Lit Would Thrawn Approve of the First Order?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by instantdeath, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. instantdeath Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    This is a question that has interested me, particularly after reading the Thrawn novel.

    In the minds of a lot of people- including its creators, I think- the First Order is nothing more than a continuation, and natural successor, to the Empire. Therefore, it's natural to think that those who supported the Empire would also support the First Order. However, I can't help but see a fundamental difference between the two. The Empire, while founded by a megalomaniacal evil wizard, was ultimately committed to imposing order on the galaxy, even if that order did happen to come in a tyrannical, freedom snuffing way. The Empire fought the Rebellion because they felt they needed to. The First Order, in contrast, comes off to me like a big terrorist organization, one that is fighting purely out of some sense of revenge, and even in just the first movie, are arguably seen to jump more quickly to the acts of brutality than the Empire is. The First Order are a force for terror, and they seem to have no problem with it at all. After all, there's no way they can come into a new system, destroy a planet or two, and expect people to want to be ruled by them.

    Which brings me to Thrawn. The Thrawn novel reemphasized something that has always been a core trait of Thrawn: he is a morally ambiguous villain. He does not seem to like the Empire, so much as he sees it as preferable to the alternative, of a slow moving, ineffectual government that would be helpless against an outside invader. Assuming that Thrawn is indeed afraid of the Yuuzhan Vong- it could be Snoke, but I have a hard time buying that, as outside of the First Order Snoke does not seem to have an army of any kind- it makes sense that he would want to build up the most powerful military force that he can, in order to protect the galaxy from extinction. All the terrible things the Empire does he justifies as being worth it in the long run, all while holding on to a hope that he can help steer the Empire in a more benevolent direction after the apparently aging Emperor passes (oh, if only he knew). It seems that Thrawn's ultimate vision of the Empire was closer to Fel's Empire that we see in the Legacy comics: a force of somewhat stiff and inflexible order, but ultimately a good intentioned one.

    Would he, however, extend the same benefit of the doubt to the First Order, the same way other loyal Imperials, such as Rae Sloane, apparently do? I personally do not think so at all. I feel like he would see the First Order as an impediment to order, a group of blowhards that, to paraphrase another favorite fantasy series, would be perfectly fine burning the galaxy to the ground, as long as they could rule the ashes. And, depending on whether the Vong ever strike in this continuity, he would see them as divided the forces necessary to combat whatever is out in the Unknown Regions (and even if they have already dealt with that, they're still ultimately making the galaxy weaker in a protracted war, not stronger).

    So, say Thrawn was alive in the ST era, and forced to deal with deciding between a somewhat weak, divided, and ultimately ineffectual (at least in matters of military) New Republic, versus a violent, insurgent Force intent on taking the galaxy at all costs, even if it meant destroying a portion of it: who would Thrawn side with? It's clear that he wouldn't like either side all that much. Maybe he would just say screw the galaxy, and he and Pellaeon would hop on a ship and go on an intimate road trip through the Unknown Regions.

    Tl;dr version: would Thrawn support the First Order, or would he consider them a terrorist group that needs to be wiped out?
  2. sidv88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2005
    star 4
    We don't know how the canon Thrawn will take the Empire's defeat at ROTJ yet. However, if he is identical to Legends Thrawn--well, I will tell you that Legends Thrawn was the First Order before there was a First Order! Legends Thrawn states his goals in 'Heir to the Empire: "The conquering of worlds, of course. The final defeat of the Rebellion. The reestablishment of the glory that was once the Empire's New Order." This is literally the First Order's motto.

    So Legends Thrawn would definitely join the First Order in my view. He literally was creating a First Order (although it wasn't called that) in the Thrawn Trilogy.

    Legends Thrawn wants to destroy the Vong at all costs. Legends Luke admits in the EU that Imperial superweapons like the Galaxy Gun would have been a great help in the Vong war in the New Essential Guide to Weapons and Tech: "At the time, the Galaxy Gun was the most destructive weapon we'd ever seen. But I wish we had it now. We could blast those Yuuzhan Vong worldships right out of the sky.". I can't see Legends Thrawn saying no to Starkiller Base.

    So unless canon Thrawn is different from Legends Thrawn, I totally see him joining the First Order. The only hangup might be if Snoke is himself the Unknown Regions threat Thrawn is so afraid of. But we won't know this until future movies. All the Aftermath "hinting" is just that--hinting. It did not outright say Snoke was the Unknown Regions threat at all, and he might not be.




    We can't see Thrawn as how some would like to see him, but read his Legends books to see what he actually does. The stuff the First Order is accused of doing in this post is exactly what Thrawn did in the Thrawn Trilogy, complete with letting a mad clone Jedi loose to do so.

    And, as fanatical as Hux is, even he calls the New Republic by their name, the Republic. Thrawn insists on calling them the Rebellion.
    Last edited by sidv88, Apr 20, 2017
  3. Trip Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    assuming nu!Thrawn is the same as canon!Thrawn he'd probably sulk out in the unknown regions until he could find a way to take over the first order, because he is an egomaniac and couldn't deal with Hux and company bossing him around. I mean yeah he doesn't like superweapons and would be grossed out by the FO's vulgarity but it's important to remember that his objection to atrocities stems from the intellectual's disdain for brutality rather than any actual sense of morality or whatever.

    (Pelly would definitely be with the FO incidentally, he was a total weenie who was fine serving psychotic terrorists so long as they didn't make him personally commit anything too atrocious.)
  4. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    In Hand of Thrawn, a point is made of how superweapons weren't really Thrawn's thing. How he dealt with Coruscant - besiege it with cloaked asteroids - isn't really First Order-ish. They'd have (if their resources were as limited as Thrawn's) fired swarms of cloaked asteroids at the planet and reduced it to rubble. In general, Thrawn tended to avoid this kind of extreme destructiveness.
    PCCViking likes this.
  5. Anedon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2016
    star 4
    Well Thrawn was willingly to do pretty much everything he had to do to ensure the Vong could be defeated by the empire. So I guess he would agree to work for the first order as well if he deems them the best chance to stop the Vong.
    That said as the Vong don´t exsist in the new canon we don´t really know why Thrawn joined the empire in the first place. Maybe he belives in its ideaology, or he just wants to stabilize the galaxy as a whole.
    But I guess given that the first order is more a terrorist group than an actuall goverment/nation he might deem the New Republic a better chance for the galaxy. Although given that Cienna Ree was charged for warcrimes despite just merely serving in the imperial fleet I don´t think Thrawn could join them.
  6. sidv88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2005
    star 4
    While it might not be Thrawn's thing, I think Thrawn appreciates creative solutions and forward thinking in attacking his opponents. Warping Ilum (or whatever) into Starkiller Base to blow up Vong worldships counts, even if it isn't the preferred thing Thrawn would have thought of. Thrawn has no pride (or so he claims)--In any case, he won't turn down a good idea just because he didn't think of it.
    Last edited by sidv88, Apr 20, 2017
    MandaloreRex2015 and Iron_lord like this.
  7. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    From the Thrawn novel

    Show Spoiler
    Thrawn tells the person he's trying to recruit (he fails) that there are "evils" in the galaxy far worse than the tyranny that is the Empire - and this is why he's joined the Empire - to ensure that those evils are thwarted, if necessary by throwing the Empire at them as a sacrifice.
    MandaloreRex2015 likes this.
  8. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Okay...

    What?

    People SERIOUSLY think the First Order is LESS committed to establishing order in the galaxy?

    It's in the speech!

    "Acquiesce to disorder!"

    It's why they hate the New Republic. They hate it because it's not strong enough and chaotic. Unlike the Empire which was built around being in charge.

    The First Order actually BELIEVES in the cause of bringing peace and justice the galaxy, unlike the Empire which is a kleptocratic oligarchy.

    The First Order are the Good Guys. The Resistance is the Bad Guys.

    *drools from First Order brainwashing*
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Apr 20, 2017
  9. Trip Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    wait do people actually buy Thrawn's "oh noes vong :((" bs? like maybe that's what he told himself initially when he agreed to work for Palpatine and I definitely think his followers like Parck and company were true believers but Thrawn himself is so clearly full of it. Like yeah he wanted to leave the infrastructure intact so he could fend off the eventual invasion but by the end of his life power was pretty clearly an end in itself for him, regardless of any protestations to the contrary.
  10. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    Cloning himself suggests that his own life didn't matter all that much to him, as long as his legacy carried on.

    Unlike with Palpatine, who could transfer his soul into his clone and thus live on that way.
    Crisis of Faith showed a Thrawn, right before TTT, that was busy thwarting Nuvo Esva's attempts to conquer the Unknown Regions and commit genocide on various planets. It did seem like the Thrawn of that, was somewhat less self-centred than TTT might lead us to believe.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Apr 20, 2017
    Charlemagne19 likes this.
  11. Anedon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2016
    star 4
    Well the Vong thing was later retconned by Zahn who wanted to make Thrawn appear more heroic. (The same with Mara with the insitanc that she never killed an incoennt person in the emperors service)

    If Thrawn talks about greater threats than the empire I`m wondering what he means. I highly doubt we will see the Vong in the new Canon so he might refer to something else, or Zahn again tried to present his characters in a more heroic light.
    Charlemagne19 likes this.
  12. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    Possibly. Weird entities like Bendu perhaps - equally powerful, but even more ruthless and dangerous than Bendu was?
    I don't remember Zahn ever insisting no innocents were ever killed by Mara - but he did seem to be downplaying her original "assassin" role as much as could be done.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Apr 20, 2017
  13. JediBatman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2015
    star 2
    Honestly I don't think the First Order's ultimate goals are that different from the Empire's "Peace and Order, no matter how many liberties we have to step on and no matter how many bodies we have to step over" ideology. In the Propaganda Book the FO's posters have slogans like "Legitimate Rule, Legitimate Power", "Holding Back the Chaos", and "Might is All".

    The early information we got on the First Order did make them seem more like a terrorist group than a government. The fact that they lived in the Unknown Regions away from civilized society, that their Stormtroopers were taken from their parents at a young age, and I'm pretty sure I read some article that referred to them as a "military junta". But since then we've been told that many (if not all) Centrist worlds of the New Republic joined the First Order, and the Visual Dictionary page on Riot Control Troopers mentions them putting down civilian riots. Considering many of the worlds that joined were probably populous Core Worlds, that means billions of tax paying citizens. This might give them some legitimacy, even if they're not currently the dominant galactic government.

    So, would Thrawn support the First Order? If he saw the New Republic as inefficient and unable to defend against Yuuzhan Vong/Snoke/The White Walkers/Other Nebulous Threats, he might. But on the other hand, he might not approve of the First Order's clumsy methods. If anything he might try to start his own group, like the Legends Empire of the Hand or a shadow version of Leia's Resistance.
    Last edited by JediBatman, Apr 20, 2017
  14. Rax Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2015
    star 3
    This is one of the most interesting star wars topics for me right now, whether Thrawn survives post-RotJ, what would he be doing? Return to the chiss ascendancy? Hide in the unknown regions with a huge imperial armada? Join forces with the First order?

    I feel like there is just so much potential in having a story about Thrawn in such a sense. Much more than it would be killing him off.

    Snoke didn't seem annoyed by the loss of starkiller base. You know, the system destroyer? What could he possibly have that we haven't seen. We've seen stormtroopers and people like general Hux, but what if he has a much larger force elsewhere which we haven't seen?
    Last edited by Rax, Apr 20, 2017
  15. instantdeath Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Few things to address

    -On whether we'll see the Vong again in the nuEU: probably not, I admit, but I would love if they were acknowledged. In fact, it seems that TCW was on the precipice of making them canon, and I highly suspect the meeting between Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker that is alluded to many times throughout the Thrawn novel refers to this unmade TCW arc. So perhaps it's possible. If they are ever canonized, though, I highly imagine the Yuuzhan Vong war will be reduced to more of a skirmish, which really does kinda deflate Thrawns fears about them being "the end of all life in the galaxy".

    -On whether the First Order is any different from the Empire: to be fair, I don't think saying the "Empire wants order" really is as much a point in their favor as it sounds. Order is fine for those on top, but it tends to stifle pretty much everyone else. The Empire, in its imposition of order, may keep organized crime down much more effectively than the Republic, but their means are, obviously, still awful. The First Order is obviously committed to their bastardized version of "order" too: however, I fully believe the way they go about it, as depicted in the film, is much more venomous than the Empire.

    Despite their words, I just can't buy the First Order as anything but an arbiter of chaos themselves. The great difference between the First Order and the Empire is that the Empire was legally put in place (even if Palpatine tied that system of space law into knots). It was the natural extension of the Republic. It was still hopelessly corrupt, but I could see that being reason enough for people like Sloane and Thrawn to give it their loyalty. The First Order, however, is the terrorist organization that the Rebellion was often called: violently attempting to overthrow a government because they feel they can do better. They burn entire villages alive in the name of a long dead Empire. They build superweapons that destroys planets, and use it not as an example, like the Empire did, but clearly as the start of a new cycle of warfare.

    The Empire does these things as well, but at least with them I can see how those who work for it could put blinders over their eyes and convince themselves they're serving the legitimate government and the greater good. The First Order? The cause they're devoted to is revenge. There's nothing even slightly noble about them, and its followers, at least from what we see in TFA, come off as brainwashed from birth, rather than misguided believers as in the Empire.

    It is a good point, however, that in the Thrawn trilogy, Thrawn was basically leading a First Order of sorts. However, he did so at least seeming like he wanted to keep the galaxy whole. The First Order honestly give me the impression they'd just as soon burn Coruscant to the ground than retake it. But maybe that's just my incorrect reading, based on the way JJ Abrams chose to depict them (basically, "bigger, badder Empire" is the extend of the characterization they've received so far.)

    Yeah, my knowledge of the workings of the FO is mainly influenced by the film, I haven't read any of the reference material.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Apr 20, 2017
  16. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    Given how much "deal-cutting" there was with the Hutts, it's entirely possible that organized crime was actually more successful (and more organized) under the Empire than it was under the Republic.
  17. mnjedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    Thrawn wouldn't be a fan of the general lack of professionalism in the FO, but beyond that there are things on either side, he would like thier dedication to order and thier junta style governing, ultimately though I think that the FOs fanaticism and proximity to the Chiss would make him uneasy. Ironic that he joined the empire to protect against threats in the Unknown regions, but because of him the empire became one of those threats in the unknown regions.
  18. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    The First Order is legally recognized as a sovereign nation by the New Republic and has treaties with it.

    People really want it to be this illegitimate pretender group, don't they?

    Edit:

    Okay, I've temporarily broken my brainwashing of the First Order and acknowledge they're pretty much set up to have NO moral ambiguity whatsoever as awful-awful people. However, the problem is that the Galactic Empire having sympathetic qualities is a product of both the Expanded Universe as well as general fandom love of Imperial military hardware. The Empire and First Order are not noticeably different aside from the fact Finn believes the latter are invincible while the villain of Poe Damoren thinks they're poseurs.

    I think it was a good choice by Chuck Wendig to have Rae Sloane be one of the founders of the First Order because fandom keeps genertaing excuse after excuse as to why THIS Imperial would not join the FO because they'd recognize how bad a govenrment it is. For me, I actually think the only one NOT likely to join it is Cienna Ree because at least she recognizes the Empire is evil.

    Everyone else seems to see it as the Empire's successor, yes or no, which seems appropriate since I'm of the mind the FO is meant to be the Imperial Remnant Remix. I believe Disney is mining the EU for hideas and the FO is certainly born from that in canon novels even if not in the movies.

    I get the impression the Empire enjoyed the idea of spice and circuses.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Apr 20, 2017
  19. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    Thrawn calls it "tyranny" as well and has no problem using the term "evil" for it - he just sees it as a lesser evil.
  20. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    I am curious if the EU will make the Chiss part of the First Order.

    The First Order noticeably dial down the Imperial and High Human Culture elements of the Empire with Snoke being Supreme Leader instead of Emperor.

    Kylo Ren also doesn't appear to be a Lord.

    It'd be interesting if the Chiss were the FO's "Hosts" getting set up.
  21. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    There's hints that "anti-alienism" was a First Order thing too:

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/First_Order

    Prerecorded speeches often filled the airwaves, in which General Armitage Hux would often comment on the depravity of the Republic with famines on Ibaar and Adarlon, the brutal suppression of the people of Balamak, and unchecked alien advances throughout the Outer Rim. Following which stories of First Order victories such as liberating labor camps on Iktotch or winning a fleet battle in the Bormea sector. Despite these patriotic functions and rallies, the First Order relied on the brutal suppression of dissent and unpatriotic activities. riot control stormtroopers were specially trained to quash insurrection, while live-fire dispersal of protesters was permitted. Industrial unrest like the Strike at Pressy's Tumble were blamed on New Republic agents. According to the First Order, the Jedi were officially extinct, while it was forbidden to pronounce Kylo Ren's birth name by order of Supreme Leader Snoke himself.[3][4] Within many of the labor camps and mining operations in First Order space, a large number of individuals involved were from aliens species.[3]
  22. Charlemagne19 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    I am curious who they're liberating labor camps FROM to be honest.

    Albeit, I remember one of my favorite Adventure Journal news stories was where the Empire invaded a hutt world and rescued all the human slaves there with no mention of the alien ones.

    :)

    Of course, now with the Corporate State and New Confederacy, we actually have other places the FO can go to war with.
    CaptainPeabody and Iron_lord like this.
  23. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    Imperial propaganda had "planetary liberations" too - using "the Base Delta Zero initiative." (Rebels: Rise of the Old Masters).
  24. ForcePushUp Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2016
    star 1
    Oooooh! Good question.

    The easy answer is yes as Thrawn viewed the Empire as the greatest chance for stability and security for the galaxy and hey, in the EU, he basically led the EU version of The First Order.

    However, there are other factors to consider. Would he approve of someone as emotionally unstable as Kylo Ren having any authority? Or Snoke?
    Charlemagne19 and Iron_lord like this.
  25. Iron_lord Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 8
    There were a lot of "Imperial splinter factions" that had commonalities with the First Order.

    The "secret shipyards in the Unknown Regions" are most like the Empire of the Hand.

    But the "Cold War" with a well known isolationist regime - the Republic "unable to act" (but acting through a proxy - the Resistance) has a lot in common with the Pentastar Alignment and the Red Moon Mercenaries respectively:

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Red_Moons
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Pentastar_Alignment
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Apr 20, 2017