Animated Thrawn Trilogy Fan Series
Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy stands out as the fan-favorite Star Wars sequel that sadly never was. Up until Disney bought the rights to Star Wars and released Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the Thrawn Trilogy was considered by most fans to be the de facto sequel, and it also marked the dawn of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Unfortunately, the Thrawn Trilogy and all of the EU have now been “de-canonized” and relegated to the classification of Star Wars Legends.
The Thrawn Trilogy introduced Star Wars fans to such memorable characters as Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Emperor’s Hand Mara Jade, and criminal mastermind Talon Karrde. The books were brilliantly plotted and well written, and did an admirable job of keeping to the Star Wars mythology and overall tone and style. Through most of the 1990s and early 2000s, I held high hopes that the Thrawn Trilogy would be brought to the big screen as the definitive Star Wars sequel series in one form or another. To say I was disappointed when the books were just tossed out the window by Disney would be an understatement. The actual sequel trilogy that we were given is a pale, pale shadow of what could have (and what should have) been.
But fans need not despair completely. For the past year or so, one dedicated fan has been hard at work creating his own CGI animated adaptation of the Thrawn Trilogy, beginning with the first book, Heir to the Empire. Damien Valentine, also known as Darth Angelus, has so far created 8 episodes, each one being a shortened adaptation of one chapter from the book.
Before you watch any of the episodes, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, this is being animated by one guy. Not a team of full-time professional animators with some big budget, but rather, by one very dedicated fan. So you’re not going to see cutting edge computer graphics. He does have two or three friends doing the voice acting (in addition to himself), and the voice acting is actually fairly good, considering that they are not professional voice actors. Also, he’s not making any money from these and is just asking for some friendly donations through ko-fi.com.
I hope Damien continues to make more, and I truly hope Disney doesn’t come along and shut him down with a C&D order. This is a no-profit fan film, and as we all know, fans are the life-blood of any sci-fi or fantasy franchise. I implore you, Disney–let Damien finish what he has started.
May the Force be with you.