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Lit Thrawn Alliances Book - Summer 2018

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Diego Lucas, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Rennzwerg

    Rennzwerg Jedi Knight star 1

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    Mar 26, 2017
    Thrawn is not like Weyoun and he is most certainly nothing like Gul Dukat. Thrawn is like Thrawn.

    And with regards to him having destroyed a world in Legends, he himself calls it his "one failure" where he "wound up destroying their world" because he could not figure out their art. That does not sound like it is a particularly common approach of his. Or one he accepts as reasonable.

    Thrawn is a villain, he is not a misunderstood hero. He willingly serves the Empire and while he may have gotten into it with an ulterior motive and higher morals, by the time of TTT he was definitely the bad guy who was willing to do things the younger Thrawn would have objected to (the Noghri for example). But that (for me) is the point, he developed into that character.

    The Rebels Thrawn already doing lots of stuff TTT Thrawn would have done (without any if the success I might add) is odd. Especially when compared to the Thrawn novel which directly precedes Thrawns Rebels involvement. He should bear some resemblance at least. But he does not which is why we are having these interesting discussions.

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  2. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Thrawn didn't necessarily have a lot of novels that showed that progression from the more moralistic version seen in Outbound Flight to the pragmatist of Heir to the Empire. The conflict with Nuso Esva as told across Choices of One and Crisis of Faith springs to mind, but there Thrawn was facing off against a threat that was undoubtedly more evil than him. Also it's worth noting that Rukh is already serving Thrawn in canon, so if one considers that to be when Thrawn lost his way...it already happened.

    It's also worth noting, from what I understand, they had the scripts for Rebels season 4 finished and used for voice recording back in August of 2016. Effectively, they were far ahead of Zahn rather than actively ignoring him. He was shown the scripts for Rebels 3/4 and basically had to work backwards from there.
     
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  3. Rennzwerg

    Rennzwerg Jedi Knight star 1

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    Mar 26, 2017
    Well, we know nothing about Rukh in the new canon (and in hindsight he seemed more like a red herring / nod to the TTT). So I am not drawing any conclusions about how "evil" Thrawn is at this stage just from Rukh's presence. In fact, I really think the show would have been better off without him, he added nothing really and made it more complicated to forget Legends Thrawn. I would not be surprised, though, if Zahn explained Rukh's presence in the upcoming novel just to tie up a loose end.

    Given that the Rebels storyline was pretty much fleshed out by the time Zahn was brought in, I really expected his depiction of Thrawn in last year's novel to match what we got on screen. If Dave Filoni wanted a more bloodthirsty, Bond-villain-esque Thrawn then Zahn could (should?) have written him that way. But this is not what happened and to me at least there are two very destinct versions of Thrawn in canon (not even thinking about Legends here). Personally, I prefer a mixture of the two. Book-Thrawn is too "good" (for want of a better word), Rebels-Thrawn too "evil".

    To be honest, if it wasn't for the book I would be very disappointed with the reincarnation of the character. He faces up to the heroes twice in Rebels season finales and succeeds in none of his main goals. None. And no, the destruction of large parts of the rebel fleet - while a huge blow to them - ultimately is less than what he set out to achieve. In Thrawn: Alliances Atollon is described as a humiliating failure.

    This is probably my main problem: He is a failure in Rebels. Ezra Bridger beats him - it is immaterial that nobody could have planned for the Purgill or the Bendu. A loss is a loss.
    I have no problem with Thrawn bombarding Lothal as a lesser evil to get to Ezra. I can see how "executing" the speeder bike manufacturing guy is cruel but effective. That fits with what I would expect from the character. But we never get what made Thrawn special - pulling victory from defeat or succeeding through unorthodox, clever methods. Because he never wins when it counts!

    And now that he is effectively out of the Empire his short career as Grand Admiral ends with having been completely taken out by a small band of rebels while leading superior forces.

    I am sure Zahn will do him more justice in the upcoming novel but as it precedes Season 4 it is a bit hollow for me.

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  4. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Zahn's always going to write Thrawn as he does, and from what he's said Lucasfilm basically trusted him fully to do so without too much interference, and looking at how successful the books have been, I can't say I blame them. I don't even really think Dave Filoni set out to do a Thrawn that was especially different either, I think he knew clearly that Thrawn was going to be a villain on the show and that his main intention was to show him as a threatening presence that was recognisable as the classic Legends character. The medium and the story he was telling didn't especially lend itself to the character being fleshed out too much beyond the most overt traits we all know.

    Also, when you look at how Rebels used Thrawn it's worth actually taking a look at Thrawn's Legends appearances as well. In the quarter century the character has existed, he's only been used as the main villain of a story three times... all within the original Heir to the Empire trilogy. That's a very specific use too, as he was the head of the Imperial Remnant so he was the one calling all the shots, and his successes were highlighted by the fact that Zahn very intentionally depicted the Empire as being the underdogs in that story. Conversely, almost every other major use of the character has featured him either as a protagonist or a neutral character whose actions end up benefitting the heroes in some way. Rebels was in that weird place of having to use Thrawn as the antagonist, at the height of imperial power, against protagonist fighting the big guns of the Empire. Frankly, I think they managed to walk that dangerous path of not having him kill them and the losses not be out of anything he did.

    But if the character's credibility is a concern, consider this; the main Jedi elements within the Rebellion were destroyed or removed from the pre-war in their battles against Thrawn. Had they been allowed to survive up to the point where Luke joins, then you've got a vastly different conflict and one that might actually have the Empire on the back foot. I don't know that they're beloved, but those characters were a big deal and a threat. And on the flip side, the fact that they basically used a supernatural element to remove Thrawn from the galaxy just to keep him out of the war also speaks volumes for how he could have tipped the scales. Essentially, it's two big elements that could have dramatically changed the war cancelling each other out. And if you want more wins under Thrawn's belt without the murkiness of him going up against heroic figures, I'm absolutely certain that this novel won't be the last from Zahn.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  5. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 30, 2000
    Yes, but that's clearly not the intent of the original work and even if it was....it's still much much worse than anything Governor Pryce did.

    I will point out I find it weird people complain about Thrawn winning against the Rebels because this is a series about the heroics of a plucky resistance against the bad guys. Honestly, he pounded many-many Rebel groups and drove them far worse than he should have. It's a bit like asking. "Why shouldn't Cobra beat the GI Joe more often?" The Rebels are the underdogs with far less resources, men, and equipment. They're also the good guys. Let's not make a wacky world where the Empire winning is a good thing. We should watch the show to get the boo-hiss Space Nazis blown up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  6. Matthew Trias

    Matthew Trias Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Sep 8, 1999
    Disagree. Thrawn is a hypocrite in Legends and full of himself.

    I always took him as a Gul Dukat. He even views himself as the iron handed protector of the galaxy, doing what must be done.

    The tractor beam operator he had Rukh rip apart would agree with me...if he were still alive. (and real)
     
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  7. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    I'm not in the camp that Thrawn's in any way a good guy, but the death of an imperial who tried to throw his fellow officer under a bus for his own failure can say whatever he likes... he ain't getting any sympathy from me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  8. Rennzwerg

    Rennzwerg Jedi Knight star 1

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    Mar 26, 2017
    Well, we have to agree to disagree then. Gul Dukat ended up at one stage so emotionally & mentally deranged that he had to be institutionalised. Then he surgically altered his appearance to pose as a Bajoran. He is a different kind of baddie altogether.

    Neither of them are good guys, but there is a big difference in their motivations and characters.

    After having the hapless operator killed, Thrawn also promoted Ensign Mithel for his innovative efforts because he tried to find a solution instead of passing the blame. Pellaeon specifically mentions the crew were willing to die for him, which I cannot see anyone doing for Dukat (especially once he gets past the first few of seasons in DS9).


    (For the record, I did like Gul Dukat originally as a good foil for Sisko but was disappointed at how much the writers twisted his character from the middle of the show onwards. He had to jump through a lot of hoops... but that is for another forum )

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  9. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Did the crew really have much of a choice in the matter? Under threat of being slice-n-diced by Rukh if they slip up, of course they're going to give 110%, and do it with a proverbial smile on their face.
     
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  10. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Well, Thrawn doesn't punish failure. That's kind of the explicit point of those scenes in Heir to the Empire and The Last Command. He killed the one guy and promoted the other, despite both failing at the same task. If he punishes anything, it's wilful ignorance.
     
  11. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 30, 2016
    I've always liked Thrawn, but after hearing him voiced by Lars Mikkelsen (and by extension Marc Thompson impersonating Lars Mikkelsen), he's just so smooth and charismatic I basically fell in love and can overlook any of his negative aspects.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  12. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Oct 3, 2016
    ^ Amen to that!
     
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  13. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    I've loved Lars Mikkelsen since Sherlock, but I'm partial to the Thrawn voice from the PC game TIE Fighter, which you can buy on Steam: “This Rebel base has no hope of escape. Commence the attack!”

    And then there's Thrawn's atmospheric promotion to Grand Admiral on Coruscant in TIE Fighter, complete with immediate plotting between Palpatine and Thrawn on how to stop Zaarin. I hoped Zahn would replicate this scene in his Thrawn novel, but instead we got more heroic martyr Thrawn whose civilian casualties were all Ahrinda Pryce's fault (contrary to both Filoni's intentions and Thrawn's use of civilian casualties in the finale on Lothal), and quibbling about the Death Star.
     
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  14. Rennzwerg

    Rennzwerg Jedi Knight star 1

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    Mar 26, 2017
    Ah, TIE Fighter - still my favourite PC game of all time... I loved the Thrawn vs Zaarin campaign. Pity we are not going to get something like that. Would be so happy if they ever re-made this with modern graphics.

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  15. LelalMekha

    LelalMekha Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Oct 29, 2012
    I like Thrawn's Rebels theme very much, but I'll never be able to forget this one, in all its primitive glory:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  16. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 30, 2016
    I love TIE Fighter, but Thrawn's voice in that game just doesn't fit him at all.
     
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  17. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    Was Thrawn's voice ever officially described in the books? I can't remember.

    This guy is the official voice for Legends Thrawn and Lars--well, he's canon Thrawn :p
     
  18. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    I think Filoni and co had the right idea of making him a non-native English speaker. The Danish accent sounds just different enough from what would constitute the Core accent that it hits the ear weirdly, makes him stand out amongst the rest of High Command.
     
  19. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2005
    You mean Cheunh is really Danish?? :eek:

    Galen Erso was raised using the Chiss language? ;)

    Thrawn: Jyn, I am your uncle.
    Jyn: That's not true! That's impossible! We aren't even the same species!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  20. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Just you wait until they cast Pilou Asbaek as Formbi. Get the whole cast of Borgen as blue people.
     
  21. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Source?
     
  22. TheAvengerButton

    TheAvengerButton Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 11, 2011
    I'm a little late to this party but I couldn't enjoy the first Thrawn novel. I know he really is Tim's baby, but I'm more used to the more villainous Thrawn without the shades of morality that were (seemingly) added later. I just can't recall the Thrawn from TTT being anything but a villain, and that really colored his later appearances for me. So to have him as a more ambiguous sort instead of the depiction in Rebels...eh. I'm still going to read Thrawn Alliances because Tim is such a good writer.
     
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  23. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    It might have been his intention circa 2015, before he showed the 3x01 footage to Zahn, but for a while now there's been a kind of vibe ...maybe it's just me but it did seem to me that they really pushed Pryce forward as an utterly nasty villain through Season 4, perhaps as a reaction to something Zahn may have said.

    I recall Henry Gilroy mentioned on a panel ages ago that Pryce was responsible for the Batonn massacre and that he would classify her as a "maniac", and I believe Mary Elizabeth McGlynn has said before that Filoni stressed to her during recording that unlike Thrawn, Pryce has no redeeming features. Couple that with Thrawn himself expressing genuine regret at having to destroy Lothal in the finale...I think the notion of Thrawn being the guy who racks up massive collateral damage was subtly shifted to Pryce.
     
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  24. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 6, 2007
    There is no source. The item in question is a trio of lines from the Season Three Premiere of Rebels. Thrawn comments about his recent promotion after the Battle of Batton. Kallus remarks that "civilians casualties outnumbered insurgent deaths". Pryce retorts that they were acceptable losses and the discussion ends.

    Given that the episode aired in September and the Thrawn novel was released, most people at the time assumes that the intent was for viewers to see that scene and infer that Thrawn was a brutally effective commander who didn't care about collateral damage so long as his goal was achieved.

    Zahn undermined that assumption by making the civilian casualties at Batton completely Pryce's fault and absolving Thrawn of all blame. In fact, it's Thrawn whose angry about the civilian deaths and suspects Pryce of having something to do with it.

    The Thrawn in the novel is established as disliking collateral damage and sparing people whenever possible. Contrast that to Thrawn's orbital bombardment of Capital City in the Rebels Season Four finale and we're left with a bit of an inconsistency.

    Within Rebels, this is a perfectly normal action for Thrawn. He killed a civilian worker in Season Three and it was implied that civilian casualties meant nothing to him, so bombarding a city is perfectly within his existing character.

    But I don't think the Thrawn from the novel would choose to attack a city full of civilians on his own. He'd do it if he were ordered to by the Emperor himself, but even then he'd find a way to try and save them somehow.

    I guess it's two different interpretations of a character within one canon.

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  25. SyndicThrass

    SyndicThrass Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 25, 2016
    It's a stretch to call Morad Sumar a civilian. You take up arms against someone, even as a saboteur, you're an enemy combatant. I could agree with Zahn's reasoning there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018