Whew. Somehow, someway, we have made it to the end of Hunter Black Volume Two, and on what I consider an appropriately bad-ass note. This is one of those pages that diverges slightly but significantly from what I originally envisioned, and thank all the gods that it does, because it looks considerably better than what was in my mind’s eye. I love it when an artist knows what I want better than I do.
So, you guys have heard me rave about Star Wars Rebels, right? I still think that the finale of Season Two was the best episode of TV I saw this past year. It’s STILL saved on my DVR. It would be difficult for Season Three to live up to the promise of Season Two, and that’s a fact. I can’t help but remember how explosively awesome the Season Two finale of Hannibal was, and Season Three was a series-ending disappointment by comparison. So I’ve been keeping my hopes fairly moderate for the upcoming season.
And then this happened…
This won’t mean something to everyone, but if you were a fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, this guy is likely a big part of the reason why. Grand Admiral Thrawn is arguably the best Star Wars villain not named Darth Vader, and that’s no exaggeration. He’s cooler than the Emperor, cooler than Boba Fett, cooler than Darth Maul. He was introduced in the Heir to the Empire trilogy of books, written by Timothy Zahn, that basically launched the Expanded Universe. (I say basically because there were Star Wars novels long before Heir to Empire: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian trilogies, and probably more that I don’t recall.) There were threats to be faced after Return of the Jedi, and Thrawn was the proof.
People have been clamoring for Thrawn to join the canonical universe for a long time. When Episode VII was announced, Thrawn’s name was uttered by diehard fans more than any other, because we already had a great story to tell, just film the Zahn trilogy! Of course, that’s not what we got, nor should it have been, but the love for the character has always been evident…and Dave Filoni and his team are exactly the right people to bring Thrawn to the wider Star Wars audience.
I mean, if you watch Rebels or Clone Wars, you’ll see how they redeemed and rebuilt some of the characters named above. Darth Maul grew far beyond his appearance in Episode I, and I was reminded just how great a villain Darth Vader is by his appearances in Rebels. Dave Filoni and company GET Star Wars…and I truly believe that they get Grand Admiral Thrawn.
I can’t wait for the fall. I’m more eager for this than I am for Rogue One.