In the books, Thrawn is not very “power hungry” or what is classified as a “megalomaniac”. He does not care to rule himself for money or power. His goals are to defeat (destroy) forces he things fails in the rule of law. If you do not do as he says, he will do everything in his power to defeat or destroy you, and you will never do what you did again…
So pick a character like Sabine, she left/expelled the Imperial Academy, bounty hunted and joined the Rebels. She also paints in rebellion.
He would call Sabine a quitter because she could not handle the rigorous demands of Imperial training. He would call her a coward because she quit.
He would call her disloyal because bounty hunters sell themselves to the highest bidders.
He would call her “radicalized” with dreamers that sympathize and cavorting with Jedi.
By her paintings, he would know the concrete, the paint, the binders, the chemicals, and the shades. He would look at the lines, and he would see that fineness of her images.
To defeat Sabine is to tear at her core of being Mandalorian. Cowardice is one of them. Tell her she’s not Mandalorian, much like some people who are mixed race cannot be who they identify as. Then tell how she destroyed her family with her actions. Then criticize her Academy record and tell her how dumb she is.
That’s the Thrawn mindfuck.
Now will he do this in Star Wars Rebels? I don’t know? But I do know he does not necessarily play fair in the brain game and he will outmaneuver while playing the game.
The reason I’m saying this, is a lot of Force users he picks apart similarly usually wind up choking the mess out of him. Irony is Palpatine or Vader never choked him. I think the found it interesting because he used his mind without Force use. Then they laughed when his victims who were mighty started to cry.
Thrawn is a different kind a bully, but a bully. And therein lies his weakness. Bullies themselves tear at people with the very thing they are most insecure about. Failure in school… Taking on a job that is less that one’s skill. Finding a higher cause but needs a lot of work.
But what I really think will happen?
Shit, he’ll fall in love with Sabine.