Because of the timing of The Mandalorian, Ahsoka mentioning Thrawn in “The Jedi” places the character proper again the place he was in the infamously eradicated Legends timeline, which was often called the Expanded Universe earlier than Disney took over. Yes, Thrawn has already been re-canonized, due to the Rebels animated sequence and the newer Zahn books which have come out in the previous few years, however none of these retcons put Thrawn again in the period that first made him well-known.
The most compelling cause to consider that the occasions of The Mandalorian may very well be low-key retconning the occasions of Heir to the Empire is solely that Ahsoka mentions she’s in search of Grand Admiral Thrawn. In the Disney canon timeline, the final time we noticed Thrawn was in roughly 0 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), in the Rebels sequence finale, wherein Ezra and Thrawn jumped into deep hyperspace on the Star Destroyer Chimaera to elements unknown. Five years later, simply after the Battle of Endor, Sabine and Ahsoka reunited on Ezra’s residence planet of Lothal and determined to go search for their misplaced Jedi buddy. While it’s unclear whether or not Ahsoka has already discovered Ezra by the time Mando meets her on Corvus in “The Jedi,” she does know that Thrawn is again and working someplace in the galaxy.
Here’s why this issues: the yr wherein The Mandalorian takes place, 9 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), is the similar yr wherein Heir to the Empire occurred in Legends. It’s arduous to think about now, however again in 1991, Heir to the Empire was the first guide that actually opened up the post-Return of the Jedi period. After Zahn’s trilogy of novels, that point interval began to get crowded, and by the time The New Jedi Order books have been occurring in the early 2000s, we knew extra about the three many years after Return of the Jedi than we did about the Clone Wars.
But when the Prequel Trilogy hit theaters, Lucasfilm started to invert that pattern. Suddenly we knew far more about the pre-A New Hope period than we’d ever recognized earlier than. And as soon as the new Disney canon took maintain in 2014, these three many years after ROTJ that had beforehand been stuffed in by the Expanded Universe have been out of the blue swept away, leaving, roughly, a sequence of query marks between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Sure, latest video games, comics, and Star Wars Resistance fill in the gaps somewhat bit. But aside from stand-out examples like sections of the guide Last Shot, or the novel Bloodline, these misplaced years beforehand occupied by the bulk of the EU haven’t been “changed” solely in the new canon. We assume Mara Jade by no means existed, and all that stuff with Luke, Han, and Leia combating a clone model of the Emperor in Dark Empire by no means occurred. But are we certain?