Timothy Zahn Answers Fan Questions at AwesomeCon!

DC_Comic_Timothy_Zahn_PostTimothy Zahn, author of the Thrawn series in the expanded universe (now called Legends), held a panel for eager fans at Washington DC’s AwesomeCon. I was lucky enough to be in attendance and got to hear Mr. Zhan speak on his work in canon, what he thought of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more.



Timothy Zhan is best known for his work with the Thrawn series set in what is now the “Legends” expanded universe. On Saturday, June 4th he held a Q and A at Washington DC’s AwesomeCon. A convention similar to San Diego’s Comic-Con. An annual 3 day geek retreat in the United States capital featuring a huge line up of guests such as Perter Capaldi, Ray Park, Adam West and a whole lot more. Bria from Tosche Station moderated the panel, and here are the highlights.

Q: Are there any characters or ideas from your novel that have been integrated into the show (Rebels), or the new canon? Do you anticipate any of your characters or ideas to show up in the new films that are being done?

A: In a Clone Wars early episode when someone used the Marg Sabl maneuver (a maneuver used in space battles, first developed by Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano during the Clone Wars and then employed in the Galactic Civil War, most notably the Thrawn Crisis) … Other things include the name Coruscant, the name of the Imperial planet was my origination. The idea of catching force lightning on a lightsaber blade was also mine. Other than that, the future is anybody’s guess. They Typically do not tell the writers what’s going on.

He went on to say that this is not just an issue with writers, but also the actors. He made a joke about how Chewie would be dying off and maybe someone should let him know.


Bria, appropriately dressed as Mara Jade, asked him about the tweet by Dave Filoni, saying “there’s always a bit of truth in Legends.” With a picture of a non-specific book spine.



He stated again that he was unaware of any connection between his characters and the Rebels, and after discovering that some fans had been comparing the color of the foiled ink to his series, he jokingly responded, “some people have too much time on their hands.”


Q: How would you feel if Thrawn, Mara, or any of your characters showed up in rebels?

A: How do I put this? YES! I would love something of mine to show up in Rebels, or Rouge One, or the movies. I think my stuff would translate well.  Even if it’s just a passing reference. At the end of the Force Awakens, I was speculating about a grand battle to take place at the end of the trilogy where they say something along the lines of “We beat Palpatine, we beat Thrawn, we can beat this guy.

After that statement, he reminded the audience that the writers on the new film canon don’t want to mistakenly give the movie goers the feeling that they are “missing something important.”


Q: How do you feel about the Canon wipe?

A: They have made it very difficult to legitimately sell the books. At this point, it’s all free money to them so they won’t be doing that. The second thing they could have done is go through the entire expanded universe and selectively declare what is and is not canon, but to do that, they would need to know exactly what they want to do with Star Wars for the next 30 years.

I think about it kind of like the legend of Robin Hood. We tell stories even now about Robin Hood, or King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. They aren’t real, but it’s still fun to read. Imagine someone finds a letter under Stonehenge from Prince John to the Sheriff of Nottingham, saying “I’ve had it with this Robin Hood, he’s making a mockery of my Kingdom, and I want his head on a pike now!” Suddenly it goes from a Legend to factual history. That is what they have done by calling all of the expanded universe legends.


They are saying we can make any of this back into canon at any time. So the best of their options is set up. Bear in mind they have people like Pablo Hidalgo, Dave Filoni, and Kathleen Kennedy who have an extreme love for the Star Wars Universe. These people are not people who will go and demolish Star Wars. If they have to destroy part of the expanded universe, it will be because its not in line with what they want to do.

In a way its kind of sad that they call it “Legends,” and its not real anymore, but it was never really real in the first place. I think that the expanded universe, and Star Wars are in good hands.

Also bear in mind, that JJ Abrams, and Kathleen Kennedy, will not break into your house and take your books.


Q: What tips do you have for any young authors who want to learn to write better?

A: The secret of writing is you write. That’s pretty much it. If you have a 30-minute lunch break, take 15 minutes to eat, and 15 minutes to write. Make a habit of that. Read a lot, and figure out what styles you like. Practice writing characters, and dialog. The keep is to keep writing. Don’t be discouraged if at first you aren’t that great. There are a lot of wonderful novels out there that should have been trilogies but the authors got discouraged after the first release because it didn’t do that great.


Q: Who do you think Rey is related to?

A: The obvious choice since these were all originally billed as the Skywalker family. However, there are compelling arguments that she is related to Obi-Wan, and it would be really nice if she wasn’t related to anyone. I’m guessing she will be related to Luke.


14 - Ren and Hux


As the final question, the moderator asked:

Q: What is your pitch for the first 2 minutes of episode 8?


After some discussion about whether or not the trio of evil aka Hux, Phasma, and Ren got away from Starkiller Base before it became a star, he said:

A: I don’t think Kylo Ren is a very compelling villain. I don’t see any sense of presence. When Vader walked down to Leia’s ship, he had a sense of presence and a sense of power. The first time Kylo Ren had a tantrum on screen, my first thought was that this guy has visible buttons that anyone can press. Thrawn would have this guy for lunch! He seems to lose every fight he’s in.

Hux, he seems to have good speeches but he doesn’t have a good security system. Phasma isn’t very good at her job. Think about it, she shuts down the shield with no fuss. She allows someone who seems to be losing his condition to wonder around with his weapon. He should have been escorted to sick bay. Prisoners are transferred with only one guard. There are a lot of things I saw, not even being of a professional security, or military background can see that this is not the way that police or military do things.

There just doesn’t seem to be a sense of real danger in the new movies, and hopefully, that will get better.


Overall he was a fantastic speaker. Honest and to the point. His views on TFA may be considered controversial to some, but keep in mind that this is 6 months after the release, and the honeymoon phase is over. He could have been sour about the canon wipe considering how much time and effort he spent in the beloved expanded universe, but he chose to look at the flip side of the coin to discover a shiny new beginning for the Story Group. This panel and the questions asked, are prime examples that Star Wars fans are pleading for Timothy Zahn to return to the canon universe, either by his past work becoming recognized as canon, or possible novelizations of spin-offs or back stories.


Be sure to check back later this week for our Resistance Broadcast Podcast where we will play soundbites from this panel provided by @chaosbria @Tosche_Station.

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151 thoughts on “Timothy Zahn Answers Fan Questions at AwesomeCon!

  • June 6, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    “There just doesn’t seem to be a sense of real danger in the new movies” Tell that to Han, Hosnian System, Tekka and the other Jakku villagers. Also I have never been a fan of Thrawn as a villian. His biggest villainous quality was he seemed to have a read a couple of pages further than me in the book and he had magic lizards.

    • June 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      sorry dude, he nailed it. It’s all a money grab and his EU characters would wipe the floor with anything JJ created.

      • June 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm

        Just like the Thrawn Trilogy and basically all of EU…

      • June 7, 2016 at 12:46 am

        What do you think the EU was? A money grab, haha. Books that Lucas can ignore when he wants, but please believe they are canon and buy them?

        • June 7, 2016 at 3:19 am

          Never said they were canon. Lots of great books and great stories. Instead of churning out 20 books from September to December.

          • June 7, 2016 at 8:38 am

            Do you have an issue with the material we’ve received so far?

            Their schedule of book releases has not been much different from years past.

          • June 7, 2016 at 6:18 pm

            Big difference. The old EU never released 20 books in 4 months. Usually 2 or 3 per year and of course the normal release of the Dark Horse comics.

            The new books have seen only a few good runs. Both from Claudia were great. Tarkin, ok…

          • June 9, 2016 at 8:39 am

            Quality wise, that’s a subjective opinion, but I will say in the 34 years that Lucasfilm was under Lucas we got around 347 books (not counting the junior ones) that equals to about 10 books per year since 1978 starting with Alan Dean Foster’s “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” 1978 – 2012 = 34 years.

            We’ve gotten 21 total canon books (not counting the junior ones) since 2012 which is close to 5 books per year since Disney acquired Lucasfilm. Many of the books were released late in 2015 as a part of the marketing to build up hype for The Force Awakens. So taking that into account it’s kind of unfair to say that they just released 20 books in 4 months when it was a part of their marketing. They could have just as easily spread out the releases of all of their books evenly between 2012 and 2016.

            Anyway, if you want to go further we have gotten a lot of comics both in Legends and canon. We have 360 Legends comics and currently 69 (ongoing) canon comics. Keep in mind Dark Horse first published a Star wars comic in 1991 with Dark Empire, so that changes the yearly average for their comics. Marvel only had like 7 releases before Lucasfilm gave the license to Dark Horse. If you compare the averages of both that is about 15 per year for the Legends Dark Horse comics and about 17 per year for the canon comics. So, really they are very similar on the comics releases, also keep in mind many of those comics for Dark Horse have been consolidated into one issue where you get all of the issues released separately, where the Marvel issues are still ongoing. If I had a more accurate info. on the number of issues for Dark Horse I could give you a more accurate average.

            Knowing this, I don’t see too much of a difference in money grabbing or just plain selling the Star Wars brand to people between Lucasfilm pre-Disney and Lucasfilm post-Disney. Sure, maybe their styles of marketing are different but that’s to be expected under new management. Once again, quality is completely subjective.

          • June 9, 2016 at 5:11 pm

            One film a year is what is happening now and they have many more books slated to be released. Both will eclipse the past roll out of movies and books moving forward.

            you are absolutely right on the quality being subjective.

          • June 10, 2016 at 2:25 am

            Well yeah, one film a year is definitely more than one film every 3 years, but I can’t foresee people getting tired of Star Wars films just like people aren’t tired of Marvel films, except for the ones that never really liked Marvel films to begin with. People still aren’t tired of James Bond films and they’ve been going on since 1962.

            We’re bound to get hit and misses with the Star Wars movies, because not every movie is going to be brilliant, that’s just the nature of the film industry. Really though, Lucasfilm wants to do spin offs where George didn’t really care about doing spin off films, he wanted to tell his Skywalker story and that was about it.

            I’m sure that because Disney saw how popular the Marvel spin off films have been, and they already know that Star Wars has an even larger fanbase than Marvel did pre Iron Man. They are sitting on a vault filled with gold. Especially since TFA passed the 2 billion worldwide box office mark. Which only a couple movies have ever done.

            That’s why I mentioned that I think you’re underestimating the power of Star Wars and its fans. Star Wars will continue to grow and remain the largest most popular Space Fantasy films/universe for all time. Not all of the films will be amazing, just like the Prequels aren’t considered as great as the Originals and TFA is overall mixed in between. I’ll be willing to bet that Star Wars will still be going strong even past our lifetimes, and I’m 26.

            There’s always that little bit of hope and faith from most of the fans, that the next Star Wars movie is going to be amazing, even from the most cynical fans. They want an amazing Star Wars movie experience just as much if not more so than the casual fan.
            I think that that little bit of curiosity, and hope is what keeps Star Wars fans going to see the movies.

          • June 10, 2016 at 3:15 am

            Lol…holding you to the Han Solo comments. I always hope they’re good. Was disappointed with 7 but hoping 8 will redeem. I’m 45 and been there since the beginning and will watch it all, good or bad. Still belly aching over my beloved EU..LOL

          • June 11, 2016 at 9:59 pm

            That ends up always being the case from everyone I’ve ever talked to who’s disappointed/upset about episode 7. They are either still butt hurt about the EU Legends and think the EU is superior to what we got so far with TFA, or they were expecting a movie vastly different from what we got, or a mixture of both.

            I’ll still see all the movies too of course because I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I won’t let a couple bad movies ruin my enjoyment of the universe that is Star Wars.

          • June 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm

            Not as many as you think. And they were still a money grab.

      • June 7, 2016 at 8:33 am

        Sorry, but using the name Star Wars in anything after the release of Star Wars in 1977, is going to be considered a money grab.

        That shouldn’t be a negative thing. I mean it’s popular for a reason, and I’m sure you’ve bought plenty of Star Wars related things that many would consider a money grab.

        All of those t-shirts, sequels, video games, books…. yep it’s all done for money good sir. Well money, and hopefully at least a little bit of love for the universe.

        • June 7, 2016 at 6:26 pm

          I understand the term…that’s why I used it. Disney has taken a completely different approach and I don’t personally agree with it.

          So far, I don’t think the stories have been as good. And i’m not saying that all EU was great. But I thought the narrative was better and that they could have pick and chose complete stories lines to keep or banish. Much like Zahn spoke about.

          Disney is a marketing machine and churning out a movie every year is going to wear the franchise down. Rogue one already has rumors surrounding it and of course the Han Solo has a mixed bag from a loyal fan base as to if it should even really be done.

          In the past Lucas had a 3 year cycle that worked great and kept the fans wanting more. and 2 to 3 EU books a year. Lucas pick and chose what he wanted from the EU without saying none of it happened. That model worked great.

          As far as merchandise, I have bought my fair share and then some. And will continue to do so. The money grab is being taken to a whole new level with Disney as I’m sure you can agree.

          • June 9, 2016 at 6:49 am

            Fair enough, but I think you are underestimating the fanbase of Star Wars and its power.

            Fans won’t get burned out if they truly love Star Wars, I mean the first Star Wars fans had to go through the prequels, and Star Wars is still going strong maybe even stronger than ever.

            I don’t think Lucasfilm/Disney is money grabbing any more than Lucasfilm was during its film release times between 77 – 83, and 99 – 2005. The only thing different now is that Lucasfilm is under new management and is tasked with releasing more movies on a yearly basis, which Disney has the money and manpower to do. Truly the only difference I see, is no Lucas involvement and more Star Wars movies.

    • June 6, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      Thrawn always seemed like a generic villian, who really wasn’t connected to what I consider Star Wars. Grant it that’s just my humble opinion. Shielding himself from the force with those creatures was kinda of a lazy story thing for me too. I was not satisfied with the Thrawn trilogy. Unless he had a room full of force disturbing space critters, Kylo would dispatch of him easily.

      • June 7, 2016 at 8:30 am

        Well in a physical fight perhaps, but part of what makes kylo so compelling is how bad he is at being bad. He dosnt want kill Han. They are totally different types of villains IMO- and both great in there own right. Thrawn is cold, calculating, elegant
        Kylo is powerful but emotionally unstable

    • June 7, 2016 at 5:50 am

      “Tell that to… …Hosnian System, Tekka and the other Jakku villagers.”
      None of which affected the main characters in the movie. Are we meant to feel sad or scared that/ because some nameless and random characters and planets are destroyed?

      The Jakku Ren scene in no way felt menacing. The cinematography, environment, voice, humour and appearance made it underwhelming.

      In A New Hope, a whole bunch of Stormtroopers kill some Rebels, Vader: an imposing, masked figure enters a narrow hallway with the camera looking up at him, has a menacing voice, snaps a guy’s neck, and causes his commanding officers and Rebels to flinch.

      In The Force Awakens, Ren enters a wide landscape, kills an old man, has a casual conversation with his troops in a shitty, muffled voice and leaves.

      Also, how are we meant to be scared for Poe if he’s cracking jokes during a serious moment?

      • June 7, 2016 at 6:26 am

        I notice how you left Han out of my direct quote lol.

        • June 7, 2016 at 6:28 am

          Yeah, he was the only one whose death made the story that much darker.

    • June 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      He was dead on…sorry.

  • June 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Well he’s right abut one thing, i do have way to much time on my hands!

  • June 6, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    He nails it soo much in this interview!!!! Finally about time…If Zahn had been involved, 7 would not only have made the same money but left everyone satisfied! A masterful writer and all of his EU characters are far better than anything JJ come up with and all of the new books.

    In the hands of Filoni, Kennedy and JJ…BLAHHH!

    Love his last answer about the new baddies!!!!LOL

    • June 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm


    • June 6, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Just have a look at Kennedy’s filmography before you talk. She was involved with almost every good movie since the 80s. She’s a veteran and one of the best in the industry.

      • June 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm

        agreed, but her track record by wiping the EU right out of the gate and all of the new books that her story group is setting up is not her brightest moments so far.

        • June 7, 2016 at 12:09 am

          I agree with that. But that dosent nullify her previous achievements imo.

        • June 7, 2016 at 12:45 am

          It was her smartest move.

      • June 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm

        That’s a bit of a stretch.

    • June 6, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Ahh old Eu retarded fanatic have stupid opinions again.

      Old Eu was wiped because vast majority of it suck, big way.

      And Force Awakens was far superior than anything in post ROTJ old Eu.

      Zahn can write books but his movie would be total bomb.

      • June 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm

        not because any of it sucked. TFA being superior is your opinion and doesn’t hold much water. A Zahn movie we will never know, but his character creations are strong with the force!

  • June 6, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I really don’t see the problem with including the Thrawn Trilogy in the Canon. Maybe a small re-write, like was done with the Aliens expanded universe, to change Jacen and Jaina to Ben and Rey and give them the proper age. Other than that, since Thrawn happened only five years after Palpatine fell, it could totally fit in the current Canon as another Skywalker adventure.

    • June 7, 2016 at 12:35 am

      Because it’s not the story they want to tell.

    • June 7, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Personall I’d love Lucasfilm to hire him to do a page one re-write. Re-tell the legend, keeping only the core elements of what made it great, but more in keeping with the story Disney is telling with new canon. A redo of heir to the empire couldn’t possibly be worse than the snooze fest that was Heir to the Jedi

  • June 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Damn this guy just destroyed the new characters lol

    • June 6, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      His original new characters in the novels were just sooooo deep. Well – Thrawn is in Rebels but could he really write a better movie? I could see him doing a much more organized job on Rogue 1 however compared to the mess we’ve seen so far.

      • June 7, 2016 at 8:27 am

        What mess have we seen so far? A less than two minute teaser?

        Yeah, I’m sure it’s going to be a major failure and a complete mess…… not.

    • June 7, 2016 at 12:35 am

      Not really. He comes off as whiny.

      • June 7, 2016 at 1:31 am

        How? Everything he said was 100% spot on. If I were to go through the movie and write down the mess they made of it you would probably cry. Laughing. It really was that bad. But, my kid (and I because it’s SW) love the movie and have watched it probably 30 times since it was released on BR. It can be bad, while still being enjoyable.

        • June 7, 2016 at 1:48 am

          I expanded on this above, so I will copy and paste to save myself the repeat typing 🙂

          Wow, lost a lot of respect for him. Thrawn, who I LOVED when I was 12, is very overrated now. His secret ability of “Look at art, guess the plot” was sillier than anything in the prequels.

          Not to mention for all his vaunted genius, he did NOTHING to harm the heroes. He beat a bunch of faceless commanders, outsmarted Ackbar, but whenever Han, Luke or Leia showed up, they ate his lunch. He even got waxed by a bunch of smugglers! Meanwhile, Kylo Ren killed Han Solo and Hux blew up the Republic capital. All Thrawn did was hide a bunch of rocks around it.

          I loved Thrawn and still enjoy the books, but this dude is butt-hurt.

          And don’t get me started on Mara Jade Sue. (Quick example: She was trained by the Emperor, but never used the dark side, so she gets to scold Luke for turning to the dark side…highly unlikely.)

          Remember when Mara Jade made Thrawn look dumb on his flagship because he didn’t change the passwords? Lax security…

  • June 6, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Kylo Ren is not supposed to be ANH Vader. He’s supposed to be Anakin a few years after turning to the dark side. He’s not a Sith yet. He’s temperamental in every way that Anakin was. He’s a dark side user who is still learning about the dark side. This is made fairly evident in the movie when Snoke says that Kylo’s training is incomplete.

    Sounds like this guy has sour grapes about his trilogy being de-canonized.

    • June 6, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Absolutely agree. Vader was a bad guy with a backstory in ANH, but the notion of redemption didn’t come up until ROTJ. Kylo Ren is clearly conflicted about his destiny. He admits to feeling the pull to light. This sets him up to be a much more sympathetic character, one we can relate to in terms of our daily struggles of determining right from wrong and understanding that our choices have consequences.

    • June 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      I agree with you about Kyle Ren, and I think that the fact that Zahn doesn’t see that Ren is not supposed to be menacing yet indicates that fact that he visualizes a story on a much more simple level than I’d prefer. Heir to to the Empire was a very well written book, but it read like a young adult novel to me. I agree with Zahn’s points regarding security protocol, however. He nailed that one. You don’t escort the best pilot in the Resistance with FN2187 alone, if at all.

      • June 7, 2016 at 12:01 am

        FN-2187 wasn’t following protocol. He was escaping.

        • June 7, 2016 at 12:31 am

          FN2187 doesn’t write his own orders. In order to escape with Poe, he had to be assigned to guard him in the first place! Assigning him to Poe’s singular guard detail after he failed to perform his duty is unfathomable. No military commander would ever be so naive. I don’t like Zahn’s stories but his point is rock solid here.

          • June 7, 2016 at 1:38 am

            No, FN-2187 was NOT assigned to guard Poe. He was winging it when he entered that cell. There was no reason for Kylo to interrogate Poe outside of that cell. If you doubt this, read the novelization.

          • June 7, 2016 at 2:13 am

            Then if this is true, what does that say about the First Order’s ability to govern its own forces? Nothing happens in the military without a purpose. FN2187 should not be afforded the opportunity to “wing it” in the first place. That supports Zahn’s point. Consider, as a First Order commander of any rank – should FN2187, a soldier with known conformity issues, be allowed to be alone with the best pilot in the Resistance, for any reason, for any length of time? That is preposterous. He WAS certainly winging it when he pulled Poe aside and presented his desire to defect to Poe. But the REAL topic here is what happened BEFORE that, and Zahn is right on the money with his assessment of the situation. With regards to the novelization, I respect whatever occurred there, but what Zahn is discussing is events in the film; and the fact that Poe is being singly guarded by FN2187 alone is bogus no matter how you look at it. Not to push too hard here, but there is no need to debate that point. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie – just conceding that Zahn is right about this point.

          • June 7, 2016 at 5:51 am

            Phasma states that Finn ‘checked out’ after reporting to the conformity division.

            And if everything ‘checks out’, then each trooper would inherently trust orders from one another.

        • June 7, 2016 at 5:52 am

          If Phasma was following protocol like a regular commander of a fanatical cult, she would have personally escorted or attached some soldiers to Finn, in order to ensure he went for re-programming.

          • June 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

            He ALREADY WENT and CHECKED OUT. Again, as stated above, if you have doubts, read the novelization…

          • June 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            Then clearly their re-programming is crap, if he could withstand the procedure. No one goes to get reprogrammed and comes out with the same state of mind as before.

      • June 7, 2016 at 12:47 am

        Remember when Mara Jade made Thrawn look dumb on his flagship because he didn’t change the passwords?

        I do.

    • June 6, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      No wonder I think he came across terrible if he’s suppose to be like Anakin!!

    • June 6, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Was Vader’s training ever complete? If so, why was he Sidious’ apprentice throughout the OT?

    • June 6, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      Would post-ROTS Vader have lost a lightsaber fight to a newbie?

      • June 6, 2016 at 11:41 pm

        Don’t forget, he was already trained as a jedi for approx 15 years and had a lot more experience in combat prior before becoming Vader. Can’t really compare the two.

        • June 7, 2016 at 1:55 am

          And Kylo Ren was trained by Luke Skywalker and Supreme Leader Snoke over several years. Yes, I can compare the two as far as their ability to take on newbie Rey in concerned.

          • June 7, 2016 at 4:28 pm

            Kylo is most likely practitioning a whole new form of combat for the past 1-5 years. I doubt he had the crossguard saber when he was with Luke all those years. So his formal training would be tough to translate over. Plus Luke was largely a pacifist, so he probabbly only did the basics of lightsaber combat as that is all yoda taught him. I don’t see snoke as the dueling type either (though I could be wrong here). Kylo seems to be fairly proficient at deflecting blaster fire, but Its quite possible that hasn’t had a proper “lightsaber duel” in his entire life up to that point.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:33 pm

            So “1-5 years experience” is trumped by “no experience”? And where are you getting this stuff about Luke? He most certainly wasn’t a pacifist, he just didn’t want to kill his father and refused to fight. He slaughtered dozens of bad guys whenever the need arose.

          • June 7, 2016 at 10:01 pm

            You’re trying really hard to rationalize Rey’s victory. Kylo’s 1-5 years of crossguard saber experience wasn’t enough to handle her? Luke was a pacifist? Snoke’s prolly not the dueling type? ^_-

            “Kylo seems to be fairly proficient at deflecting blaster fire, but Its quite possible that hasn’t had a proper “lightsaber duel” in his entire life up to that point.”

            Compared to Rey having zero confirmed “lightsaber duel” experience prior to the fight, I give the advantage to Kylo Ren.

          • June 7, 2016 at 11:37 pm

            I freely conceed that Rey’s victory felt a bit scripted. I was hoping for more of a draw in the first episode. I was just pointing out that everyone assumes that Kylo is a skilled duelest- But he could be nearly as green as Rey. He has an unstable lightsaber that is described as ready to explode at any moment. No jedi to fight. The second Rey pushes back with the force on his mind-read he goes crying to snoke. All we see him do with his saber is kill an old man, deflect blaster fire, and smash computers. What if his ancient-style lightsaber is more for ceremonial for intimidation and he has no dueling training what-so-ever? Its possible he was a badass from lukes training and snokes guidence, but from the novel bloodlines it sounds like luke and ben are running around reading old jedi lore rather than training to fight.

            I agree with you overall. I think in a realistic situation Kylo would have won a martial duel with the likes of Rey. I’m just surprised how many people see Rey beating Kylo as Mike Tyson getting beat up by a baby. If the force can help a farmboy blow up a battlestation, or help a small child destroy a droid fleet, then I think it can help an already skilled staff-fighter beat a bloodied, emotional, darksider-in-training.

          • June 8, 2016 at 6:16 am

            Thanks. I was hoping for a draw, too. Have Kylo’s injury actually weaken him. Have him struggle a bit to swing his lightsaber. Show his fierce determination slowly fade away as he loses blood. Allow Rey to be overwhelmed with terror but defend herself effectively as she stays on the run.

            Let this continue until he slows down enough for an earthquake to separate them. Now, both characters have motivation for a rematch in VIII. I agree that Kylo Ren clearly has plenty to work on.

            I think people make that sort of comparison because Kylo Ren had been trained by two masters for years and had destroyed the Jedi Order while Rey had only recently awakened to the Force and had just used the lightsaber for the first time. This would be like Luke beating Darth Vader with a lightsaber in ANH. Yes, I know Kylo Ren isn’t Vader, but Rey was still a newbie.

            Also, Kylo Ren’s emotions didn’t negatively affect his ability to use the lightsaber, and his injury didn’t cause him to slow down, limp around or anything. He moved and swung his lightsaber just fine until the very end. If the Force helped Rey, it definitely should’ve helped Kylo Ren as well.

            Kid Anakin was a Gary Stu just like Rey was a Mary Sue. He’d never even finished the podrace before, but now he won it while defeating his main opponent after starting late. He also blew up the droid control ship despite not even knowing what he was doing. I prefer to focus on Luke when criticizing Rey.

      • June 7, 2016 at 1:37 am

        If he had just been shot in the gut with a bowcaster, just murdered his father, was witnessing his military endeavor failing, and the newbie was as strong in the force as he was, then yes. Being strong in the force requires focus over physical strength. Kylo lost the confrontation with Rey because too many factors were breaking his focus.

        • June 7, 2016 at 2:06 am

          Kylo Ren was shot with a bowcaster, but it didn’t affect his ability to walk, run, use his Force powers or swing his lightsaber. He easily caught up to Finn and Rey and showed no weakness in combat except in the very end when the film wanted to wrap up the fight.

          Given how powerful they made the bowcaster out to be, Kylo Ren should’ve died immediately before being knocked off the bridge. He was hit directly and didn’t even see it coming.

          How did murdering Han affect Kylo Ren’s ability to fight? He was in control of his emotions the whole time. He wasn’t angrily swinging his lightsaber passionately, like ROTS Vader.

          In Star Wars, it doesn’t matter how strong in the Force someone is. They still need training. Rey, without any on screen or confirmed training, should not have defeated someone trained by both Luke and Snoke. She hadn’t even used the lightsaber before.

          Rey’s victory was unearned. She defeated Kylo Ren because of Mary Sue bad writing.

          • June 7, 2016 at 2:23 am

            He could do all those things, but it was obvious the pain was effecting him, hence the gut punching. It made a great fighter just an OK fighter.

          • June 7, 2016 at 6:03 am

            Because lightsabers are the most difficult part of a Jedi’s training. While force powers takes many years to master, the path is relatively straightforward. With lightsabers, you’re practising and improving your form/ forms over your whole life. Since Ben had been trained for over a decade by Luke in lightsaber combat, and then in the dark side by Snoke, there’s no way he should have lost. Especially considering that Finn, who was professionally trained in combating Jedi, lost to Ben. The force can only take you so far.

            Anakin trained about as long as Ben, and he was really proficient in combat. Rey has no legitimate excuse for winning.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:02 am

            And what’s your excuse for a little boy racing pod racers alongside professionals, building pod racers, building droids, piloting starfighters, blowing up enemy ships from the inside and escaping unharmed?

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:03 am

            Kid Anakin was a Gary Stu, just like Rey was a Mary Sue.

          • June 7, 2016 at 8:49 am

            1. Only force-sensitive humans can pod-race.
            2. Anyone can build anything if they know how to. They just require help in the form of tools, people etc. Anakin worked at a scrapyard and was raised since he was a boy to do repair work for Watto. Anakin also had his friends and his mother helping him construct the podracer, and it took him however long between the last race and the last one he participated in to build a new one.
            3. The Trade Federation ship explosion was Lucas promoting little boy/ child power, and absorbing the merchandise money from this through his mouth, in order to have it nestle neatly amongst his neck fat.

          • June 7, 2016 at 9:28 am

            8-year-old children cannot build complex, jet-propelled vehicles or droids. I don’t care how smart you are. A person requires years of technical education and expertise in order to even begin to attempt something so complex and specialized, not to mention that young children lack the developmental capacity to learn and retain such specific information and techniques. Other slave children and a slave woman would likewise have no means or education required to attempt to build them as well. Watto is not going to spend his days teaching a slave child the complexities of constructing advanced jet propulsion systems or droids when he has a shop to run. If he new how to do those advanced things, he would be in that line of work himself, not selling scrap parts.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:03 am


          • June 7, 2016 at 7:00 am

            The gut punching was only done when Kylo Ren wasn’t fighting. His injury did not affect his ability to move or fight. He did not move about like he was weakened by his injury. He had no problem toying with Finn or chasing Rey.

            Just because something is logical in real life doesn’t mean it automatically applies to Star Wars. Kylo Ren murdering his father had no negative effect on his lightsaber fight. He wasn’t depressed or distraught or anything. He was in control of his emotions the whole time.

            I consider kid Anakin to be a Gary Stu character just as I consider Rey to be a Mary Sue. He went from not even being able to finish the podrace to finishing in first place and defeating his main adversary after starting late. He also blew up the droid control ship with ease despite not knowing what he was doing.

            Luke had brief on screen training, but at least he had something. More importantly, he was already established to be a good pilot through Obi-Wan and Biggs’ comments. Luke also said he had practiced shooting womprats back home with his T-16. He wanted to join the Academy with his buddies, so it made perfect sense that he would spend so much time practicing these things.

            Luke wasn’t like Rey. He didn’t have all these abilities that were inconsistent with his background or motives. He only used the Force, along with Obi-Wan’s Force ghost guidance, BTW, in place of his targeting computer. He was a skilled pilot with great aim long before he discovered his Force sensitivity.

            Compare this to Rey defeating a trained and experienced Force user in a lightsaber fight moments after picking up the Jedi weapon for the first time and recently awakening to the Force. No contest.

            Rey’s victory over Kylo Ren was unearned.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:13 am

            The film purposefully establishes that Rey has to deal with unsavory characters on Jakku. She carries the staff for a reason – it’s not a walking stick, it’s to beat off thugs who try to steal her stuff. And we see her proficiency in wielding the staff and kicking ass with it. Replace the staff with a saber and it becomes a weapon the she can also use with enough skill to defend herself and get the better of an injured, bleeding emotional wreck who we have no idea how much extensive training and lightsaber proficiency he actually has. And once again, the most important part of the equation is focus. Rey learned how to focus and use the force. Ren was bloody mess whose real inexperience was exposed when he failed to effectively focus and let the force flow through him.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:20 am

            Rey’s a survivor, not a warrior. She focused on scavenging, not combat. Those thugs were nothing compared to a trained, experienced and highly skilled Force user who’s used the lightsaber for years and can perform Force powers even ROTJ Luke couldn’t do.

            They mostly grabbed and punched before they stood around to take their blows. If the filmmakers were trying to show how skilled Rey was with her staff, in preparation to face Kylo Ren, they failed. Those thugs weren’t anything special. Now, if Rey had taken on those actors from The Raid…

            Kylo Ren was not an emotional wreck when he fought Rey. He was in control of his emotions. His great loss of blood did not negatively affect his ability to fight. Kylo Ren was only a bloody mess at the very end when the film needed to wrap up the fight. Until then, he fought just fine and was in total control. Also, Kylo was stupid to let Rey focus her mind. He should’ve known better.

            He was basically written and portrayed to allow her a win that wasn’t earned.

          • June 7, 2016 at 9:16 am

            If Kylo Ren was such an amazing, well-trained warrior like you assume, then he wouldn’t have allowed Rey any time to focus. He wouldn’t be tempted so easily by the light. And he sure as hell wouldn’t get so emotionally worked up and blind-sighted by Rey’s ability to use the force when she challenged him.

            The truth is that Kylo Ren’s a poser. He wears the getup and brandishes the saber to make people think he’s another Darth Vader, but he’s not. His training isn’t complete. He’s fragile, uncontrolled and explosive. His overconfidence is his downfall in that fight, and Rey exposes him as someone who’s skill doesn’t yet match the image he created for himself. And yes, he does look like someone who is emotionally affected and unfocused.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm

            Wait, so now Kylo is just so incompetent that he’s not any kind of threat to our heroes? How is THAT better writing?

          • June 8, 2016 at 5:50 am

            I never said he wasn’t a threat and I never said he couldn’t kill people. I said his training wasn’t complete and he could be beaten when unfocused and overconfident. His weaknesses and inexperience can be exploited.

          • June 7, 2016 at 10:17 pm

            I’m not saying Kylo Ren was amazing. I’m saying he was trained in the ways of the Force, both by Luke and Snoke, and he had years of experience with the lightsaber. Allowing Rey time to focus was just another way for the film to give her space to win. Normally, Kylo Ren would’ve just knocked her out, either gently or violently.

            Kylo Ren was amazed the first time Rey used her powers, during the mind read, because it was unexpected. He was amazed the second time, during the lightsaber fight, because she had become powerful enough, in a ridiculously short among of time, to pull the lightsaber out of his hand. (I would’ve been amazed, too. I would’ve stopped the fight then and there and ask to speak to the director.)

            Poser or not, Kylo Ren should not have lost to a newbie. He was actually trained in the ways of the Force and had lots more experience than Rey did. She defeated him because of Mary Sue poor writing.

            How did Kylo Ren’s emotions affect his ability to wield the lightsaber? How was he fragile, uncontrolled and explosive during his fight with Rey?

          • June 8, 2016 at 6:22 am

            How do you know how much lightsaber experience Ren had? Where in the movie does it say anything about that? His saber has a handmade quality to it, as if he built it himself without much or any guidance. How do we know Snoke or Luke spent any time at all with him on lightsaber training?

            When a person is injured and bleeding, they cannot focus and fight to the best of their ability. When the base that they have command over is failing, and when they have just murdered their father, their emotions will undoubtedly be affected and you lose your ability to concentrate and let the force guide you. It’s not that he couldn’t fight at all, in fact, Ren dominates the fight up to the point where he has her above the chasm and proposes that she needs a teacher. He doesn’t kill her, because he thinks that she could become his ally. This moment allows Rey the opportunity to tap into the force and channel it into her fighting skill to repel Ren, land quick blows that injure him even further than he already was, and finally defeat him. So again, one combatant was in tune with the force, while the other was not. The one who was able to effectively channel the force won, and the extensively injured, emotional and unfocused person lost.. Exactly the philosophy that Yoda taught Luke.

          • June 8, 2016 at 6:42 am

            I don’t need to know exactly how much lightsaber experience Kylo Ren had when he’s going up against an opponent who’s only wielded it for the first time right before the fight. How are we arguing over this?
            Your problem is you’re using logic that the film does not show.

            1. Kylo Ren’s injury did not negative affect his ability to move or use the lightsaber. He had no problem toying with Finn or chasing Rey around. He only had problems at the very end when the film wanted to wrap up the fight.

            2. Kylo Ren murdering his father did not negatively affect his fight. He was in control of his emotions, not distraught, depressed or whatnot.

            3. Kylo Ren wasn’t bothered at all by Starkiller Base being destroyed. He was completely focused on the fight.

            Kylo Ren was ordered to bring in Rey, so he wasn’t going to kill her. Allowing her to focus her mind was a stupid thing to do. What was he expecting to happen? Rey was resisting him the whole time and was growing stronger in the Force.

            Rey defeated Kylo Ren using a Force power-up via Mary Sue writing. Her staff skills weren’t impressive enough to defeat someone like a trained Force user. How was he not in tune with the Force? He had fought just fine and had no problem using his Force powers.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:04 am

            Yessss… to Alex Sebire you listen.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:16 am

            No thanks. I can think for myself.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:23 am

            LOL. Why so serious?

          • June 8, 2016 at 10:33 am

            With respect, though – Anakin didn’t pick up a lightsaber and defeat Darth Maul in TPM. Luke didn’t even fight with his saber until Empire, at which point he fought pretty badly.

            Anakin had tremendous piloting skills in TPM, similar to Luke in ANH and Rey in TFA, because they had all flown a lot. But neither Anakin or Luke had a duel with a dark jedi in TPM/ANH.

            A force user who has been flying all their life = a good pilot, fair enough. Let Rey blow up Starkiller Base. But a force user who didn’t even feel the force when she woke up that morning winning a lightsaber duel? That doesn’t make much sense to me. It seemed way too contrived.

            It is NOTHING to do with Rey being a woman.

          • June 7, 2016 at 6:42 pm

            well said!!!

          • June 7, 2016 at 9:55 pm

            Thanks. 🙂

          • June 8, 2016 at 10:27 am

            The thing that left me scratching my head in the cinema was that Rey didn’t need to win. She could have held her own for a draw, and lived to fight another day. The whole time I was watching it, I thought it would either be a draw, or Luke would rescue her.

            Luke had jedi training in ESB, and still got a flogging from Vader. A Vader who wasn’t trying to kill him, and who may have even been “emotionally affected” because he was fighting his son.

            People say “yeah but Kylo was only trying to bring her to Snoke, not kill her”, but that’s no excuse for being schooled by Rey in the fight. Again, why couldn’t she have just run away? The planet was collapsing anyway.

            However, others seem absolutely happy with the way it panned out, so I guess this is something we’ll end up “agreeing to disagree” about.

          • June 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm

            I think these people love TFA so much that they try to rationalize or excuse things that don’t make much sense.

            I would’ve been perfectly fine with a draw. Have Kylo Ren’s injury actually affect his ability to move and fight. Terrified and outmatched, Rey has to keep running while occasionally swinging her lightsaber in defense. Eventually, Kylo tires out from his wound before the earthquake separates them. Now, they both have incentive to train for the rematch in VIII while the main villain keeps his respect as a threat.

            Sadly, Rey was a Mary Sue character. No way in hell would they have allowed Luke to step in and look good at her expense. TFA was The Rey Show. I wonder how she and Luke will be treated in VIII.

            Exactly. There’s a world of difference between not trying to kill someone and getting your ass kicked by them.

          • June 9, 2016 at 12:15 am

            Bang on. Since that’s essentially how the fight ends ANYWAYS – they end up separated, but only AFTER Rey literally kicks Ren’s ass.

        • June 7, 2016 at 6:06 am

          “Being strong in the force requires focus over physical strength.” Which is why Ben, being a dark-side user, should have been able to use that pain to bolster his strength. This is basic dark-side training, and one of the first lessons Savage was taught by Dooku. Ren shouldn’t have lost.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:00 am

            Yes he should’ve. Because everything we learn about Ren is that he lacks control over himself and is still green when it comes to his mastery of the force. He’s an emotional wreck. He struggles simply to repress the light and fully embrace the dark side.

          • June 7, 2016 at 8:42 am

            I think he’s been hitting the spices since his father left. After all, with his father’s reputation, albeit a bad one in the spice world, he may be able to get some discounts.

          • June 9, 2016 at 2:14 am

            Ah one would think but killing Han interfered with his connection to the Darkside which perplexed him allowing Rey to overcome him since her connection was stronger.

    • June 7, 2016 at 6:00 am

      Anakin had over a decade of legitimate Jedi training under his belt before he fell. The most compelling thing

    • June 7, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Kylo Ren is not even Anakin before he turned, much less after he turned. He doesn’t know war tactics. He doesn’t know what a Plan B is. He doesn’t fail his missions because he is reckless or emotional, he fails them because he is utterly incompetent. This is what Zhan was talking about.

      Anakin was temperamental and reckless too, but he succeeded in what he did. Which is what made him scary when he turned. My cousin, who didn’t know the story when he watched RotS, really thought Anakin was going to kill Padme and Obi-Wan.

      In TFA, there was no sense of danger after the first arc. Kylo was only threatening to room equipment. He failed mission and mission and threw tantrums because of his idiocy, but even the tantrums were made a joke in the movie.

      You don’t need to have a “sense of presence” or look threatening to be threatening. Joffrey in Game of Thrones was nothing like that, but he was threatening. Every scene with him was intense. He was a good villain. He brought tension to the story. He was a huge challenge for his opponents to overcome.

      But Kylo Ren, is not. He does not bring tension to the story, he brings comedy. He is an interesting character, that is amusing to watch. But not a good villain.

  • June 6, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Would post-ROTS Anakin have lost a lightsaber fight to a newbie?

  • June 6, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    At first I thought he was doing the standard asskissing of Disney about how the fact that they could use his characters which I thought was a ploy to get him a new job but then he started trashing TFA’s lack of decent villains (which I agree with).

    He’s always been a hard one to figure out. I didn’t really enjoy his later novels but aside from Claudia Black, He’s more talented than any SW authors in the new canon and know the material far better as well.

    • June 7, 2016 at 12:01 am

      Do you mean Claudia Gray?

      • June 7, 2016 at 12:02 am

        And corrected thanks!

    • June 7, 2016 at 12:33 am

      You mean, LFL, not Disney.

  • June 7, 2016 at 12:02 am

    If they use Thrawn I’d rather he be in a Future movie. Not Rebels. Make him part of the 1st Order or have him lost & return from the outer regions & join the 1st Order.

    • June 9, 2016 at 2:10 am

      Thrawn should be in rebels since he was patrolling in the outer regions. This is exactly where the Crew of the Ghost are coming from Malachor.

  • June 7, 2016 at 12:39 am

    I’m wary with Zahn – I read a lot of his EU novels, and I guess I will always, primarily, thank him for kick-starting the novel franchise. Having said that, his comments on the ‘security’ aspect of the FO in TFA, and the tantruming Kylo Ren, are very acute and spot-on, and things I’d never really considered……. but then, if they’d been addressed in TFA, the film wouldn’t have made much headway !! I suppose it’s akin to the heroes snooping around the DS1 ; and perhaps the crux of Kylo’s “further training” is to control his temper – as a little green jedi once said, “Control ! Control ! You MUST learn control !!” :o)

    • June 7, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Don’t forget, Mara Jade ran circles around Thrawn b/c she knew passwords that were over 5 years old.

    • June 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      They didn’t need to address them, they needed not to present them in the first place.

    • June 9, 2016 at 2:06 am

      Actually wouldn’t Yoda say Control! Control, Control learn you must?

  • June 7, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Wow, lost a lot of respect for him. Thrawn, who I LOVED when I was 12, is very overrated now. His secret ability of “Look at art, guess the plot” was sillier than anything in the prequels.

    Not to mention for all his vaunted genius, he did NOTHING to harm the heroes. He beat a bunch of faceless commanders, outsmarted Ackbar, but whenever Han, Luke or Leia showed up, they ate his lunch. He even got waxed by a bunch of smugglers! Meanwhile, Kylo Ren killed Han Solo and Hux blew up the Republic capital. All Thrawn did was hide a bunch of rocks around it.

    I loved Thrawn and still enjoy the books, but this dude is butt-hurt.

    And don’t get me started on Mara Jade Sue. (Quick example: She was trained by the Emperor, but never used the dark side, so she gets to scold Luke for turning to the dark side…highly unlikely.)

    • June 7, 2016 at 9:18 am

      I kind of agree with you about Zahn’s characters. His villains had a presence and felt threatening; it felt like it took a lot of effort to overcome them. But at the end of the day, they did not do jack. And that was mostly a reflection of Zahn’s habit of trying to make his characters look sympathetic and self-righteous Sues. They couldn’t “hurt” the heroes too much. Which is why Mara Jade became an hypocritical character, and one of the reasons why I’m glad for the canon purge.

      But regardless of Zahn’s flaws and how his characters were handled by future writers, he does have a point about TFA’s villains. It does not matter how many planets Hux destroyed if we don’t care about those planets. It does not matter if the heroes managed to blow up the SKB, if the superweapon failed to look threatening to our heroes.

      Kylo Ren killing his father was a bold move, and I respect the writers for that. It was a well-done scene. But I do hope they didn’t assume that they could just “sell” this villain by merely having him killing Han Solo and call it a day. Kylo still lacks threat. He is not a challenge for Rey, the main protagonist. Even though he killed Han, at the end of the day, I would still be more frightened of Thrawn.

      • June 7, 2016 at 3:36 pm

        I didn’t care about Alderaan, still made me hate Tarkin. And seeing the blind fanaticism from Hux was far from disturbing than Tarkin’s gloating smile, but both still worked for me. Blowing up Starkiller Base wasn’t the point; we KNEW they would blow it up. It was flavor while the real battle between Rery and Kylo Ren was happening.

        The reason Ren killed Han is because he isn’t fully formed. We saw the birth of a hero in Rey and the birth of a villain in Kylo Ren. They are on parallel tracks, each heading in the opposite direction.

        • June 7, 2016 at 3:57 pm

          We all hated Tarkin because we cared about Leia. Thus, cared that her home planet got blown up.

          In TFA, we know nobody from those planets. We had no reason to be upset when they got blown up. As such, Hux did not come across as a villain I hate or fear. He makes fun speeches.

          And I don’t mind the birth of the villain concept, I like it. I just don’t think it was executed well, because there was no tension in the movie. They had other villains to use to give a challenge for the heroes. Why not Phasma?

          Edit: And it doesn’t matter we knew Starkiller Base was going to be blown up (I didn’t, I actually thought the base was going to survive the next movie since it got introduced so late); in ANH we all knew the Death Star was going to be destroyed and that did not prevent from the third arc to be as full of tension and climatic as it was.

          • June 7, 2016 at 8:39 pm

            Let’s be honest: Alderaan and Hosnian’s destruction was not for emotional heft, but merely a catalyst for the plot. They didn’t even linger on Leia afterwards (it cuts from the planet blowing up to Obi-Wan) or have her mention it again EVER. It was to drive the plot, same as Hosnian. To act like we all got so emotional when Alderaan blew up is pretty out there. The next story I hear about someone crying when Alderaan goes boom will be the first.

            No tension? I don’t follow. There was plenty of it for me. Phasma was wasted, agreed.

          • June 10, 2016 at 11:13 pm

            Sorry, late reply.
            Aldeeran’s destruction was for emotional impact and to set the plot forward. Maybe not for you, but when I remember when watched it I was shocked. There was a great weight given to that scene. Plus the entire plot revolved around the Death Star and its destruction. The Death Star was the main villain.

            Hosnian system’s destruction had no emotional impact whatsoever and it did not set the plot forward. The plot was already happening elsewhere. The main narrative of TFA was not about the Starkiller Base, that was a background addition that came much later in the movie. You could remove the Starkiller Base from the story and it wouldn’t affect one bit the opening crawl of the movie, and hardly the overall plot, which was about Rey finding the Force and finding Luke Skywalker.

            There was not enough tension for me. Most of it was in the first arc, then it got watered down. The third arc was just underwhelming.

          • June 11, 2016 at 1:29 am

            So it was different from ANH, haha!

            Each his own. Alderaan’s destruction may have had emotional impact, but it didn’t set the plot forward because it was already moving; they were already on their way to Alderaan. Yes, it was about the Death Star.

            Starkiller Base’s destruction of Hosnian did have an effect, in that it finally revealed The First Order as a true threat and gives Luke an impetus to get off his butt and get into the fight.

            Each his/her own!

  • June 7, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Don’t forget, Mara Jade ran circles around Thrawn b/c she knew passwords that were over 5 years old.

    • June 9, 2016 at 2:01 am

      Well there was very little Thrawn could do in updating the remnant of the once great empire. Remember things like passwords and codes were handled from Coruscant. Once Coruscant was cut off Thrawn was isolated and had to make do.

      • June 9, 2016 at 2:48 am

        That’s speculation. A Star Destroyer captain, indeed, GRAND ADMIRAL after ROTJ, should be able to.

        But we can go back and forth and make excuses, etc…bottom line is Thrawn was ultimately ineffective.

        • June 9, 2016 at 7:19 am

          You do not understand how the Emperor held control of his higher military officers. He used central control by the bureaucracy.

          • June 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm

            Sure, I do. I’ve read every book, including that one, starting back in 1991. But once Thrawn is the now leader of the Empire, 5 years after the Emperor’s death, he should have fixed that flaw.
            But in the end, he was no better than Hux and Phasma at security, despite Zahn’s protestations. The proof is in the pages.

          • June 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm

            How could he fix a flaw which he could not control? The systems were updated from Coruscant! There was no way to use anything else as a work around unless he wanted most of his systems to be unable to communicate! He did not have the equipment nor the personnel to do these updates!

          • June 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm

            Okay, put that aside. Let’s say I concede the point…what else did he do? How else did he ever harm the heroes? He didn’t do a damn thing aside from beat some faceless commanders and get whipped by some smugglers. Every time he ran into the Han, Luke or Leia, he walked away defeated. Didn’t score one major victory over them.

            He was great and I loved him. When I was 12. But looking back, much ado about nothing.

          • June 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm

            True Thrawn was beaten every engagement but he was not looking to further the remnant’s claim to the rest of the Galaxy. He was trying to retain control on what was salvageable against the harsh environment.

          • June 10, 2016 at 12:28 am

            No, he was looking to take over the entire galaxy again. And he failed, which is fine, villains failed. But he never did ANYTHING as harmful as Vader did, as Kylo Ren, even as Jabba the Hutt did.

  • June 7, 2016 at 2:04 am

    And… after his final comments about villains… ….. Del Torro is some version of Thrawn 🙂

  • June 7, 2016 at 4:07 am

    I think he’s right about Hux and Phasma but massively missing the point with Ren. The DUMBEST thing they could have done was to try to make him a bigger, badder Vader. That’s impossible. I thought making him self doubting and conscious of his inability to live up to his legacy made him a fascinating and well drawn character. Easily the most interesting in TFA which had fine performances of in many cases rather underwritten characters.

    I think it would be good and a nice nod to reference his books like he suggests but I don’t want them re-canonized. Mara Sue Jade? Luuke?

    • June 7, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Yeah, Ren is a subtle character. Hux is similarly unsure of himself. The seem like the young, brainwashed/conditioned elite in charge of the young brainwashed/conditioned masses.

      Phasma was just wasted. Maybe her part was cut, maybe they were going for the mysterious masked character thing — like Boba Fett. She was completely inconsequential.

      IMO, Zahn’s work is among the better EU stories. Unfortunately it’s all a mixed bag. Good stuff, bad stuff, cringe worthy stuff. As it was, the shear weight of the EU would have made the new trilogy impossible. Incorporating a few interesting bits from those stories seems like a cool way to go.

      • June 7, 2016 at 7:01 am

        Hux has potential I guess but it wasn’t really used. I think the rivalry between him and Ren for Snoke’s approval could be interesting.

        Phasma was such a waste it’s ridiculous.

        • June 7, 2016 at 7:45 am

          I’m looking forward to seeing what Ren is like now that he’s done something so irredeemably bad.

          • June 7, 2016 at 7:50 am

            Yeah. That was his moment of choice just like Luke throwing his saber away instead of striking down Vader was his. They just went different directions.

      • June 9, 2016 at 1:57 am

        I think the problem is: These villains are not very good is true. They are inexperienced. They are trying to emulate the Empire but they did not have the best teachers. They have never been battle tested. So all they have as Phasma says is simulations.So they might be great at drills but for military readiness they are not quite there.

    • June 7, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      “The DUMBEST thing they could have done was to try to make him a bigger, badder Vader. That’s impossible. I thought making him self doubting and conscious of his inability to live up to his legacy made him a fascinating and well drawn character.”

      Exactly. 100% spot-on.

  • June 7, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I would love to see Thrawn back in Star Wars. It’s not so much any of the specific plot elements that matter, it’s more the IDEA and LOOK of Thrawn. I feel like in Star Wars there are very few geniuses. We are Told Akbar is a genius, we are told veers was a brilliant commander, but we don’t get to see much of it play out in the films. I would love to see a non-force-user admiral who is genius enough to command circles around our heroes, Tarkin was the closest we’ve had IMO.

    • June 10, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      I agree, also we have no REAL enemy in the new trilogy and by this time period in Zahn timeline and legacy’s Thrawn is allegedly dead. So, make him the enemy into the new trilogy and introduce him in Rebels or Rogue one or another movie or mention him, he is apparently in deep space and who know how long it would take him to return. So much could be revised and bringing Thrawn back, id love a Thrawn trilogy, i want to forward NOT backwards. Besides, TZ created some of the most memorable characters in the starwars in books and to not give him the chance to revise that, would be a big mistake by Disney.

  • June 7, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    He forgot about how evil and bad ass snoke is gonna be

    • June 7, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      lol, I doubt it

    • June 8, 2016 at 4:18 am

      which we have yet to see. : D

    • June 9, 2016 at 12:13 am

      Once he gets off the can. Man, he must be just WRECKING that thing.

  • June 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I just can’t help myself…it is just really nice to see one of my favorite EU writers tear into the new stuff. I know that I’m in the minority, and that’s ok. But, he certainly speaks for a lot of (EU) fans that got the shaft from Disney in the EU wipe.

    They could have still continued the stories as an alternate universe…which seems to work everywhere else. Which could have lead to even more possibilities. Yeah, I know I’m the only one on this site that feels that way. And I’m not bashing anyone that likes the new stuff.

    • June 7, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      He didn’t tear into anything. He obviously has a few concerns about the canon wipe, but he also seems to recognize why they did it and that anything from the EU could (and probably will) be eventually reintegrated into the Star Wars canon. Saying he tore into it is just exaggerating his responses.

      • June 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm

        ok, he tore into some characters…and took mild swipes at Disney. lol

      • June 8, 2016 at 4:18 am

        Playing word games in the comment section. 😉 I think he was being honest about how he felt as a writer. Valuable insight if you ask me.

    • June 10, 2016 at 11:32 am

      I share your opinion about TZ, however he didnt tear into anything, he understood the reason behind what they did, while also being a little hurt by what they did, but he understands the industry and how it works and respects it, i think Disney would do good in allowing him to write something, it would be the biggest in sales EVER. Like a new Thrawn trilogy in the new canon. Why not, he has all the pieces he needs.

  • June 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I love Timothy Zahn. His books have always been my favorite. While I personally feel the EU wipe was necessary, I really think Disney is doing a disservice to the franchise by not asking for input from Zahn and the other EU writers. The should be hired as consultants to help construct the new cannon.

    • June 8, 2016 at 5:10 am

      Or at the very least as a planet-namer, ’cause Takodano and Jakku aren’t exactly great names compared to Coruscant.

      • June 9, 2016 at 12:12 am

        Ahchoo. Sorry, ‘scuse me.

        • June 9, 2016 at 5:59 am

          Not how it’s pronounced. But whatever.

          • June 10, 2016 at 1:36 am

            And you know this because it gets name-dropped in the film of course.

          • June 10, 2016 at 4:16 am

            I know this because I can read.

            Of course.

  • June 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Timothy Zahn is what kept me interested in Starwars during its downtime, he was the only that kept it alive, i loved his books, i enjoyed his organic writing and what he brought. I am glad to see that he understands why they wiped his work, however with that said i think Disney should allow him to write a trilogy of the new canon, while it would be great if they introduced Thrawn in Rebels and then handing it off to Zahn, otherwise i think Disney is doing a great disservice to the the fan base that have alot of respect for this work and his ideas. I think out of most of his work, Thrawn could become a real enemy that could be still around and make it work in this new canon. Perhaps Disney is just waiting for the right moment to do so, which i think that is the case. So, that is my two cents.

  • June 12, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    “Thrawn would have Kylo Ren for lunch.” – Yeah right. He was so superior to everyone until he got killed by a Nogri servant, IN HIS SEAT. Respecting Thrawn Trilogy is one thing, but blind worship is another. Let’s be real. Even Zahn made some mistakes in his character developments and storytelling, and this comparison doesn’t hold the water whatsoever.

    Pitching line like “We beat Palpatine, we beat Thrawn, we can beat this guy.” is golden though.

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