Up today at the Penguin Random House catalog is the blurb for Thrawn, Timothy Zahn’s spring Star Wars novel – his first for the new canon. It’ll be our first detailed look at how much from the franchises’s first Legends import made it to the other side before his appearance on Rebels.
“I study the art of war. Work to perfect it.”
—Grand Admiral Thrawn
One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe. From his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire, through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond, Grand Admiral Thrawn has earned an iconic status among Star Wars’ greatest villains. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.
After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Darth Vader; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again—even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, Ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat and leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.
All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral—and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy—and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendancy.
Thrawn is out in hardcover and eBook on April 11 – just before Celebration. The character is currently appearing in the third season of Star Wars Rebels.
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?)
Rebels debuts their third season Saturday with the one-hour ‘Steps into the Shadow’ at 8:30 p.m. on Disney XD. Get prepped with another Dave Filoni interview on io9, where he talks about how this season riffs on Tarkin’s line “the Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe.” He also talked to Blastr, /Film, Teenplicity and Comicbook.
Lucasfilm has released a new clip featuring Ezra and the Sith holocron:
And a special Rebels Recon preshow, featuring interviews with cast members Vanessa Marshall, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Dee Bradley Baker:
He really stuck out because he was through and through an Imperial officer. He was not facing doubt, he didn’t have these abilities that make all the big arch villains up to that point arch. He wasn’t inept so much like Piett, he wasn’t playing politics like the rest of the Imperial officers, he was purely a military strategist.
‘Hera’s Heroes’ will be the season’s fifth episode. Rebels S3 premieres with with ‘Steps into Shadow’ on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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.
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?