When the Star Wars Expanded Universe was retitled (relegated to?) “Legends,” a small but very vocal legion of the fandom lost their collective poodoo. I have been known to make fun of these people, which may be unfair. It’s also easy to take shots at characters like Jaxxon, but for every space rabbit, there are any number of brilliant additions to the Star Wars galaxy; one of them being Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Thrawn is the creation of Timothy Zahn, and the pair have returned to the galaxy far, far away. This is one of the best written and conceived of the recent canon stories. For my money, Zahn and James Luceno are the best at in depth character analysis. Luceno did a masterful job with Tarkin’s back story, and now Zahn has done the same for Thawn.
The announcement that Thrawn was to appear on season three of Star Wars: Rebels was cause for some to cheer, and others to take to the internet. In the SWEU novels, Thrawn appears after the deaths of Vader and Palpatine to lead the last vestiges of the Empire. In the new canon, that role is taken by Admiral Rae Sloane, who is one of the breakout characters outside of the from films. But Thrawn works on a whole ‘nother level.
Thrawn relates the rise of the blue-skinned, red-eyed Chiss, and is one of the most clever, air tight tales anywhere in Star Wars. Zahn has written a textbook example of “because, and therefore” storytelling. Every decision and step Thrawn takes is a logical progression from what has come before, and it all services his ultimate goal.
Many, including myself, have applauded George Lucas and other Star Wars writers for depicting Palpatine as the master of the long game, well… Thrawn gives Sheev a run for his Imperial credits. I dare not speak of the goal, but it could have far reaching ramifications, up to and including the current trilogy.
It may be that Thrawn’s ultimate fate may lie in the hands of Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and the Rebels production team, but I don’t want his story to end there. There are more tales to tell–one of which was referred to in the novel. I want that story, and I want it now.
End note for those who have read Thrawn:
In your Star Wars Book Club meeting, compare and contrast the rise of Thrawn with that of Ahrinda Pryce.