Grand Admiral Thrawn
Review by: Bret
Review date: 02/12/2018

Back to Rebels characters, we have Mitth’raw’nuruodo from the Rogue One line. It was an important character to add to the line, as Thrawn became the overarching villain for the series, replacing Season One’s Grand Inquisitor. 

Thrawn might be the biggest name to be resurrected from the previously dumped Expanded Universe.  Star Wars fans can probably thank Timothy Zahn for basically kick-starting the franchise after it was left for dead.  Many years after Return of the Jedi, Zahn released the critically acclaimed novels that told the story. known today as the Thrawn Trilogy, after the villain created to lead the remnants of the post Endor Imperial forces.  For those that might not know, The Thrawn Trilogy was a huge success, and that success was credited by George Lucas himself for showing him that there was enough of an interest for Star Wars that he decided to move forward with the Prequel Trilogy.  It also inspired the return of the action figure line after a 10+ year absence.  Say what you will about the overall quality of the old EU, or even the newer media under Disney, we wouldn’t have the Power of the Jedi, or the 30th Anniversary Collection, or The Legacy Collection, or The Vintage Collection without Zahn’s Thrawn.

In 2014, Disney declared the Expanded Universe no longer canon, and Thrawn went with it. But in September of 2016, Thrawn was re-introduced into canon after his debut in the third season premiere of Rebels.  Thrawn looks very similar how Zahn had described in the novels, which was later realized in comic books and action figures.  The main difference is that Thrawn appears now as an Imperial Admiral prior to the events of the Original Trilogy.  Additionally, the lizard-like Force-blocking ysalamiri creatures that Thrawn always kept nearby to protect against Jedi are essentially absent from Rebels.  In what is currently simply an Easter egg, ysalamiri exist in statue form in Thrawn’s office aboard his flagship, Chimaera.

In 1998, Hasbro introduced 9 figures and a few small vehicles from the Expanded Universe into the Power of the Force 2 line, with special art on the cards.  One of these figures was a Grand Admiral Thrawn.  The sculpt was realistically styled, was on par in quality with contemporary figures, and he came with an ysalamiri as an accessory.  Ten years later in 2008, Thrawn made his second appearance in the line, this time as part of the (blue) Legacy Collection.  The figure was part of a comic 2-pack with Talon Karrde, was super-articulated, and also came with an ysalamiri.  It was a huge step up from the POTF2-EU version.  Fast forward to 2016, and Hasbro released this cartoon-styled 5POA version from his newly re-canonized appearance in Rebels.

This figure is a perfect representation of his on-screen look.  He’s got one advantage over the SA version:  He has a holster which holds his pistol.  That would have been nice on the SA version.  Also, this figure is significantly taller than the comic pack version.  I have no idea what his height was supposed to be in the old EU, but I do feel that the tall nature of this figure seems to fit the larger than life image of the Grand Admiral.  Instead of an ysalamiri, this figure comes with a big stupid gun. 

So while Hasbro thought to make a taller figure with a holster, it is, after all, a 5POA cartoon figure. You’re, of course, better off sticking with the more-or-less definitive TLC version.  You can see for yourself in the last image in the gallery above.  (Sorry, I couldn’t be bothered trying to dig out the POTF-EU version.)  There really isn’t anything here to elevate this figure beyond our standard of 3. 

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3/10 Bantha Skulls
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