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The Mandalorian S3 Ch 19: Fans Think The TIEs On Kalevala Tease Thrawn's Arrival

Contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian," Season 3, Episode 3 – "The Convert"

"Star Wars" fans have long awaited Grand Admiral Thrawn's live-action arrival to the franchise. Season 2 of "The Mandalorian" sent fans into a tailspin after Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) revealed she was looking for him, giving fans another "Star Wars Rebels" connection, which Season 3 continued with the Purrgil. However, the Imperial officer has been radio silent ever since.

Many fans believe that's changed with "The Mandalorian" Season 3, Episode 3, "The Convert." When Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Din (Pedro Pascal) return to the former's home on Kalevala, a small group of TIE fighters attacks them. As the Mandalorians dispatch them, another group bombs Bo's reclusive castle, prompting her to chase the remaining TIEs out of anger. Just when she thinks she's about to finish them off, an army of Imperial fighters shows up, forcing Bo and Din to jump to lightspeed to escape.

While many "Star Wars" fans may chalk this aerial battle up to the remains of the Empire doing Empire things, some think the TIEs' formations looked too calculated to be a random group of former Imperials. We know that Thrawn is on his way to live-action one way or another, and he's known as a genius military tactician, so the attack on Kalevala has many fans pointing toward the Chiss officer as the mastermind behind it all.

The Mandalorian has fans diving deep into Thrawn's tactics

The second that Bo-Katan commented, "That's a lot of ships for an Imperial Warlord," "Star Wars" fans began theorizing that Thrawn was behind the attack on her Kalevala castle. On Reddit, u/BornAshes pointed this out, saying, "That's a lot of highly specific single type short range ships for basically anyone, and that means someone pretty big showed up pretty quickly and needs a pretty hard-hitting wolfpack to hide their s***." U/rogueaxolotl was the first to suggest Thrawn's involvement, and u/Starumlunsta noticed the TIE fighters' actions were very reminiscent of Thrawn's previous actions. "The tactics are VERY Thrawn," they wrote, "Draw your enemy away with a handful of fighters while bombers destroy the castle, spurring rage in your enemy, so they blindly chase the fighters to the swarm lying in wait."

For those unfamiliar with Grand Admiral Thrawn, one thing he preaches is knowing your enemy, which he used to rise through the ranks of the Imperial Navy quickly. U/TheAnimeNyx quoted the Imperial officer in the Reddit thread, saying, "'To defeat an enemy, you must know them,'" suggesting, "Thrawn definitely knows how the Mandalorians behave, especially those like Bo-Katan."

The TIE interceptors are another piece of evidence that points to Thrawn. U/dzumdang pointed out the "sheer amount of Interceptors," saying, "only one Imperial remnant is likely to be so well-equipped." The Interceptors are what sealed the deal for many "Star Wars" fans because, like u/LadyAlekto states, "the Interceptors and Advanced [TIE fighters] have been [Thrawn's] baby throughout the Empire."