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View Full Version : Sad news, site friend and former reporter Thrawn has passed away



JediTricks
12-10-2010, 07:59 PM
I recently learned from his wife that Bill Wolf, known here as Grand Admiral Thrawn, passed away on September 17th after his battle with a rare form of cancer.

Thrawn was already an integral part of SSG when I first joined the site as a reporter back in '99. He was a big voice on the site, he was the master of figure variations, he posted massive no-nonsense Q&As, and all sorts of news from the world of Star Wars oddities. He worked to inform collectors about how to watch out for variation scams on ebay and such. His SW collection at one point was nearly as big as Sansweet's, rivaled in number if not scope, and he worked with SirSteve to display it at a convention with a live webcast of the whole event. With the prequels, Thrawn grew frustrated with the quality he felt was lacking, and after Episode II he lost that Star Wars feeling, culling down his collection and vowing to never watch Episode III, even after our mutual friend r2dee2 passed away just before seeing the film. He once tasked me to create an animated avatar of George Lucas getting punched in the face, it created quite a stir when he started using it, and since then I notice others on have joined years later already using it, perhaps not realizing the genesis was our buddy.

Along with Star Wars, Thrawn became an early power seller on ebay, amassing thousands of feedbacks back in the day, selling collectibles from all walks of life, and exposing shenanigans from all sides. Thrawn also created massive databases of early video games, music videos, the show Cops, and anything to do with Malcolm McDowell, whom he got to eventually meet and forge a friendship with. He was a huge Nine Inch Nails fan, he was a big fan of the original Tron and was looking forward to the new film since the very first Comic-Con test footage hit the web 3 years ago. Thrawn and I once created a website "reviewing" every episode of Knight Rider just for a goof, I think we made it 4/5s in before it became too much.

Thrawn was a true SW collecting community original: opinionated, loud, dedicated to his ideals, and often right about the most controversial things. I know a lot of you guys here today weren't around back in the day to remember him, and some who do won't think fondly of him as he wasn't afraid of upsetting apple carts, but he was a unique guy, a true friend, and his passing diminishes us all.

I was just looking over some of the threads from him / about him, and it reminds me of some pretty amazing times we as a group had together. Here's Thrawn's Just The FAQs:
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=17253
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=17256
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=17257
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=17255
And his rebuttal to a hater:
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?p=267377#post267377

Some other stuff:
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=10017
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=6606 (I had forgotten all about that one!)
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=4555
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?p=46841#post46841

There's so much more. I had forgotten he was way into the EU back in the day, and I wonder what he'd make of the state of it now. He championed the creation of Galactic Heroes vehicles like the AT-AT and Slave I years before they finally came to fruition. And so much more. He was a good friend, and I'll miss him.

sith_killer_99
12-10-2010, 10:19 PM
Having joined the site myself back in 1999, I remember him well. Another one of the regulars who fell into the hole of "long gone forum members".

This is sad news. He was very well educated on the hobby.

He is one of the old timers like Jargo, GNT, El Chuxter, bigbarada, Emperor Howdy, Tycho, or JediTricks.

:cry:

I seem to recall him schooling me on some old POTF2 Boba Fett variations when I first started to post on the old forums.

InsaneJediGirl
12-10-2010, 10:28 PM
I remember Thrawn very well. I certainly missed his voice on here once he stopped posting, and he will be missed. May he rest in peace.

:(

DarthQuack
12-10-2010, 11:21 PM
RIP Thrawn, very sorry you're no longer with us. :cry:

Darth Awgmon
12-11-2010, 12:05 AM
I am not a frequent poster, but I have been lurking around ssg since late 1999. That was the year I came home after graduating from college. I'd spend many late nights reading posts from old school personalities like Thrawn. He was sharp-witted, funny, and intelligent. I offer condolences to his family and hope he rests in peace.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-11-2010, 02:11 AM
I didn't really see eye-to-eye with him (as evidenced by some of those old posts), but this is very sad news indeed.

Mad Slanted Powers
12-11-2010, 02:34 AM
I remember the Just the FAQs from when I started posting here in 2002. I guess that was about the time he started to not post so much, so I don't recall interacting with him much. Still, sad news though. Condolences to his family and those that knew him well.

El Chuxter
12-11-2010, 02:35 AM
Holy ****. I'm in shock right now and don't know what else to say that conveys what's going through my mind, so please forgive me, as I know that seems disrespectful.

Thrawn will indeed be missed, and I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family, as well as his friends, many of whom are still hanging around these parts.

:(

Mad Slanted Powers
12-11-2010, 02:50 AM
I was just checking his profile and was surprised to see that he hadn't posted since 2005. I was thinking he had posted more recently, but it seems I was thinking of Bosskman who has the same avatar.

TeeEye7
12-11-2010, 04:04 AM
My condolences to Thrawn's family. Sad news indeed.

bigbarada
12-11-2010, 09:30 AM
Very sad news. :cry: I honestly don't know what to say but that his family will be in my prayers.

Bel-Cam Jos
12-11-2010, 05:25 PM
I always remember Thrawn's thorough posts and logical arguments. Stories of his collectibles collection were wonderful. Sorry to hear of that. :(

Beast
12-11-2010, 11:00 PM
I didn't really see eye-to-eye with him (as evidenced by some of those old posts), but this is very sad news indeed.
Same. But he will be missed regardless of past debates. He's become one with force.

Yoda: "Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not."

Seems appropriately fitting. He'll certainly be missed. Even if that dang Avatar bugged me no end.

Lord Malakite
12-12-2010, 03:04 AM
Even if that dang Avatar bugged me no end.
I always thought it was an amusing avatar.

Beast
12-12-2010, 12:54 PM
I always thought it was an amusing avatar.
Yes, cause not liking a movie is enough to want to punch someone in the face. :rolleyes:

DarthBrandon
12-12-2010, 07:06 PM
RIP Thrawn

Darth Awgmon
12-12-2010, 07:26 PM
Yes, cause not liking a movie is enough to want to punch someone in the face. :rolleyes:

Not liking a movie may not be a reason to ACTUALLY punch someone in the face, but it's plenty of reason to WANT to punch someone in the face.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
12-12-2010, 08:31 PM
I am always saddened to hear about the passing of a Sir Steves member. Thrawn was indeed a valuable member of the community, especially early on when the site was in its infancy. His expertise and dedication to the site added to burgeoning credibility.

I definitely know he was opinionated and an unfortunate falling out led to him to visit the site less and less.

But he joins the pantheon of r2dee2, VT, of members who are gone but never forgotten.

Beast
12-12-2010, 09:33 PM
Not liking a movie may not be a reason to ACTUALLY punch someone in the face, but it's plenty of reason to WANT to punch someone in the face.
Yeah, maybe if you're around 5 years old or so.

TeeEye7
12-13-2010, 02:20 AM
But he joins the pantheon of r2dee2, VT, of members who are gone but never forgotten.

Amen to that, LBC. Well said. r2dee2 was especially helpful to me. Her unselfishness is very much missed!

Tycho
12-13-2010, 03:46 AM
I enjoyed the experience of actually meeting Thrawn and his wife at Celebration 1, in Denver, Co. This was the first time I ever met SirSteve in person, as well.

We all shared some convention panels, a few meals, and the very first Star Wars Midnite Madness at Toys R Us (for Episode 1) - in Denver, on the last night of the convention, no less. Before Thrawn actually saw the movie, we both thought very highly of Qui-Gon Jinn, the look of his character, and expected great contributions out of his inclusion in the Star Wars pantheon.

Thrawn was also a fan of Galactic Heroes and hoped to see the line expand to include more figures and vehicles. He sketched several concepts that he would have loved to have owned today: the AT-AT, the Snowspeeder, and Slave-One - even including a Galactic Heroes frozen Han Solo! The Imperial TIE Fighter (for GH) is the last one of his sketches that I remember that still has not been produced. Should Hasbro offer it, please remember SirSteve's Grand Admiral when you bring it home.

One other "memory" of Thrawn is not actually quite that. I had heard that in an effort to entertain so many other Star Wars fans, Thrawn endeavored to ship his entire (huge) Star Wars collection to display at a comic convention. Unfortunately it was damaged and I think this greatly hurt his enthusiasm for collecting, along with his unhappiness with the prequel trilogy.

Now a time like this is just one of the moments that I think of our boardmember BobaFrett, as well. His selfless donating of his kidney to me surely has kept me from being another one of those deceased forum members. I thank him for giving me the chance to continue to participate here so that some day a few of you might actually have something nice to say about me ;)

And yes, I remember those days when our original members were the most frequent regulars - and some like El Chuxter, Bel-Cam Jos, PlasticFetish, and JediTricks are still around. I've been thankful for their friendship and many of the new, good friends I've made on this board - first and foremost BobaFrett of course.

Who could have predicted how any of our stories would have turned out. I had been aware that Thrawn was sick, but I was no longer in contact with him. I had actually expected to hear about his recovery one day. I'd like to express my condolences to his wife and the rest of his family.

LusiferSam
12-13-2010, 12:08 PM
A very sad day for us here and real loss. Thrawn was a big reason I kept coming here. I loved reading Thrawn's articles. The year end reviews he did with Steve were one of the best features on the site. Unfortunately I had a bit of a falling out with Thrawn over some photoshopped pictures. Still I'm terrible sorry to hear that he had passed away.

JEDIpartner
12-13-2010, 02:32 PM
Whoa!!!! That's terrible news. :( Love to his family and friends.

dindae
12-13-2010, 03:48 PM
Sorry to hear this. I remember him from back in the day when I was just a lurker mostly. Regardless of whether you saw eye to eye with him it is more import that it was intelligent discussion which is why we all post here. Wish his family the best.

Banthaholic
12-13-2010, 09:54 PM
Sad news indeed. I echo many of the sentiment shared in earlier posts. Thrawn was a database of knowledge. He was to variations what VT was to micromachines. The past few years his absence to these forums left a void. Here's hoping heaven features the OT predominately for you.

DarkArtist
12-14-2010, 09:16 AM
Rest in Peace Thrawn... you will be missed by all

Jedi_Master_Guyute
12-14-2010, 01:24 PM
I remember his Q&A's and his presence on the site. RIP good sir.

Rogue II
12-14-2010, 11:57 PM
Thrawn was one of the things that drew me to SSG. I always like his threads (and his avatar).

JediTricks
12-15-2010, 05:48 AM
I seem to recall him schooling me on some old POTF2 Boba Fett variations when I first started to post on the old forums.Yeah, he was the variations king, and that Boba Fett was really the first one to make him go all-out, with dozens of paint and card permutations.



I am not a frequent poster, but I have been lurking around ssg since late 1999. That was the year I came home after graduating from college. I'd spend many late nights reading posts from old school personalities like Thrawn. He was sharp-witted, funny, and intelligent. I offer condolences to his family and hope he rests in peace.Good stuff. I have passed on yours and the other condolences from this thread to his wife.



I remember the Just the FAQs from when I started posting here in 2002. I guess that was about the time he started to not post so much, so I don't recall interacting with him much. Still, sad news though. Condolences to his family and those that knew him well.He posted a lot of news, not all that much in the forums, he didn't really go for the day-to-day chitchat we have here, so don't feel too badly about not interacting more.



Holy ****. I'm in shock right now and don't know what else to say that conveys what's going through my mind, so please forgive me, as I know that seems disrespectful.

Thrawn will indeed be missed, and I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family, as well as his friends, many of whom are still hanging around these parts.

:(I don't think Thrawn would have minded that reaction or found it disrespectful. In some ways it's how I felt too.



I was just checking his profile and was surprised to see that he hadn't posted since 2005. I was thinking he had posted more recently, but it seems I was thinking of Bosskman who has the same avatar.Yeah, whenever I see Bosskman's avatar I smile and think of it as part of Thrawn's legacy. The last 5 years really has felt like it's flown by too.



I am always saddened to hear about the passing of a Sir Steves member. Thrawn was indeed a valuable member of the community, especially early on when the site was in its infancy. His expertise and dedication to the site added to burgeoning credibility.

I definitely know he was opinionated and an unfortunate falling out led to him to visit the site less and less.

But he joins the pantheon of r2dee2, VT, of members who are gone but never forgotten.Right on. Thrawn is who introduced me to r2dee2, and she was such a good egg, a great collector and friend. And then she befriended VT when we were buddies on the Galoob Buzz Board. Online life is so unique, so special, we really are friends here despite the seemingly-limited medium of an internet forum. We may never hear their voices or see their faces, but they'd still be friends to us.



Sad news indeed. I echo many of the sentiment shared in earlier posts. Thrawn was a database of knowledge. He was to variations what VT was to micromachines. The past few years his absence to these forums left a void. Here's hoping heaven features the OT predominately for you.So true. Each loss in its own way diminishes us all as a group, it changes the dynamic in ways we may not even perceive, but each person who has posted in this thread has then taken a tiny bit of our lost ones out to new people through interactions, so we lose something but hopefully we also take something with us when we grow. That may not make any sense, I'm not sure, but there was something intended behind it. R2dee2 taught me to be more giving and open, VT taught me to be more shrewd and loyal, Thrawn taught me to be more honest and to better serve our collector community, and I hope and think in some small way the same can be said for all of us at SSG.

Lord Malakite
12-15-2010, 07:35 AM
Yeah, he was the variations king, and that Boba Fett was really the first one to make him go all-out, with dozens of paint and card permutations.
Wasn't he a big video gamer too if I am remembering right? At least in the early gen stuff like Odyssey, Colecovision, Atari 2600 anyway.

SirSteve
12-15-2010, 08:35 AM
Bill (Thrawn) was very instrumental in making SSG a succcess and he will surely be missed. I first got to meet him and his wife face-to-face once at Alpha Con when they brought a lot of his collection to display for attendees (at one point, he had the 2nd largest private Star Wars collection). We had a fun time mingling with Star Wars celebrities and meeting other collectors. The force will now always be with him...

JediTricks
12-15-2010, 06:18 PM
Wasn't he a big video gamer too if I am remembering right? At least in the early gen stuff like Odyssey, Colecovision, Atari 2600 anyway.Yes, early gaming was a major thing for him. He hounded me for years to sell him my Neo Geo super cheap (your post had reminded me of that, I had forgotten about that over the years), console gaming from Pong up to the early '90s was something he couldn't get enough of. I don't know if his games pages are still up, the Geocities closure made a mess of his sites. But he even cataloged video game references in entertainment.



Bill (Thrawn) was very instrumental in making SSG a succcess and he will surely be missed. I first got to meet him and his wife face-to-face once at Alpha Con when they brought a lot of his collection to display for attendees (at one point, he had the 2nd largest private Star Wars collection). We had a fun time mingling with Star Wars celebrities and meeting other collectors. The force will now always be with him...Right on.

Slicker
12-15-2010, 09:07 PM
Are there any pictures of his collection?

Lord Malakite
12-16-2010, 04:11 AM
Yes, early gaming was a major thing for him. He hounded me for years to sell him my Neo Geo super cheap (your post had reminded me of that, I had forgotten about that over the years), console gaming from Pong up to the early '90s was something he couldn't get enough of.
Sounds like he had good sized collection, which I can appreciate and respect given the size of our family's own collection. Aside from the Atari 2600 though I never really got to experience first hand much of the consoles/games prior to the NES. It would be fun to give some of those older consoles a try sometime if ever given the opportunity.


I don't know if his games pages are still up, the Geocities closure made a mess of his sites. But he even cataloged video game references in entertainment.
If they were on Geocities probably not. A shame too, because now I'm curious to check out these game pages and video game references in entertainment that you mention. :(

bobafrett
12-30-2010, 10:26 PM
This is very sad news. My heart felt condolences to his wife and his family.

JediTricks
12-31-2010, 05:56 PM
Are there any pictures of his collection?I don't know if he ever did that. I don't remember if Steve took photos at Alpha Con of his SW collection or if they relied on the live webcam, but it's been long enough that I'll bet that was a previous photo database system if it was here.



If they were on Geocities probably not. A shame too, because now I'm curious to check out these game pages and video game references in entertainment that you mention. :(He gathered up his pages before the Geocities shutdown, and started putting them... somewhere. But I'm not sure where those pages are, or if he got around to putting them onto a new site before he passed away.



This is very sad news. My heart felt condolences to his wife and his family.Very kind of you.

2-1B
02-19-2011, 11:13 PM
Wow, just wow. I've been away for awhile, so this is the first moment I learned of Thrawn's passing...very sad indeed. :(

My condolences to his family offline and to all of his friends here. Whether you agreed or disagreed with his opinions on various topics, the fact that anybody cared that much in the first place is a testament to the passion that exists within this hobby.

I haven't read any of his writings in a long time but one of the things that always stuck with me over the years was his "Viddy Well" link in tribute to Malcolm McDowell. :)

RIP, Thrawn. :(

JediTricks
09-18-2011, 01:12 AM
It has been 1 year since we lost our friend. I don't have any words beyond that it saddens me deeply to think of what has been taken from us as a community in his loss.

Tycho
09-22-2011, 12:04 PM
It does not feel like he's truly left us in this way.

I remember how disappointed he was by the Prequels (remember the boxing glove hitting Lucas in the face as an avatar? That was signature Thrawn). So the whole circumstance of his departure seems more like he'd desire to leave his SW fandom.

But then you know he'd pop back on the boards to rant about the prequels or the Clone Wars every once in a while.

He was a colorful character.