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Grand Admiral Thrawn

Star Wars Rebels
by yo go re

Well well well. You just can't keep a good bad guy down.

When Governor Pryce of Lothal wanted a stronger commander to dismantle the rebellion, the Empire answered with Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn was a male Chiss, with striking blue skin, red eyes, and an angular face, known for his brilliant strategic mind and ruthlessness.

Grand Admiral Thrawn was introduced in Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire as a rare non-human member of the Empire, with the suggestion being that he managed to overcome Palpatine's rampant racism because he was just that good. Zahn created Thrawn as a mix of Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Robert E. Lee, and Erwin Rommel ["The Desert Fox!" --ed.], a tactical genius who could give the heroes trouble in a different way than the villains they'd faced before. But that was back before Disney, which means it all gets lumped under the "Legends" banner and ignored, right? Well, sort of: just because the old stories didn't happen now, it doesn't mean the character no longer exists. At least, that's the lesson Rebels Season 3 has taught us!

Thrawn is wearing his Grand Admiral uniform, a snappy white uniform with typical Imperial styling: tall boots, flared jhodpurs, and a jacket with squared shoulders and a tunic-style layer down the front. He's molded with all his insignias of rank, including the golden bars over his shoulders, the colored squares on his breast, and the pins right near his sleeves. Clearly the torso needed to be a new mold, since painting those unique details on wouldn't have gone over very well, but it's surprising that the rest of him is new, too; you might have expected him to reuse parts from General Hux or Director Krennic, but nope! This is all Thrawn.

The head was always going to be new. His face looks younger thamn you might expect, but remember: this is a Rebels toy, meaning it takes place before the original trilogy, not after. The skin is paler than it is on the show, but he also spends a lot of time lurking in dark offices, so maybe this is right? It's not like you're going to confuse him for some other blue-skinned Imperial officer, are you?

Thrawn may be more of a strategist than a fighter, but the toy still has all the usual Black Series articulation: balljointed head; swivel neck; swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; balljointed waist and hips; swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The lower portion of his jacket is soft PVC, so it won't stop his legs from moving. The neck hinge was very stiff, but not so bad that it needed any freezer time to start moving. You'll have him kicking butt in no time.

Thrawn was available as an SDCC exclusive with all sorts of props from his office, the art he examines to understand his enemies. Yes, that trait carried over into canon. Anyway, this standard release doesn't get nearly as much as the exclusive, just a small pistol that can be held in either hand or stored in the holster on his belt.

A lot of fanboys were mad when the previous Star Wars canon was downgraded to "Legends," but the (re-)introduction of Thrawn proves that those things aren't really gone as long as someone wants them. So with that in mind, when do we get our Black Series Jaxxon, Hasbro?

-- 09/02/17

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