NYCC: Timothy Zahn says not to fear that Rebels is going to misuse Thrawn

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We’ve already covered the news out of Friday’s Star Wars writers roundtable at NYCC, but there was a decent lineup of current writers: Novelists Timothy Zahn, Chuck Wendig, James Luceno, E.K. Johnston, comic writers Kieron Gillen, Charles Soule, plus Lucasfilm editor Jennifer Heddle. Tor.com has a nice roundup of their comments.

Zahn reassured fans that the Thrawn on Rebels is not too far removed from the Thrawn of Legends. Johnston revealed that Ahsoka begins “about ten minutes—slight exaggeration—after Order 66 comes down.” And Wendig had some wise words about what makes Star Wars so appealing. (He also joked about Jar Jar being in Empire’s End, of course. But is it really that far-fetched? Really?)

Here’s the panel video:

New Thrawn trilogy covers now contain approximately 275% more Grand Admiral Thrawn

Jedi Bibliothek has our first look at the new covers for Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. This time, they’re a triptych!

They are, without a doubt, a vast improvement over the very dated originals. And that’s certainly a lot of the eponymous Grand Admiral Thrawn, which makes sense as his forthcoming Rebels appearance is the catalyst for the long-overdue refresh.

The new artwork is by Rick Kelly, we learned from Del Rey’s Tom Hoeler. The official Star Wars Books page has also shared the new covers.

I am sad to see that our namesake Mara Jade didn’t make the cut this time. Sure, Thrawn is becoming canon and she isn’t, but she is a major character in these books – and one of the most popular Legends characters ever. Did they just not want to get our hopes up?

In any case, here’s hoping that the new look gets more people reading. Legends or not, Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command are some of the best Star Wars novels on the shelves.

The new covers are expected to begin appearing in stores late next month, as the existing paperbacks are restocked.

Thrawn makes his Rebels debut on September 24 , with a new canon Timothy Zahn novel coming in April.

EUbits: Del Rey’s interactive Star Wars timeline, Thrawn primer, Han Solo mini has a VIP fan

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Del Rey revealed their complete timeline of Star Wars books this week, featuring their new canon novels (and a short story.) It doesn’t include books from the other publishers (like Marvel’s comics or Disney Lucasfilm Press’ Lost Stars or the upcoming Ahsoka) but it’s a good starting place for anyone who needs it.

thrawn-novel700→ Speaking of starting places, StarWars.com has a nice primer on Grand Admiral Thrawn from Linda Hansen-Raj for anyone who wants to do some reading before he returns on Rebels. (Or just to learn what all that fuss was about.) On that note, Zahn’s Thrawn is now available for pre-order.

→ It turns out that George Lucas is a really big fan of Marvel’s Han Solo mini-series – he wants to buy all of Mark Brooks’ original pages from the first two issues.

→ Celebration Europe gave us a glimpse of what the Lucasfilm Story Group does – and it’s so much more than just maintaining continuity. This article is Pablo approved!

Video: Star Wars publishing panel at SDCC


With most of the book news (for our purposes) dropping at Celebration – the authors of Catalyst and the Rogue One novelization and Thrawn – the SDCC panel was fairly light on news, but there was plenty of discussion.

There were two cover reveals, though: The Art of Rogue One and the back cover of Aftermath: Empire’s End, which you can see below.

The Art of cover was shared by StarWars.com today. You can also get a closer look at the Thrawn art at Two Dots’ Behance page.

Timothy Zahn talks briefly on upcoming Thrawn novel

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We learned yesterday that Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novel will be a prequel to the character’s Rebels appearance, but Zahn gives a more specific timeline in a quick interview on StarWars.com.

The novel begins “with his first encounter with the Empire,” and ends just before his Rebels debut, Zahn says. (A new take on Outbound Flight, maybe?)

Zahn also reveals just how much he’s seen of the Rebels appearance (about as much as we did) and whether we can expect anything from his Legends books.

SWCE: Alexander Freed writing Rogue One novelization

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Matthew Ruddle, marketing manager for Penguin Random House UK, dropped a few news bits on the livestream Sunday morning. Most notable is that Alexander Freed (Battlefront: Twilight Company) is writing the Rogue One novelization.

He also revealed that Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novel will be a prequel to his appearance on Rebels. “You’re going to get to see how Thrawn got to his position of power, how he became so respected in the Empire, and just what makes him such a brilliant villain and tactician,” Ruddle said.

Alas, he couldn’t share even that much detail on James Luceno’s Catalyst, which was also announced yesterday. “If you’re going to be watching Rogue One, you need to read Catalyst,” Ruddle said. “It ties in, it connects dots.”

SWCE: Star Wars Rebels S3 to introduce Grand Admiral Thrawn; Timothy Zahn writing canon novel!


thrawn-novel700Grand Admiral Thrawn was revealed as a villain in Star Wars Rebels S3, and that’s not even the whole of it. Timothy Zahn – who gave his blessing to the Rebels version via video – is writing a canon Thrawn novel that’ll be out in April 2017.

The Rebels Thrawn is being voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, Mads Mikkelsen’s brother.

Thrawn, who originated in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991, is the first Legends character to make the jump to the new canon.

When asked if Mara Jade could be next, Filoni was fairly straightforward: “No, not likely.” (I am, for the record, more than okay with that.) Filoni also said that the ysalamiri aren’t making the leap to canon, although there are some visual nods to them in the production design of Thrawn’s introduction.

On his Facebook, Zahn said he’s just turned in the first draft of the novel.

The trailer also featured Wedge Antilles and a Force sensitive character named Bendu, who’s being voiced by Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. For more on everything else about Rebels S3, head to StarWars.com.

Two episodes were show (but not livestreamed) and you can read one review, with some spoilers, over at io9.

Filoni and Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart talk about how the show makes Thrawn work on Sunday, comparing him to Vader as a villain: “We want to treat him like a big time villain, as much as Darth Vader,” Filoni said. “But on the strategic, military side of things.”

Watch the panel video under the cut. Continue reading “SWCE: Star Wars Rebels S3 to introduce Grand Admiral Thrawn; Timothy Zahn writing canon novel!”