Grand Admiral Thrawn
This being, a member of the Chiss race, was a respected and honored commander in the Chiss Expansionary Defense force. His abilities to accurately predict his opponent's moves, and his tactical genius, moved him through the ranks with a quiet speed. Thrawn - whose full name is Mitth'raw'nuruodo - was one of the first to intercept the Imperial task force dispatched to destroy the Outbound Flight Project, when it appeared in the Unknown Regions. Then-Senator Palpatine had arranged for the Jedi Masters to make a trial run through the Unknown Regions, in order to help prepare them for the discovery of life in another galaxy. Unknown to the Jedi, Palpatine had sent the task force - led by one of his trusted advisors, Kinman Doriana - to make sure they didn't get started. The fifteen-ship Imperial force was summarily wiped out by Thrawn's small fleet of ships, although Doriana's ship was allowed to survive. Doriana himself negotiated with Thrawn, explaining why they were in Chiss space and what the threat of the jedi was. Thrawn saw two things in Doriana's speech: the necessity for removing the Jedi, but also the order and stability that Palpatine's New Order could bring to the galaxy. He agreed to let Doriana return to Coruscant, and also agreed to destroy Outbound Flight. Palpatine spent the next several years searching for Thrawn, in hopes of bringing his military genius into the Empire. Thrawn, meanwhile, had learned from the Empire the use of pre-emptive strikes against his opponents. The problem was that the Chiss regarded such unprovoked attacks as a form of murder, and exiled Thrawn after one particularly bloody incident. The ruling Chiss stripped him of his rank and sent him to live on an uninhabited world near Imperial space. It was here that Captain Voss Parck finally caught up with Thrawn, convincing him to travel to Coruscant and serve Palpatine. Thrawn received private schooling in Imperial military academies, becoming a Captain shortly after the Battle of Yavin and quickly rising through the ranks as one of the few non-humans in the Navy. When Darth Vader was called by the Emperor to become more involved in his plot to capture Luke Skywalker, Vader assigned Thrawn to be the "guardian" of the Noghri on Honoghr. This exposure to Vader and Palpatine led to Thrawn's promotion to Vice Admiral, where he helped design the missile gunboat. As Vice Admiral, Thrawn oversaw the development of an Imperial outpost in the Pakuuni System, then assisted in the defense of Palpatine against Zaarin's treachery. However, Thrawn could not capture Zaarin before he made his escape into hyperspace. Further service to the Emperor garnered Thrawn a full promotion to Admiral, at which time he served on the Inexorable under Ysanne Isard. Sometime later, Thrawn was promoted to Grand Admiral, and he convinced both Isard and Soontir Fel that a group of clones created from Fel's genetic material would make perfect sleeper agents. They could pilot ships, and would be loyal to the Empire. During a political party in the Emperor's court, Thrawn made a rare judgmental error and wound up on the wrong side of a debate. This angered Palpatine, but it also gave him an excuse to move Thrawn out of the limelight. Thrawn and Parck were sent back to the Unknown Regions as punishment, but were continually fed Imperial support. While there, Thrawn and Parck set up the compound known as the Hand of Thrawn on Nirauan, drawing a military force from the Chiss who still supported Thrawn. During their tenure, they won over large sectors of the region. These sectors could have vastly increased the Empire had not Palpatine died at Endor. Thrawn decided to hedge his bets, and began fortifying the Hand of Thrawn. He left Parck there, in charge of the planet, when he decided to return to the rest of the galaxy some five years after the Battle of Endor. He left word with Parck and the Chiss who supported him that, if he was ever reported dead, that they should wait ten years for his return. As one of the surviving Grand Admirals, Thrawn was able to quickly garner support from the Imperial remnants, obtaining control of the small fleet under the command of then-Captain Pellaeon. Using Noghri strike forces and clever deceptions - such as cloaking devices and clones recovered from the Mount Tantiss facility - Thrawn and his growing fleet began systematically retaking pieces of the New Republic. He was successful until the Battle of Bilbringi, where his fleet was decimated and he was killed by his Noghri bodyguard, Rukh. In order to ensure that he would eventually return to the Chiss on Nirauan, as he promised, Thrawn had Parck and Fel maintain a clone of himself, ready for rebirth at the ten-year mark. The clone was never activated, as Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade discovered the ruse and exposed it to the New Republic.
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