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"Grand Admiral Ackbar."
"Grand admiral is an Imperial ranking. I, like you once did, identify as fleet admiral—but you seem to have taken the title 'Grand Admiral' for yourself."
―Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar[3]

Grand Admiral was a senior military rank in the Imperial Navy of the Galactic Empire. It was also a rank in the Mon Cala Mercantile Fleet. After the downfall of the Empire, the rank was active in the First Order, one of its successor states.


Imperial Era[]

"Grand Admiral Thrawn."
"Grand Admiral?"
"The Emperor recently promoted me after my victory at Batonn."
―Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Admiral Kassius Konstantine, and Grand Admiral Thrawn[10]
Thrawn promotion

Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo "Thrawn" receives his rank from Emperor Palpatine himself.

The military rank of Grand Admiral was active during the Imperial Era. Shortly after his victory over the Batonn sector insurgency, Chiss Admiral Thrawn was awarded the rank of Grand Admiral by Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine,[10] becoming one of the Empire's twelve Grand Admirals.[11]

Imperial Grand Admirals occasionally cooperated in strategic concerns, such as Thrawn and Balanhai Savit concerning delays to Project Stardust. However, their dealings were often colored by intra-service struggles—such as Thrawn's advocacy of the TIE Defender program and Savit's opposition to, and secret sabotage of, the Death Star—and some Imperials, such as Brierly Ronan, considered the Grand Admirals nothing more than political appointees. However, Thrawn himself did not understand nor care about Imperial politics. After Thrawn discovered Savit's sabotage, he offered his fellow Grand Admiral a chance at redemption by helping him battle the Grysk Hegemony, but Savit declined.[11]

Thrawn and his forces were pulled away from the Empire by the young Jedi Ezra Bridger, who sacrificed a happy life with his found family by summoning a pod of purrgil, which pulled him, Thrawn, and everyone aboard Thrawn's flagship Chimaera[12] into another galaxy. There, Bridger, Thrawn, and Thrawn's forces found themselves exiled on the planet Peridea.[8] During the Galactic Civil War, Mon Calamari monarchy Regent Dors Urtya served as the Grand Admiral of the Mon Cala Mercantile Fleet, which at the time was commandeered by the Galactic Empire.[4]

New Republic Era[]


Grand Admiral Rae Sloane acted as public leader of the crumbling Empire

Following the Battle of Endor, Rae Sloane served as Grand Admiral and commanded the remnants of the Imperial Navy.[3] New Republic Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar was considered a Grand Admiral by Imperial officers,[9] although it was not an official rank utilized by the New Republic.[3] Taking charge of the Emperor's Contingency to reform the Empire,[13] Sloane continued to posses the rank of Grand Admiral during the time she was part of the First Order.[5] Ultimately, however, a mysterious being known as Snoke,[14] secretly a puppet of the resurrected Emperor,[7] took control of the First Order instead of Sloane or other expected leaders.[14]

Thrawn, meanwhile, remained stranded in the other galaxy on Peridea, where he discovered the slumbering Great Mothers. Agreeing to take them and their cargo back to the main galaxy with him, Thrawn entered into an alliance with the Great Mothers,[15] who reached out to Morgan Elsbeth and arranged for her arrival with the Eye of Sion hyperspace transport ring,[8] which could return Thrawn's forces and the Great Mothers to the galaxy. Thrawn, his forces, and the Great Mothers mounted a successful escape from Peridea.[15] Thrawn's return promised to galvanize the galaxy's Imperial Remnants. At that time, Thrawn was thought to be the last surviving Grand Admiral.[16]



The Imperial rank of Grand Admiral was one of the senior ranks in the entire Imperial Military, and to be given the title was seen as a great honor.[3] A Grand Admiral was typically given command of a fleet, such as Thrawn with the Seventh Fleet[10] and Savit with the Third Fleet.[11] A Grand Admiral also had the authority to issue the status of a most wanted bounty.[17]


"Even if the locals do not recognize the uniform of an Imperial grand admiral, they will nevertheless recognize that it is a uniform."
―Grand Admiral Thrawn, before landing on Batuu[18]

Unlike the traditional Imperial uniform, which generally consisted of a plain gray tunic, the Imperial grand admiral's uniform was white with golden epaulets.[10] Such accessories were generally uncommon in the Imperial Military, as they seemed to put an emphasis on status above duty and humility.[19]

Behind the scenes[]


Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Legends continuity

Timothy Zahn, author of the 1991 Star Wars Legends novel Heir to the Empire, introduced the rank of "Grand Admiral" for the villain of that novel, Grand Admiral Thrawn.[20] Zahn wanted Thrawn to be a military leader rather than a political title-holder or darksider, but felt a normal Admiral would be too mundane. He therefore decided to use the title "Grand Admiral," which he had encountered while reading William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in the context of its use in the German Navy.[21] The rank was introduced into the modern canon continuity by the novel Aftermath[9] and was first pictured through Thrawn's return to canon in Star Wars Rebels.[10]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

External links[]