File this in the Where Have You Been department but Dave Filoni who is the showrunner of ‘Star Wars Rebels‘ had no idea that the introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn would be such a big deal on the series. In the old days Thrawn was thought of as the future of the Empire and with the series taking a military turn as their tie-in to ‘A New Hope’ it is the perfect setting for Thrawn to emerge and cement his reputation as the greatest military mind that the galaxy has ever seen.

In a recent interview Filoni revealed:

“It was pretty amazing. It’s definitely one of those things as you build up to it that you’re wondering, ‘Okay, is this actually … Was this a good idea'” You always have that moment. No matter how much you like it and think it’s good and made the right decisions. There comes that time when you’re about to show it to an audience, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I wonder what they’re really going to think of this.”

Now, for those who aren’t familiar with the character I’ll give you the brief rundown. Grand Admiral Thrawn was originally introduced in the Expanded Universe of books, now called Legends, in Timothy Zahn’s ‘Heir to the Empire‘. It was the first solid future set of events ever told after ‘Return of the Jedi’ and fans ate up his trilogy more than almost any other release between it and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. When Disney made all of it non-canon fans were crushed, until they found out a new novel was coming as well as his appearance on ‘Star Wars Rebels’!

Of course, we’re excited Filoni!

Filoni followed up by talking about the importance of getting the character just right:

“We just wanted to always make sure that the character that we were bringing to the screen is very, very, very similar to what Timothy Zahn did in the book. If it couldn’t be, then it wasn’t going to be true to Thrawn, and we should just make it somebody else. I think that we were able to do that faithfully, and the energy in the room… People were… I have to say, though, I was really surprised. I know how much people like the character, but I think when it’s not from one of the films you can always easily underestimate how much it means to somebody.

“For a while now on Rebels, I’ve just been searching for a way to really explain how powerful and vast the Imperial military really is. That’s one of the issues with the Imperial military is that it’s so massive that these small Rebel incursions actually are effective to a degree because they just aren’t seen as a threat. If you had someone in the military that wasn’t very career minded but was object oriented, mission success minded, that they would actually do rather well against the Rebellion.

“The way Thrawn combats them isn’t like anything they’ve experienced either. They’ve never really dealt with an Imperial officer who’s patient, who’s observant, who takes their time. Even Tarkin came in and just laid everything down right then and there and blew up the transmission tower and said, ‘I know what it takes to win a war, and you don’t.’ He was very in their face, I-need-results. Tarkin’s also very politically minded. He has aspirations of power for himself.

“I never get much sense … Thrawn just seems like he’s such a duty-oriented person. He serves the Emperor, and he understands the Imperial machine. I think he believes in the Imperial machine, that it’s a necessary thing for a secure galaxy. They’re fighting somebody that they’re very unfamiliar with. None of their usual tricks are going to work on this guy, and that’s what was really compelling about him. Plus the patience he’s willing to take and experimentation to see and understand what will give him total victory. He’s not just looking to win. He’s looking for total victory, and I think the first two episodes illustrate that.”

I, for one, cannot wait to see how Thrawn’s presence is felt throughout the coming season. For as much of an easy time the Rebels have had when not encountering Vader, things are about to take a huge turn for the worst.

Are you looking forward to seeing what Thrawn can do in this season of ‘Star Wars Rebels’? Share your thoughts below!

Source: Comic Book Movie

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Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!