Star Wars Rebels Thrawn

Thrawn

And that brings us back to Thrawn, where the Unknown Regions are named 14 times, and Wild Space an additional 17. That’s significant on its own, or course, showing how important those areas of the galaxy are. Both Thrawn (from the Unknown Regions himself where the “Chiss Ascendancy,” his alien race’s own empire of sorts rule) and his assistant Eli Vanto (from the even more ambiguous “Wild Space”) consistently bring up their homes throughout. Indeed, Thrawn is seen, as mentioned first in Empire’s End above, being recruited by the Emperor because of his knowledge. When he speaks with the Emperor, he mentions something new, though – not just routes through the Unknown Regions, but a new threat (or threats) as well.

“’As a start, I offer information,’ Thrawn said. If he was offended, Eli couldn’t hear it in his voice. ‘There are threats lurking in the Unknown Regions, threats that will someday find your Empire. I am familiar with many of them.’”

Indeed, the Emperor instantly recognized both the importance of these threats, and the fact that they could affect both the Empire and the Chiss, something Thrawn offers up with ease.

Later in the conversation, the Emperor notes the “great potential” and “great danger” of the Unknown Regions. He brings that conversation back more than once when speaking to Thrawn.

Further in the book, Thrawn encounters a group of pirates – who once again hail from the Wild Space and/or Unknown Regions area of the galaxy, even speaking the language native to the blue-skinned Chiss (without realizing it, to their detriment). Thrawn is also called back to the Imperial Palace on multiple occasions, something Vanto deduces is being used to plan for the future:

“Thrawn’s discussions at the Palace–could the Emperor be planning something special? A series of expeditions into the Unknown Regions, perhaps.”

That tracks along with what we discover at the end of Empire’s End – he did indeed plot out a path through the Regions to give the Empire, or the First Order as they’d come to be called, a place to regroup and reform.

The most telling part, however, comes when Thrawn reveals that while he’s working for the Empire, he’s still loyal to his own people, and he’s focused on finding a way to protect them:

“There are evil things in this galaxy, Nightswan. Far more evil than the Empire, and far more dangerous to all living beings. We know of some, while of others we have heard only rumors. We needed to know whether the Empire that was rising from the ashes of the Clone War could be an ally against them.”

Is this threat Snoke? Is it the same Force that the Emperor heard calling out to him? Is it something that Snoke may have defeated in order to take the First Order under his command? That remains to be seen, but it being from the Unknown Regions or beyond almost certainly means Snoke is as well.

Then there was perhaps the most surprising recent mention of Wild Space or the Unknown Regions of all, at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando.

Star Wars Land concept art - The Star Wars Experience

Star Wars Land

At Star Wars Celebration, new details about “Star Wars Land,” the new sections of Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks, were revealed, including a hint at the location of the land. The land was revealed as being an outpost planet that hasn’t previously been revealed in the Star Wars galaxy. The outpost is in-story, allowing fans to live in the Star Wars world when they go there.

“We’re creating a place that is an extension of the Star Wars universe,” Disney Imagineering executive creative director Asa Kalama teased. While Story Group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo wouldn’t reveal exactly where the planet was in the galaxy, he said they  “know exactly where in the galaxy this planet is,” and had “examined what the ramifications of where it is on the map are.”

Luckily, another Imagineering creative executive, Scott Trowbridge, dropped one last hint, and he said the magic words.

The location of the planet is “somewhere on the outer-rim, lying on the edge of unknown regions,” it was announced. Trowbridge added, “We wanted to build new Star Wars destinations. That required us going to a new place, a place with lots of stories yet to discover. It’s a new planet, a new place, this remote frontier outpost somewhere on the edge of Wild Space.”

Yes, both the Unknown Regions and Wild Space are mentioned for the all-new outpost planet that will be embodied in the Star Wars Land projects, that fans will be able to live in during visits starting in 2019 – the same year that Star Wars: Episode IX, the finale of the Sequel Trilogy, is released.

Star Wars The Last Jedi poster

More to Explore

Fans of the new all-100%-canon approach to the Star Wars universe have enjoyed getting additional insight into the “primary” stories of the cartoons and films, but have also wanted more to actually come out of those stories and into the “main” world. Well, if our reading here is correct, there may be much more to these novels – and even to future interactive experiences in the Star Wars universe – than a first glance revealed. While it’s unknown how much these wild ideas will affect the Star Wars films, their importance cannot be denied.

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