Darth Vader may continue to menace Star Wars Rebels for as long as continuity dictates, but it stands to reason that the show’s third year might look to a baddie with more creative license. Enter a new rumor, that Star Wars Rebels Season 3 will revive a bit of expanded universe canon cast off by The Force Awakens, returning one of its most famous villains.

Take this one with a grain of salt for now (though Rebels production’s long lead time could well make it viable), but Making Star Wars claims that Season 3 will introduce none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn, a major post-Return of the Jedi villain whose existence was seemingly wiped when Disney acquired the rights to new films:

I have heard that in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels we will be introduced to none other than the original blue guy himself, Grand Admiral Thrawn from Heir to the Empire. From the sound of things, we’re going to see Thrawn as the tactical genius of capital starship warfare he was to Expanded Universe readers in the ’90s. However, this time he will be using his evil brand of genius against the the heroes of the starship Ghost.

The character first appeared in Timothy Zahn’s 1991 Thrawn trilogy, including novels Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. In that continuity, Thrawn takes power approximately five years after Emperor Palpatine’s demise, leading the Empire’s remaining forces against the New Republic.

Not for nothing, the report also claims that Season 3 will feature a small time jump to bring Rebels closer to A New Hope, redesigning Ezra with a new look and lightsaber to match. Again, we’d take this all with a generous helping of salt.

Still, it’s at least an interesting idea for Rebels to explore, considering the years of development put into some of the Expanded Universe characters, and their seeming abandonment by The Force Awakens. Season 1 brought us the Inquisitor, upping the ante in Season 2 with Darth Vader, so what might Season 3 do for a new menace?

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