‘Star Wars’ Villains Confirmed for ‘Tales of the Empire’

in Movies & TV, Star Wars

A collage of three Star Wars characters from animated series: left, General Grievous in a menacing pose; center, Grand Admiral Thrawn with a serious expression; right, Grievous dueling

Credit: Lucasfilm

The Star Wars universe is home to a galaxy of heroes that have won audiences over time and time again, but (if we’re being honest) it’s the onslaught of epic cinematic villains that keep viewers coming back for more.

David Prowse as Darth Vader in 'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Credit: Lucasfilm

It’s true that viewers will always root for the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ezra Bridger, Luke Skywalker, and even the Mandalorian and Grogu, but there’s no denying that individuals like Kylo Ren, Cad Bane and Darth Vader are far more interesting. Most Star Wars fans would wholeheartedly agree that the rogues gallery of the galaxy far, far away is overdue for its own series. Enter Disney+ and Lucasfilm with the answer to their prayers.

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Like its predecessor, Tales of the Jedi, Tales of the Empire is a six-part miniseries that explores the Dark Side of the Force seen through the eyes of Morgan Elsbeth and former Jedi Barriss Offee. As exciting as it is to see these characters introduced in a new, animated medium, the real stars are going to be the villains that will absolutely steal the show.

Star Wars: Return of the Sith

Logo of "Star Wars: Tales of the Empire" featuring stylized metallic text with a glowing outline on a black background, incorporating elements inspired by General Grievous.
Credit: Lucasfilm

As the title would allude, Tales of the Empire thrusts iconic villains from both the core Star Wars series and the extended universe into the spotlight for a trip down the path to the dark side. While we don’t know much apart from some clips and the official trailer, we do know the official cast list and the main players stepping in when the show drops.

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It should be understood that while these sinister figures are all featured on the main cast list, everything is subject to change. The show doesn’t drop until May the Fourth on Disney+, and Disney isn’t above making last-minute adjustments. That said, here are the biggest baddies stepping up to the plate for the upcoming spinoff.

Fourth Sister (Rya Kihlstedt)

Fourth Sister awaiting orders
Credit: Lucasfilm

Since the series takes place during the dawn of the Galactic Empire, the Inquisitorius will have a major role in the new series. While she’s only one of the black-clad enforcers working under Lord Vader, Fourth Sister is still a Force-user to be reckoned with, and she’ll undoubtedly see her share of action.

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Making her first appearance in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Fourth Sister is one of the many Inquisitors set across the galaxy to pursue Jedi who survived Order 66. While it’s unknown at this point what her role will be, it’s safe to assume that many will meet the business end of her lightsaber at some point in the series.

The Grand Inquisitor (Jason Issacs)

Grand Inquisitor hanging on after being defeated by Kanan
Credit: Lucasfilm

One of the most iconic features of Star Wars: Rebels was Jason Issacs as the Grand Inquisitor. Master of the Inquisitorius, the intimidating leader of Vader’s entourage, absolutely drips with sinister energy. In this writer’s opinion, it’s refreshing to see this version of the character return for another round after his Obi-Wan Kenobi variant left much to be desired.

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It doesn’t take a Jedi Master to know that the Grand Inquisitor will likely be a force to be reckoned with in the new series. While not as powerful as Vader or the Emperor, the Inquisitor has more than a few pints of blood on his hands and is absolutely deadly with that spinning saber of his.

General Grievous (Matthew Wood)

Although the cybernetic Kaleesh met his fate at the hands of General Kenobi!, the sneak peek fans received this week (seen above) proved that he’s back and better than ever. Although he found new life in Dave Filoni’s Clone Wars seriesTales of the Empire will give him a much-needed breath of fresh air.

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To put it directly, Grievous is brutal, and that’s clearly demonstrated in the footage above. Although it’s most likely he’ll be a part of a flashback, there’s no denying that a resurrected appearance wouldn’t have fans going absolutely bananas.

Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen)

Grand Admiral Thrawn in 'Star Wars Rebels'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Easily one of the most iconic fan-favorite villains, Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the most notorious Star Wars villains to hit our screens in recent years. A brilliant tactician, ruthless warlord, and one of the greatest assets to the Empire’s glory, Grand Admiral Thrawn has gone above and beyond the call of duty in ascertaining his reputation.

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Thrawn was most recently featured in his long-awaited live-action form in Ahsokabut he truly made a name for himself in Filoni’s animated universe. Now that the series is bringing him and his legions back into a new, polished, animated form, “the circle is now complete,” and he’s undoubtedly back in his element.

Tales of the Empire drops May 4, 2024, on Disney+, and Star Wars fans are in for a whole host of villainous fun in celebration of the galaxy far, far away. All they have to do is wait.

Are you Light Side or Dark Side? Tell Inside the Magic your favorite Star Wars villain in the comments below!

in Movies & TV, Star Wars

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