Long before Disney acquired “Star Wars,” “Star Wars Rebels” arrived on Disney XD, and Rukh entered the world of animation, the character called print home. Rukh debuts in the widely-beloved non-canon “Thrawn” trilogy by author Timothy Zahn — consisting of “Heir to the Empire,” “Dark Force Rising,” and “The Last Command” — from the early 1990s. While the “Rebels” take on the character does use Zahn’s writings as a starting point, the version of Rukh from the book trilogy is a bit different in terms of his story.
Much like his animated counterpart, the “Thrawn” trilogy version of Rukh is one of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s closest allies. He’s fiercely loyal to him as he attempts to rebuild the Galactic Empire following its fall, working under the assumption that the Imperial remnant is trying to restore his ecologically destroyed homeworld of Honoghr. However, he learns that Thrawn and the Imperials have no such plans for the planet, instead keeping it desolate and destroyed so the Nogrhi continue to serve the Empire. Enraged by this deceit, Rukh bides his time before killing Thrawn himself, stabbing him through the chest with a knife. Rukh is killed shortly after but honored among his people for his bravery.
Even though he doesn’t enjoy much time in the “Star Wars” canon spotlight, at least a beloved Legends character like Rukh got the chance to shine in a canon production at all.