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In new 'Star Wars Rebels,' Thrawn masters the art of war

"To defeat an enemy, you must know them," says the old Star Wars villain. Get a sneak preview of Thrawn, who makes his animated debut on "Star Wars Rebels" later this month on Disney XD.

Bad. Blue. Brilliant. Those three words describe Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the most unusual and beloved villains in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

What makes Thrawn an unusual adversary and astute strategist is his dedication to fully understand his enemies' art, culture and history in order to defeat them. His character was originally created by author Timothy Zahn in the 1991 Star Wars novel "Heir to the Empire," as part of "The Thrawn Trilogy" of novels.

For those not in the know, Lucasfilm defines the Expanded Universe as "anything in the Star Wars universe outside the scope of the movies or TV shows, such as books, comics, games, etc."

The Grand Admiral of the Imperial Navy will make his "Star Wars Rebels" debut in season 3, which starts September 24 on Disney XD. Actor Lars Mikkelsen (the villain in season 3 of "Sherlock") will voice Thrawn in the animated series. Coincidentally, Lars is the brother of Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Galen Erso in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

"I will pull the Rebels apart, piece by piece," Thrawn threatens in the trailer posted Friday on YouTube. "They'll be the architects of their own destruction."

We can't wait to see Thrawn play mind games with the Ghost crew.