Thrawn's confederation, sometimes referred as Thrawn's Empire (8 ABY–9 ABY), was a continuation of Galactic Empire created by Grand Admiral Thrawn, a cunning and ruthless Chiss Imperial warlord in 8 ABY who returned from the Unknown Regions that sought to restore the former Empire and fight back against the individual warlords vying for power in addition to Imperial loyalists trying to seize control, which was at that time locked in brutal civil war with the aim of taking back the galaxy from the New Republic.
- "The New Order has never fallen. Only the Emperor. … The Emperor may be dead, but the Empire lives on!"
- ―Ardus Kaine
- Remnants of the Galactic Empire, ruled by the Imperial Ruling Council until Thrawn's return
- Scattered Imperial planets, including Carida, Rendili, Kelada, Bestine IV, Linuri, Chasin, Trogan, Pakuuni, Makem Te, and Columex
- Pentastar Alignment: ruled by Grand Moff Ardus Kaine
- Ciutric Hegemony: ruled by Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel
- Corellian sector: ruled by Diktat Daclif Gallamby.
- Antemeridian sector: ruled by Moff Getelles
- Oplovis sector: formerly ruled by Fleet Admiral Gaen Drommel, as he was stranded in the Fardon system with his heavily damaged Executor-class Star Dreadnought Guardian at the time.
- Noghri Overclan: a planetary wide confederation of Honoghr, later defected to the New Republic.
- Thrawn also controlled at least three shipyards, these included: Yaga Minor shipyards, Ord Trasi shipyards, and Bilbringi shipyards.
In 8 ABY, four years after the Battle of Endor, Grand Admiral Thrawn finally returned from the Unknown Regions to the Empire. Thrawn formed his personal armada of six Imperial-class Star Destroyers and gathered other Imperial warships; with this fleet, he launched a series of successful raids against pirate nests and the border regions of the New Republic.
By demonstrating his tactical and strategic genius, he impressed the Empire's remaining Moffs and earned the support of many Imperial officers in addition to the powerful D'Asta family. He was quickly given control of all Imperial armed forces by the Imperial Ruling Council and appointed Supreme Commander of the Empire.
Fearing coups, Grand Moff Ardus Kaine and Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel agreed to give Thrawn command of a temporary military confederation. To keep this unity, Thrawn never acknowledged that this empire was a single political entity and let all the Imperial leaders and warlords rule their territory in their own way.
Despite this failure, many Imperial officers kept up morale, believing the Empire could emerge reunited and victorious despite Thrawn's demise. This would happen next year with the return of Emperor Palpatine and later in 12 ABY with the Imperial Reunification.
During his campaign, Thrawn exclusively used the remnant forces of the Empire, while the other factions of the confederation supported the Grand Admiral almost only financially.
Imperial-class Star Destroyers, Victory-class Star Destroyers, Carrack-class light cruisers, Strike-medium class cruisers, Immobilizer 418 cruisers, Lancer-class frigate and Interdictor-class Star Destroyers served as primary warships for the fleet.
All Terrain Armored Transports, All Terrain Scout Transports, and All Terrain Personal Transports served as primary walkers for the fleet. LAVr QH-7 Chariots, HAVr A9 Floating Fortresses, and Swift Assaults 5, PX-4 Mobile Command Bases, S-1 FireHawke Heavy Repulsortanks, Imperial-class 1-H Repulsortanks, HAVw A5 Juggernauts, Repulsor Scouts, 74-Z speeder bikes, and armored transport carriers were also used.
Stormtroopers, Imperial Assault Troopers, and Biker Scouts were used for conquests, and guarding planets. During the attack on Sluis Van Shipyards, Zero-G Assault Stormtroopers were used to board the battleships. Imperial Radiation Troopers were used to attack the radioactive surface of Qat Chrystac. Sandtroopers were deployed on Tatooine to retrieve a painting.
Major Molo Himron was handpicked by Thrawn to travel to Coruscant with his squad of Imperial commandos to infiltrate the repurposed Imperial Palace and capture Leia Organa Solo's twins, with a secondary objective to neutralize Mara Jade, who had defected to the New Republic.
Before Thrawn began striking at New Republic bases, he learned of Delta Source, a series of audio intelligence recording devices installed inside of the the trees within the Imperial Palace on Coruscant. These would be used extensively to spy on Republic senators, military officials, and notable figures, as well as to gather information, until their discovery and removal in 9 ABY.
After discovering Mount Tantiss on Wayland, Thrawn made use of experimental cloaking technology, as well as approximately 20,000 spaarti cloning cylinders. The latter provided the vast majority of the Grand Admiral's manpower late into his campaign, since his fleet was short on crew and soldiers before their discovery.
The cloaking devices at Thrawn's disposal were used heavily; at least several starships were cloaked, and Thrawn would use these devices on dozens of asteroids in order to use them as a siege weapon for his retaking of Coruscant by placing them into orbit.
During the Thrawn Crisis, his fleet utilized several siege platforms stationed above the planet Qat Chrystac. It deployed Imperial Radiation Troopers onto the planet's surface in order to destroy the secret New Republic base.
At the end of his campaign, Grand Admiral Thrawn controlled more than a third of the galaxy, an equivalent territory to that of the New Republic. After his death over Bilbringi and his confederation's subsequent collapse, the Empire's territory would never be as large until the Fel Empire.
- Imperial Space : this included all Thrawn's conquests in his final campaign.
- Isolated Imperial planets before Thrawn's return, including Carida, Rendili, Kelada, Bestine IV, Chasin, Trogan, Pakuuni, Makem Te, and Columex
- Pentastar Alignment territory
- Ciutric Hegemony territory
- Corellian sector
- Antemeridian sector
- Oplovis sector
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- "Special Military Unit Intelligence Update" – Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 102 (CAA1, Caamas Document)
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Atlas (First identified as Thrawn's confederation)