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Star Wars is back, and bigger than ever. But unless you're a fan of the old Expanded Universe, you're unlikely to have ever heard the name 'Rukh.' For old-school Star Wars fans, it's a name we never expected to hear again.
No worries if you're not familiar with him, however, because you're about to be: He's officially making his New Canon debut in Season 4 of #StarWarsRebels. And the part will be voiced by none other than Star Wars fan-favorite Warwick Davis!
Who Is Rukh?
If you want to understand Rukh, you have to understand his race: the Noghri. Physically short in stature and few in number, the Noghri make up for that in sheer aggressive skill. Their world was devastated during the #CloneWars; a crashing battleship left their soils saturated with a poisonous toxin, and the Noghri struggled to survive. Up until the moment that Darth Vader arrived, that is.
Darth Vader was impressed at what he saw. The Noghri, feeling threatened, tore the Imperial Stormtroopers apart. Of course, the tide of battle turned when the Dark Lord of the Sith entered the fray, yet he chose not to wipe them out. Instead, Vader manipulated affairs on the Noghri homeworld of Honoghr, and he subtly enslaved them. Vader ensured them that the Empire was publicly helping the Noghri, but it secretly continued to introduce toxins into their world, ensuring they remained dependent on their Imperial 'benefactors.'
The Noghri served the Empire's will, proving themselves skilled assassins, and also terrifyingly effective bodyguards.
Thus, the Noghri became the Emperor's personal Death Commandos. They attended #DarthVader and his closest companions and they served the Empire's will. They proved themselves skilled assassins, and also terrifyingly effective bodyguards. In the old Expanded Universe, the Noghri went on to become bodyguards to Grand Admiral Thrawn, and played a major role in Timothy Zahn's 'Thrawn Trilogy.' When the Noghri finally learned of the Empire's treachery, they betrayed the Empire in turn, and Rukh himself killed Thrawn.
What Part Will The Noghri Play In Star Wars: Rebels Season 4?
Dave Filoni is clearly a huge fan of Timothy Zahn's 'Thrawn Trilogy,' which essentially breathed new life into the Star Wars franchise back in 1991. Season 3 of Rebels introduced us to the 'new canon' version of Grand Admiral Thrawn - a character who was instantly recognizable to any fan of the old Expanded Universe. The remarkable thing, though, was how little Filoni changed. We can safely assume that the same will be true of the Noghri, that they'll retain their Clone-Wars-era backstory, and they'll also keep their nature as terrifyingly efficient Imperial assassins.
The trailer for #StarWarsRebelsSeason4 made it clear we're expecting to see Thrawn again, so it seems that - as in the 'Thrawn Trilogy' - the Noghri will be working for the Grand Admiral. The real question, of course, is just how this will all play out: Will the Noghri learn of the Empire's treachery, as they did in Zahn's novels? Will they ultimately betray Thrawn, leading to his defeat?
Of course, Dave Filoni knows that we're going to be asking these questions. That's one of the reasons he's announced the character; he's well aware fans will be excitedly speculating what's to come. In truth, we have no way of knowing how major a role the Noghri will play in Rebels Season 4, but one thing's for sure: #StarWars fans all over the world are eagerly waiting to find out!