The feeling of pain is only 30% physical. Seventy percent is EMOTIONAL. Thrawn as a Chiss feels little pain because his society and upbringing has taught him to show that emotions are bad. Therefore, he shows none. Thrawn was expelled from the Ascendancy because he acted rashly
and attacked a ship that had done no harm. When he was discovered by the “Imperials” in the Mist Encounter in Outbound Flight (http://bit.ly/ThrawnStarWars), he made a conscious choice to suppress his loneliness and alienation and use that emotion toward more productive pursuits like art.
Which is why he wanted to kill Slavin when he called the Twi’lek art “trash”.
The only time emotion has been seen in Grand Admiral Thrawn.
He also smiles when he speaks to Hera, there is passion in his voice when he speak to Kallus about art. But those emotions seem par for the course of how Filoni and the Star Wars Rebels team are performing Thrawn.
A diversion from the true Star Wars Expanded Universe look of Thrawn. But approval by Timothy Zahn the author and creator of “Grand Admiral Thrawn” in all the Star Wars novels: http://bit.ly/ThrawnStarWars
The deviation still is, Thrawn being killed by a Noghori guard. In the books it really never is stated exactly why Rukh killed him.
However, our timeline in our fan-fiction story is Star Wars Rebels and where does Sabine Wren has captivated Thrawn in his art studies of the Rebels.
Some fans want to put it off as Sabine is an artist, and Thrawn appreciates art. That is so prosaic. That is not our story.
The question we are writing our fan-fiction on comes from Choices of One and the true emotional loneliness of Thrawn. He lost his first friend (possibly lover) Jorj Car’das and could not return to Chiss space without the power he needed. He wants to go back, but is requested by Governor Pryce and his fleet to defeat some pesky Rebels. He realizes Agent Kallus knows more than he lets on about the Rebels and he is not sure until he sees a work of art painted by some Rebels that intrigues him.
He studies everything about it and Lieutenant Yogar Lyste and Agent Kallus give him little by way of information, but he knows what “Maul” describes as a home and how each Rebel that he fights has lost their home.
In some ways, he empathizes with the painter in her loss — exile from her family, the Mandalorians, and her expulsion from the Imperial Academy to her finding a new people and a home but she still maintains her Mando culture. The more he examines Sabine’s art, the more he learns about her. This in turn helps him track her emotional trail to find her. Then he finds out about her Imperial record, he becomes quite angry that the Empire castigated her. He makes it his duty to get her back to the Empire. What moves he plays is part of this story?
In our story, the question is how can the Rebels take down a powerful man that can’t be beaten strategically or tactically. The Rebels cannot outmaneuver his prowess. While Force sensitives can hurt him, he can beat them fair and square. Thrawn cannot be simply outsmarted and Sabine Wren has enraptured him completely.
Sabine Wren is a young woman innocent in her ideals separated from duty and wants freedom. She is free from any bonds. It is that freedom that Thrawn desires the most and he cannot take it away from her unless she gives it to him willingly. The irony in our story is, Sabine Wren gives it up readily and willingly and ably to Thrawn because her strength is through her act of doing art that drives her freedom. Her power does not reside in the physical or the emotional – but in the Force.
That is pretty much the story.