devastated following an orbital battle. Fiercely loyal to the Empire, believing that it saved them, he and his fellow Noghri commandos carried out assassinations and other missions at the bequest of Darth Vader, and later, Grand Admiral Thrawn. The timing here also lines up nicely: the planet was devastated around the time of the Clone Wars. We’ll see just how the backstory evolves in the coming season.
But there’s also some worrying associations here for the blue Grand Admiral: at the end of The Last Command, Rukh kills Thrawn after he learned of the Empire’s complicity in the destruction of his homeworld. Given how closely Rebels’ creators kept with Thrawn’s backstory, it’ll be interesting to see if they bring in this particular bit of backstory along with them — and if it means the end of Grand Admiral Thrawn at the end of Rebels, rather than his original demise in the post Return of the Jedi era.