Star Wars: Rebels

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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by Themightytom » 2018-03-08 01:00pm

I don't know how terrified the Empire could be of the space whales, that mining facility seemed to have them under control and Thrawn was really just taken by surprise. He had Sabine and Hera's art but I don't think he expected Ezra to suddenly unveil a force vision inspired plan. It waa compartmentalized and everyone actually participating thought it was crazy.

When the Empire figured out what happened with surviving witnesses or whatever they'd probably conclude correctly it was a one off, especially since Bridger disappeared and no one else can talk to wolves and space whales. Vader probably SHOULD have prioritized capturing Hera, as a source because based on her participation in major battles she WAS in touch with Mon Mothma's cell through it all.

I wonder if Hera's son will be the new youth protagonist for a future series?

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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-08 01:02pm

Would be nice to have more non-human (or part-human) protagonists in Star Wars.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-11 01:35am

Just finished the series. Thrawn was defeated the only way he could be, by a force he had no knowledge of in the first place. It's kinda interesting to see that Star Wars races can interbreed if they wanted to. Pryce's fear of Thrawn, as well as the Rebels having to plan around him not being there was enjoyable. The rebels know that they can't win against Thrawn, so they pin everything on winning against Pryce.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by Zixinus » 2018-08-11 07:43am

I also just managed to finally watch the last mission. I still feel that getting the space Whales was quite an asspull, especially how they just overpowered a mayor military vessel. Still, not the worst ending for it.

I was really confused about the hybrid thing.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-11 02:19pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-08-11 01:35am
The rebels know that they can't win against Thrawn, so they pin everything on winning against Pryce.
Perhaps, but I personally think that Thrawn is overrated. Don't get me wrong- he's capable, and an interesting character. But I don't really like the idea that he is a perfect commander who can never be beaten except by bad luck. He makes numerous mistakes and suffers multiple defeats during his debut story, the Thrawn Trilogy. He's just a man, an educated, perceptive, self-controlled man with a talent for thinking outside the box, but just a man.

Thrawn might be nigh-unbeatable when you combine his skill with the superior resources of the Empire at his disposal, but I like to think that there are other commanders in the galaxy who could match him, if they were operating with comparable resources.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by Zixinus » 2018-08-11 04:02pm

The Thrawn in Rebels is not the same Thrawn in the books. And the Thrawn in the books is unique more out of the general standards and settings of SW writing then rather than because he was a totally unique character. He was a refreshing anti-thesis of what the standard template of Imperial commanders (who in turn are meshed caricatures between terrible commanders and Nazis) who was a formidable adversary that pushed the heroes out of their comfort zones of competence. It shook up the templates of SW writing at the time. He was portrayed not only as technically capable of command but as an actual leader.

The thing is that we already seen an example of that in the form of the Inquisitor. A calm, collected, educated and calculating adversary (of course, that varied later on). The Inquisitor forced Kanan to get out of his swashbuckling rebel routine and reconnect with his Jedi past, for example (and what I remember, it has been some time since I watched those season). Rebels-Thrawn is scaled-up version of that without the Sith baggage. He counters one of the Rebels's strengths in being anonymous by studying them closely and going after what they hold dear (the episode with Hera on her homeworld comes to mind).

But the thing is that in the books, Thrawn was actually a good person (to an extent) ,another thing that shook up expecations about SW in the era. Rebels-Thrawn is... just cold, observant and ruthless.

The biggest difference that comes to mind is the scene with book-Thrawn investigates why his tractor-beam failed to capture Luke, despite all odds. He goes to the heart of the problem and down the chain of command by personally interviewing the tractorbeam operator that lost Luke. Instead of going rabid-evil parody of an officer looking for someone to blame and vent his psychopathy on, Thrawn calmly speaks to him as a man trying to solve a problem. He finds out that the operator did his job best he could and Luke simply pulled something unexpected that the operator couldn't compensate. Instead of shooting him for failure, Thrawn doesn't punish him at all and solves the problem by having the officers run training drills so this doesn't happen and all the tractorbeam operators are thankful that's all that happen rather than get grizzly punishments. The operator walks away knowing he is trusted and eagerness to prove that he can be trusted.

It establishes Thrawn is very competent, self-controlled and a good leader that is focused on his work. That he knows how to do very well. His obsession and analysis of art is an expression of that, combining his appreciation for art and taking heed to the wisdom of "know your enemy". He is shown valuing his own people, sacrificing them only when absolutely necessary and generally being not a douchebag.

Contrast that with, well, this:

Thrawn cannot be a good guy because he is the villain and he has to do villainous things. His self-control, his amazing ability of analysis and problem solving is still there. But his lack of ego (or rather, lack of crippling emotional insecurities) is just replaced by cold, ruthless psychopathy. He cares more about art than actual people. He counters the Rebels's plans with calculated moves of strategy that is superior to that of the Rebels's. But he isn't a leader, he isn't remotely a good person.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-11 04:18pm

I'd actually disagree strongly that book Thrawn is in any way a good person. Sure, he has theoretically admirable goals (to an extent)- peace, order, stability, etc. And he is not as pointlessly brutal or cruel as some Imperials. But he makes two fundamental mistakes: first, he believes that stability and strength can only come through authoritarian power. In other words, he falls into the classic fallacy of believing that it is a choice between freedom and security, rather than understanding that the two are necessary to compliment each other. As a consequence, he makes what is basically a deal with the devil, supporting Palpatine- a man who could not give the slightest shit about the peace and stability of the galaxy or anything besides his own power, as evidenced by the fact that not only did he not set in place a stable line of succession, but that he actively pit his subordinates against each other and set up the Empire to collapse without him.

Secondly, Thrawn is arrogant. Not as obviously or cartoonishly arrogant as some Imperials, but arrogant on an even more fundamental level. He seems to genuinely believe that he alone can bring order to the galaxy once Palpatine is gone (note him basically asking C'Baoth in The Last Command whether he can see any future in which victory is achieved without him). He also chronically overestimates his ability to control subordinates and allies who's reliability/loyalty is doubtful, and this bites him in the ass again and again, ultimately fatally (see the Noghiri, C'baoth, and that idiot ship thief he tried to employ in one of the subplots).

The irony is that the only institution in Star Wars that actually managed to maintain a peaceful, stable, and secure galactic government for any length of time was... the Old Republic and the Jedi Order (probably largely due to the Jedi's ability to head off conflicts before they got out of hand). Thrawn is intelligent and educated enough that he ought to know this- indeed he probably does, since he actively tried to recruit Force users, and even wanted to clone C'baoth. But he wasn't content with building an Order of benevolent Force-using protectors- he wanted an order of Force users under his control. Because he's arrogant.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-11 04:47pm

This is why in old Canon(Outbound Flight), and in New Canon(Thrawn), he is doing this because the Chiss will need a stable ally for whatever outside force is coming. In the old EU, it was the Vong, and the fact that the current way of Republic defense, the Jedi, would have been totally unprepared for their tactics, weapons and armor. The fact that the Republic utterly leans on the Jedi to fix any significant problem is a huge crutch that will make the unprepared and unwilling to prepare for what's coming. That, and Palpatine pulled a fast one on him regarding why Palpatine was forming the Empire.

In the new EU, he wants to use the Empire as a force to break against whatever enemy the Chiss have coming, for similar reasons. Good motivation, less noble as the Old-EU Thrawn. Rebels Thrawn is more villainous than his Disney book interpretation. Possibly because he has Governor Pryce instead of Eli Vanto as his sounding board, and doesn't have to pretend to be a good person, or because he is coming to worse methods due to his current companion.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by Zixinus » 2018-08-11 05:03pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-11 04:18pm
I'd actually disagree strongly that book Thrawn is in any way a good person. Sure, he has theoretically admirable goals (to an extent)- peace, order, stability, etc. And he is not as pointlessly brutal or cruel as some Imperials. But he makes two fundamental mistakes: first, he believes that stability and strength can only come through authoritarian power. In other words, he falls into the classic fallacy of believing that it is a choice between freedom and security, rather than understanding that the two are necessary to compliment each other. As a consequence, he makes what is basically a deal with the devil, supporting Palpatine- a man who could not give the slightest shit about the peace and stability of the galaxy or anything besides his own power, as evidenced by the fact that not only did he not set in place a stable line of succession, but that he actively pit his subordinates against each other and set up the Empire to collapse without him.

Secondly, Thrawn is arrogant. Not as obviously or cartoonishly arrogant as some Imperials, but arrogant on an even more fundamental level. He seems to genuinely believe that he alone can bring order to the galaxy once Palpatine is gone (note him basically asking C'Baoth in The Last Command whether he can see any future in which victory is achieved without him). He also chronically overestimates his ability to control subordinates and allies who's reliability/loyalty is doubtful, and this bites him in the ass again and again, ultimately fatally (see the Noghiri, C'baoth, and that idiot ship thief he tried to employ in one of the subplots).

The irony is that the only institution in Star Wars that actually managed to maintain a peaceful, stable, and secure galactic government for any length of time was... the Old Republic and the Jedi Order (probably largely due to the Jedi's ability to head off conflicts before they got out of hand). Thrawn is intelligent and educated enough that he ought to know this- indeed he probably does, since he actively tried to recruit Force users, and even wanted to clone C'baoth. But he wasn't content with building an Order of benevolent Force-using protectors- he wanted an order of Force users under his control. Because he's arrogant.
Before you read anything else, a disclaimer: I am speaking with the bias of foggy memory on the subject. I don't remember every episode of Rebels all that well and I don't remember the books 100% either. So I may be forgetting important things about both and can't be bothered to look up respective wikis for everything I say.

Unto your post:

So, book-Thrawn's biggest faults are: A, he's a believer in a bad beliefs and B, he refuses to let others take on the tasks he finds the most important (or, he is a believer in his own greatness). Your criticism of him is that he is not enlightened in a certain way. That's... not a criticism I would expect of a bad person. That's a criticism of a good person not being good enough. Or rather, that comes across as flawed rather than outright evil.

Considering he's an Imperial Admiral point A seems to come naturally to someone in his position (and situation) and actually expected. And considering how he's actually really competent and the events of the galaxy at large in his time (a relatively small force shattered a galaxy-spanning Empire), point B does not seem that delusional (unlike point A). As a commander, believing and even trusting your own people is not a flaw. Considering the fascistic beliefs that the Empire had about individual heroism, point B seems to naturally stem from point A.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be an apologist for book-Thrawn or his actions. It's just that Rebels-Thrawn seemed to have missed the point and a reason why book-Thrawn was a good antagonist. Book-Thrawn was several steps above the common, rabid Imperial officers and commanders we typically see that seem to take their cues from (the most rabid of) WH40k Commissars. Book-Thrawn managed to be menacing by not being monstrous but by being someone you could actually believe to be a good commander and whose motivations do not stem from negative emotions. I feel that Rebels-Thrawn was steered away from this direction, by replacing his lack of monstrous behavior by psychopathy.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-11 05:17pm

Zixinus wrote:
2018-08-11 05:03pm
Before you read anything else, a disclaimer: I am speaking with the bias of foggy memory on the subject. I don't remember every episode of Rebels all that well and I don't remember the books 100% either. So I may be forgetting important things about both and can't be bothered to look up respective wikis for everything I say.
Fair enough, and I should probably note that my knowledge of Thrawn, and particularly Rebels Thrawn, is rather patchy as well.
Unto your post:

So, book-Thrawn's biggest faults are: A, he's a believer in a bad beliefs and B, he refuses to let others take on the tasks he finds the most important (or, he is a believer in his own greatness). Your criticism of him is that he is not enlightened in a certain way. That's... not a criticism I would expect of a bad person. That's a criticism of a good person not being good enough. Or rather, that comes across as flawed rather than outright evil.
But those flaws lead him to making choices that were deeply immoral, and also counterproductive to his actual goals.
Considering he's an Imperial Admiral point A seems to come naturally to someone in his position (and situation) and actually expected. And considering how he's actually really competent and the events of the galaxy at large in his time (a relatively small force shattered a galaxy-spanning Empire), point B does not seem that delusional (unlike point A). As a commander, believing and even trusting your own people is not a flaw. Considering the fascistic beliefs that the Empire had about individual heroism, point B seems to naturally stem from point A.
No, believing and trusting his people (when that faith is warranted) is not a flaw, nor would I suggest that it is. But that seems beside the point to me.

Note that he only became an Imperial Admiral after deciding to throw in with Palpatine, though- so that is a consequence of point A, not an explanation for it. His views might be more likely to be a product of his position in Chiss society, combined with the shock of discovering the scope of the threats and the degree of chaos in the larger galaxy.

I do think its fair to call him arrogant, as well- its not a delusion, per say, but his ability to control everyone around him is much less than he seems to believe, and his seeming inability to see that only make it more difficult for him to maintain control. I do think it stems naturally from his authoritarian views, yes.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be an apologist for book-Thrawn or his actions. It's just that Rebels-Thrawn seemed to have missed the point and a reason why book-Thrawn was a good antagonist. Book-Thrawn was several steps above the common, rabid Imperial officers and commanders we typically see that seem to take their cues from (the most rabid of) WH40k Commissars. Book-Thrawn managed to be menacing by not being monstrous but by being someone you could actually believe to be a good commander and whose motivations do not stem from negative emotions. I feel that Rebels-Thrawn was steered away from this direction, by replacing his lack of monstrous behavior by psychopathy.
Not much to say here, except that I think there is a fine line between ruthless amorality in pursuit of a larger goal (which definitely applies to book Thrawn), and psychopathy. Though I do recognize of course that book and show Thrawn are different characters.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by NecronLord » 2018-08-15 02:02am

For what it's worth, the Yuzzum Vong story with Thrawn was not in any way a meaningful part of his canon - it is not in the New York Times bestsellers, but in a (relatively) obscure book written after twenty years of adoration had enshrined Thrawn as a fan favourite. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that when he wrote His Last Command, Tim Zahn had any intention of justifying his actions in this way.

If we accept canon-is-canon then it must be added that although Thrawn thinks he has good intentions, he is a tool and no more than that because Dark Empire is also canon and by the time the Vong got there, if the Emperor had his way, everyone in the galaxy would be licking the walls and getting their life force drained by a galaxy-scale (inspiration for) Darth Nihilus, and Thrawn was never more than a tool for the Reborn Emperor. At best in such a canon-is-canon take on the Legends universe, he is a self important commander who never wondered where all the heavy ships went (Byss) which makes his intelligence at best selective and never concerned himself with anything but making the New Republic's life difficult.
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Re: Star Wars: Rebels

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-15 02:43am

NecronLord wrote:
2018-08-15 02:02am
For what it's worth, the Yuzzum Vong story with Thrawn was not in any way a meaningful part of his canon - it is not in the New York Times bestsellers, but in a (relatively) obscure book written after twenty years of adoration had enshrined Thrawn as a fan favourite. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that when he wrote His Last Command, Tim Zahn had any intention of justifying his actions in this way.
Yes, I remember Leia straight up asking him why he was doing this, and he had a line akin to, "For the glory of the Empire." Or somewhat along those lines. If you want to be straight up Doylist about it, that is Thrawn's motivation, further elaboration, development, and/or retcons be damned.

However, Zahn seemed to have changed his mind about the character, and evolved him to have a more noble side with later writings. It's noteworthy that Thrawn isn't given a focus with his thoughts, instead we are witness to it from Pallaeon's or other's perspective. This allows the character to be more malleable in intention by further works. It certainly gave the later writers room for how to portray the character, and giving him more depth regarding his decisions and motivation.

Is a character not allowed to evolve by the writers, or is it best that Q remained an enemy to Picard and company, and not evolve into a sort of harsh teacher/mischievous trickster in addition to the Judge character he was in his first appearance?
If we accept canon-is-canon then it must be added that although Thrawn thinks he has good intentions, he is a tool and no more than that because Dark Empire is also canon and by the time the Vong got there, if the Emperor had his way, everyone in the galaxy would be licking the walls and getting their life force drained by a galaxy-scale (inspiration for) Darth Nihilus, and Thrawn was never more than a tool for the Reborn Emperor. At best in such a canon-is-canon take on the Legends universe, he is a self important commander who never wondered where all the heavy ships went (Byss) which makes his intelligence at best selective and never concerned himself with anything but making the New Republic's life difficult.
Yeah, there's a definite gap in his concerns there. One that could potentially be justified by other parts of the canon if one wishes.

Thrawn also built his own, more egalitarian empire outside of the Emperor's clutches, and was making himself the ruler of it(with his own plan in place for a clone replacement if needed). His actions against the New Republic also seemed, motivationally, to be built on taking them off the board while making The Imperial Remnant self sufficient after the chaos of Palpatine and Darth Vader's Death and the subsequent in-fighting. Either he was going to hand over these forces to Palpatine when asked, was about to be gobsmacked by the Emperor's new body, or he had some plan to take down the insane wizard when ready, likely involving ysalmari.

Thrawn is such a character that depending upon execution, any of those could be true.
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